He’s not thin, he’s active!

The other day Cheng Ayi had Leo outside to play with some other kids at a park while I was in classes. After I returned from class, we were sitting at our table while Leo was eating, chatting for a few minutes before she left for the day. She reported that people often tell her how thin Leo is and ask what he eats at home. Cheng Ayi herself has often questioned us about his diet and made some suggestions, because we do have a little guy who is pretty lean (much like his dad). I have no qualms about adding butter, oil, whole milk, plenty of good cheese, and whatever other sources of fat I can squeeze into his diet – and although Leo is still in the range of normal, he’s just lean and that’s that! And frankly, this makes most Chinese people uncomfortable. They like their babies and toddlers seriously beefy.

So it surprised me when Cheng Ayi reported that she now springs to his defense when people give her trouble for Leo’s lean frame. She retorted to them that Leo eats a lot (which he does, especially these days). But then she went on to say that she told them that Leo is so active that it just burns right off (which is highly likely, as anyone who has seen him whirl around our house for 10 minutes can tell you). And (this is the best part) that Chinese babies and toddlers are just not as active because their parents fatten them up too quickly – chasing them around with all kinds of food and bottles of formula and milk constantly. As a result, she concluded, they don’t want to move because they are already so fat, and so they just keep getting fatter. So that explains why Leo is so active and agile now (which he is, it scares me and makes me proud all at once!), and why Chinese toddlers are slower to move the way Leo does.

I’m not so sure of this explanation, but I sure got a kick out of it! I think Leo’s frame and agility has a lot to do with genes and his own natural temperament. But I do love the fact that Ayi is now coming to his defense after about a year or more of worrying that we were somehow starving our poor child.

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1 Response to “He’s not thin, he’s active!”


  1. 1 Marianna November 12, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    That is so funny! I want to come over to China now just to get a first hand experience. I’m sure it’s funnier that way!


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