Defining the intersection between listening and living

A Failure to thrive

There’re very few things that leave a lasting impression on a person’s life. For me, being a father is a responsibility that I do not take lightly. I make sure to give my everything to my daughter, L means the world to me. After having L I finally understand some of the struggles that my mother faced. I appreciate the hard times and understand just how much she struggled to shelter us from so many things.

Failure to thrive (FTT), more recently known as faltering weight or weight faltering, is a term used in pediatric, adult as well as veterinary medicine (where it is also referred to as ill thrift), to indicate insufficient weight gain or inappropriate weight loss.

The Pediatrician and the other doctors that we have been referred to have continually labeled L at FTT because she is underweight. To know me and my wife you must understand that we are both small people. In fact, I did not hit my appropriate weight to height ratio until after I turned 30. For most of my life, I have struggled to gain weight and find it funny that the doctors are making such a big deal over her being underweight when if it was the other extreme they would be saying that I should be putting my daughter on a diet. Body image and acceptance is something that many struggles with and this is one thing that I do not want my daughter to be one. I realize that she is currently too young to understand but I make it a point to tell her how important it is to eat but also that it is okay that she is small.

Body positivity is a must especially in a world where people sit behind keyboards and shame. There is a visceral assault and bullying culture that we as Americans have perpetuated. I am not above this but for all that it is worth I strive to embrace the body that I was given. For me, it is a part of identity. I have been a small my entire life and do not think that will change anytime soon, but for me, I reconciled this fact a long time ago. There are challenges and difficulties especially being a small man in society the same as a curvy woman, skinny woman or a woman of any shape for that matter. I cannot say that it is the same when it comes to how people look at me as there is a different perception for women but I think as a man and a father it is my duty to ensure that I entrust my daughter with an understanding that as long as she loves herself then it does not matter what other think.
So as always walk with me on this journey with a small sweater and some headphones.

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  1. Ellen July 27, 2017

    I am 4ft 11 and as you’d guess my daughter is petite. I remember the school thinking her anorexic which scared me so took her to the doc. The Doctor after tests and chatting called me in and said ” your daughter hates fast food and sugary things loves sport and is very active” All of which I had said. “She id being compared to the norm, unfortunately the norm isn’t healthy.” A letter stating his findings along with a leaflet on bolstering adolescents self esteem and one of how to recognise children at risk of anorexia were included. It took a while for her to disregard her teachers words and now will say ‘ if they had been right it was best said. ‘ She is an executive head of three schools now and would never make the mistake that they did. You are doing a good job.

    • chaoscream July 27, 2017 — Post Author

      Thank you for the words of encouragement and sharing your daughters story.

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