Fat Moms and Skinny Kids

I have skinny kids.

The Girl is in the 3rd percentile for weight.

The Boy is in the 5th.

To make matters worse, they’re both above the 60th percentile for height.

While it’s incredibly exciting to think that my kids are in the top half of the tallest kids in America, it’s also interesting because it makes them look even thinner than they are.

Which is fine with me.


Except when people say stuff like, “Goodness, he/she is SOO tiny.”

Look, I don’t care what people think about my kids’ physical appearance.  Mostly because they are gorgeous, but also because I think who they are on the inside is way, way more important because I’m all evolved and stuff.


These kids need to start eating something because someone is going to call child services and that social worker is going to take one look at me and see a woman who is still carrying baby weight from seventeen months ago (and, okay, five years ago, too) that would be more appropriate for a woman who gave birth to twins day before yesterday.

Then? That social worker is going to think the kids are skinny because I’ve been inhaling the food off of their plates before they can get at it.

My situation will deteriorate further as The Girl summarily transforms a conversation that went, “I don’t waaaant brown rice pilaf, I want nuggggggets from McDonaaaaald’s./NoWAY, McDonald’s is trash, the rice will make you strong and help you grow, besides I don’t feel like putting on shoes” into “We told her we wanted to eat a real dinner, with chicken and potatoes, but she made us eat boiled cardboard and threw shoes at us.  Can we go live with Brangelina?  We are brown skinned, you know, I think we have a shot.”

This stuff keeps me up nights because, my goodness, if those kids get taken away from me and are raised by someone else?  I’ll inevitably have to hear my father say for the ten thousandth time, “See, you never finish anything.  This is like when you said you wanted to play the piano when you were five and then came home after two lessons begging to quit.”

All this caused me to engage in dialogue with the children’s physician on their last visit that made me look, well, frankly just sad.

“Are they healthy, though?  I mean, I feed them… they eat, you know… it’s not like I starve them… you believe me, right… please don’t report me to anyone because I will die if I have to listen to my dad tell that story again about how I hid under the bed for three hours until they agreed to take me out of piano.”

The flaxen haired, cheerful woman who was smart enough to get into medical school and who is now charged with health related care of my offspring calmly smiled at me and said in a cheerful yet firmly reassuring voice, “I’m not worried, they’re perfectly healthy.  They’re just lean, I assume they take after their dad?”

She’s never met my husband who is, for the record, naturally lean, but that is not the point, thankyouverymuch.

Awesome, doc.

You just said I was fat without actually saying it.

Either you are the most clueless woman alive or you will make a fine mother-in-law someday.

About Faiqa Khan

Mother of two, wife of one, master of none. Trying madly to be prolific on her personal blog at Native Born and proving beyond a reasonable doubt that she's not a racist on Hey! That's My Hummus!


  1. Brandi says:

    Ha! I’m right there with you. All of my four are athletic and healthy and look NOTHING like me. I have two that are blonde w/blue eyes and already taller than me. My daughter is thin as a rail and has NO butt at all: obviously a maternity test is needed.

    It’s always my favorite comment “They must take after their father.”

    Errrrr! Wrong again.

    Some people are just idiots. LOL!

    • Faiqa says:

      I like to think they’re Daddy on the outside and Mommy on the inside. You know, unless they’re acting like jerks…

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    • Vickie says:

      My two daughters are both tall, like their father and very thin. The thing is, so was I at that age. I was very thin, but at the age of about 20, I began to gain weight and it was harder to get off. A lot of it has to do with activity. My girls are very active and so was I at that age. Over time, you get more sedate, even though it isn’t a good thing, it happens! Even when I eat very small amounts of food, I don’t lose weight. It makes me angry to think others look at my thin daughters and believe that they are thin, because I’m eating up all of the food. I don’t just sit, but it takes a lot more activity when a person gets older. When I was thin, I thought people who were fat must be pigs, but this is far from the truth. I believe it is built into some genes as a protective measure or something. I think there needs to be more research to prove this point. A lot people aren’t fat because they are pigs, sitting around eating all of the time. That’s just stupid!

  2. Classic. I’m the parent of exceptionally tall children who descended from string beans. I like to remind folks I used to have that metabolism until I had them.

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  3. Sugar Jones says:

    I hope you beat her with her stethescope.

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  4. Sharon Heg says:

    See, I was the REALLY tiny (still am), REALLY skinny (SO no longer am) kid with (A) the overweight mother who blamed ME for her weight (even though she was, in her own words, “Fat in the womb”) because she sat at the table with me for every meal, practically forcefeeding me and then finishing what I still didn’t eat, plus (B) TWO sets of Jewish grandparents whose goal in life was to “fatten up” little Sharon. So from my POV, even though it bugs you, don’t bug them about it too much. ;-)

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    • Faiqa Khan says:

      Me, too!! ME TOO!! Except my grandparents weren’t Jewish… other than that, yep. It wasn’t always like this, but I don’t bother them about the food. I figure if they’re hungry they’ll eat.

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      • Sharon Heg says:

        Exactly. Which is also what the pediatrician told my parents, who in turn told my grandparents…but all of them still made it their life’s work. Paternal grandmother, who kept Kosher, once made bacon for me because I said I wanted some. Now that’s love! ;-)

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  5. Firemomma35 says:

    We as a society have grown accustomed to chunky kids. If you look at the growth charts the APA uses, the healthy weight kids are the knock kneed skinny ones. A kid who measures off the charts for weight looks average now. You know your child is healthy even if a stranger looks at her and says she “look too skinny.” Keep up the good work and let the Dr. get her payback in the form of kid cooties and throw up.

  6. I’m saving all my pennies to bail you out of jail!!

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  7. TishaMarie says:

    This post had me rolling!!! I know exactly how you feel, but you really don’t want them to start gaining either. Two of my three twigs (one at 19 and one at 10) started gaining unexpectedly, and then it became an internal battle for me. I took two genetically ok kids and gave the my eating disorders, (my words). The 19 year old straightened back out naturally and quickly, but I am still watching the 10 year old waiting to be blamed for his weight.

    Also, I would not have been as cool with that doctor as you were.

    • Faiqa Khan says:

      I’m really good with dealing with people who are oblivious to other people’s feelings. It’s like a superpower, really.

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  8. Grumble Girl says:

    I fry her with my imaginary death-rays!! Bitch.

  9. I shall also start saving bail money…

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    • Faiqa Khan says:

      She’s actually really sweet. I’m not angry, at all.. I just thought that it was funny how incredibly clueless she was being..

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  10. Dara says:

    My parents would say the same thing and bring up the same damn piano lessons (though I lasted a whole year and only quit because my teacher said we’d have to buy an actual piano rather than a keyboard for me to practice on and my nervous little self figured my parents couldn’t afford it so quit before they tried to buy one).
    Yes. Well. My kids are the same. But my doctor has actually called me fat. And I am. So, you know, good on him. He also told me I don’t look as heavy as I am. So that’s kinda a compliment.
    I now have a female doctor who has never said anything about my weight. But the other day she mentioned she was trying to lose weight. Forty lbs! She looks like a size 5 maybe. And here I was thinking I only need to lose 40 or 50 lbs. She’s two inches taller than me and about half my size.

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  11. britni says:

    As a poor, witless healthcare-provider-in-the-making, I must defend the doctor. Because I too say stupid things all of the time. I HEAR THE WORDS STARTING TO COME OUT OF MY MOUTH AND TRY AS I MAY, THEY WILL NOT STOP. I cannot make them. It’s like a conflicting dialog in my mind “They must DON’T SAY THAT take THAT’S NOT QUITE RIGHT after their STOP JUST STOP AND SAY SOMETHING ELSE father OHMYGOD I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU ACTUALLY SAID IT.” Haven’t we all had those days? I’m sure what she intended to say was harmless, and she didn’t mean anything by the words that ACTUALLY came out of her mouth. She’s probably kicking herself for saying it anyhow.

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    • Faiqa says:

      I totally agree. Also, my mother’s a doctor. So is her brother. And MY brother. I hear doctors say outlandish shit all the time. They’re human, believe me, I get it. ;-)

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  12. Loukia says:

    You’re gorgeous. So are your kids. I have the opposite problem. – my boys are big! My three year old weighs more than most six year olds! I can’t help it if they have healthy appetites! Plus, when I’m at work, they are looked after by their grandparents. Did I mention we’re Greek? We love food!

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  13. Well that was just too rude and, um, yeah, sorta funny. Bad doctor!

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  14. My mom ISN’T a doctor, and bless her, stupid shit like that comes out all the time.

    The woman has NO filter.

    If it makes you feel better, my 6yo son, who is off the height charts completely and always has been, eats TWICE as much as me (last night, he ate half of my rib-eye, two hot dogs, baked beans, peaches, carrots, and um, I think there was dessert in there) and YOU CAN COUNT ALL HIS RIBS.

    I had a metabolism like that when I was younger, Now, you can’t find my ribs.

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    • Faiqa Khan says:

      My daughter has started eating a lot more, too. She’s still sooo thin. And I get CRAZY when she stretches her arms up and sucks her gut in… I’m like, STOP, they’re going to take you away from me!! I don’t say it out loud, but I’m thinking it!!

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  15. Vikki says:

    My friend’s mother once said to me, “It’s so wonderful that you have those broad shoulders to offset…well…the rest.”

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    • Faiqa Khan says:

      WOW. I’ll see that and raise you, “You have a beautiful face, if you were just four inches taller and about 30 lbs lighter, you could be a super model.” I was 126 pounds at the time… and it was… A TEACHER.

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  16. Kathykate says:

    had a neighbor tell me my daughter was so beautiful, she can’t believe she’s mine.

    wellllll, fuck you very much asswipe!

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  17. Alas, I, too had gone through something like this but probably worse. It all started with the doctor telling me to make my two boys take this and that multi-vitamin supplement and then how I should really become better at cooking (I humbly let all sink in, trying to become a good mother). And then he said:

    “Wait, sorry, these are your children, right? Or are they your grandchildren?”

    I wasn’t just a fat woman with two skinny boys. I could also be a fat, older woman who look like the boys’ granny.

    Bohohoho (crying inside because I wanted so much to shove my kids’ records to his gaping mouth!)

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  18. MamaKaren says:

    My kids are skinny now, but when they were babies and toddlers, they were often off the charts for weight while being 50-75th percentile for height. Now my daughter is almost as tall as I am, but slim as can be(and with long legs that I can’t explain) and can eat me under the table. I’m trying to lose another 20 pounds so I’m eating salad with grilled chicken while she pounds away a bacon cheeseburger and a side of fries and a milkshake. It’s going to catch up to her someday, I’m sure, but for now I think the waitrons assume I am switching the plates as soon as they walk away, figuring that I make her eat the salad as soon as they turn their backs.

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  19. Megan says:

    I do hope you said “thank you” in an appropriately sarcastic manner.

    Funny that you and I both have skinny kids and yet I have an opposite problem. I know my son is perfectly healthy, but one of his doctors is OBESSESED with putting weight on him.

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  20. Mama B says:

    I deal with this on a DAILY BASIS. My 5 yr old might as well be the little brother from a Christmas Story! She is petite and picky. When I suggest brown rice and veggies, I get “FINE! I guess you want me to STARVE to DEATH!” There are many days where she goes to preschool on nothing more than animal crackers and milk because she did not want the oatmeal I made, or because “eggs are GROSS!” I fully expect to get a call from her teacher one of these days when she pulls a drama queen moment and complains that I refused to feed her. Yeah and her dad and I are both still carrying the baby weight too. It probably won’t help our case any.

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  21. Ilana says:

    Easily the best thing ever written: “Either you are the most clueless woman alive or you will make a fine mother-in-law someday.”

  22. Speaking my truth, sister!

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  23. Emily says:

    I am also a mother I have 1 son who was pretty normal then around 11 to 12 he started getting fat so I told him he looked a little to heavy in the stomach but he said it was no big deal but I thought it was so during the summer he went to his aunts house in Georgia for the summer and I think he hit his growth spurt down there because wen he came back he looked so tall and so slender so I took his hight and weight he lost 25lbs and grew 4 inches now he is in the 20 percentile for weight and 96 percentile for hight and now everyone is commenting on how tall and thin he is

    • Maddie says:

      Hi I was reading your comment and it sounds just like my so and I don’t know if I should put him on a diet or not because he look like he’s getting a little to chubby for my liking what should I do?

      • Emily says:

        Well you should put him on a diet because what I didn’t know at the time was that his aunt put him on a diet and made him exercise and she also hid laxatives in what little food she gave him so it would go right threw him and empty him out and he actually lost 33 pounds not 25 because when they weighed him he had a lot of cloths on so he was actually underweight once she got done with him but I’m not mad at her im actually sort of happy because he looks a lot better when he’s thinner and next summer I’m going to go down there to do the same thing she did to him to see if I can drop a few pounds but yeah put him on a very low calorie diet with lots of exercise and he’ll thin out in no time

        • Maddie says:

          Thanks he’ll be in for a rude awakening tomorrow when he has to run on the treadmill while everyone else eats Christmas Eve dinner and all he gets is a protean bar for each meal but that should thin him out pretty quick

          • Emily says:

            Oh yeah that should make him drop the weight pretty fast it’s always nice to put then on a diet during the summer so you can watch them when there out swimming and compare when they first start and watch as there belly fat disappears and and there waistline shrinks and there swimming trunks get looser and looser on then until they fall right off when they try to get out of the water like my sons did

  24. Jenny says:

    Hi my son was a little bit like that but not. He was always a little bit chubby but when he hit puberty WOW he shot up from five foot two and 135lbs to five foot seven 112lbs that growth spurt really helped him thin out now he might have a pound of body fat throughout his ENTIRE body he is a rail his gut is flat his legs are slim his double chin is gone and u can see his jaw bone the bad thing is now all his clothes are to short and wide he went from a 33in waist to a 28in waist and now everybody is saying how skinny he is and I am also happy about is because he looks much healthier and by the way he got his growth spurt from 12 to 13 he is thirteen and a half now I also thing most kids thin out during puberty because some of the girls in his class have also gotten much taller and thinner

  25. Jenny says:

    Just came back from the doctors for annual checkup and even the doc commented on how thin he is his hight is five foot seven and a half weight 110lbs the doc had him take his shirt off and a half inch taller and two pounds lighter really makes a difference he is Just so slim and tall it looks like I don’t feed him .

  26. Maria says:

    Why is it that kids get so thin during puberty because I have noticed that my daughter Emily is much taller and slimmer than last summer because when we went to the beach and she always wears a bikini and she is so skinny she is only 97lbs at five eight and I’m a little worried because you can see her ribs and her hipbones and last year she was shorter than me and nice and curvy now shes a stick.
    PS she has also been sick with the flu and has been throwing up and having diarrhea and she looks even thinner now what should I do

    • alexis says:

      most kids do look thinner because of the big growth spurt and some do lose weight like jenny and emily sons ohers just look thinner because they have streched out . my son also looks slimmer now but he doesnt think so even though when you run your hand down his side you can feel his ribs but he can think what he wants to
      hope that answers your question

    • HannahO. says:

      My daughter she’s 15 by the way has always been average and maybe just a tiny bit chubby but the other day she was getting ready to go to the movies and when she came downstairs she was wearing skinny jeans and a very tight fitting lacy white top that left probably a 4 or 5 inch gap in between her jeans and the bottom of her shirt so you could see her stomach and that’s when I realized that something looked different about her and then I realized that her stomach is flat as a board now and her ribs stick out further then her stomach so her waist is super tiny now and I asked her how she lost so much weight and she said she’s just been dieting and running on the treadmill so whatever she’s doing is working because she looks amazing but she was probably freezing last night because she didn’t listen to me when I told her to wear a coat so all she had on was that little half shirt and she has like no body fat left on her to keep her warm

  27. Jennifer says:

    My son started to thin out just recently about two years ago he was starting to get more belly fat and was preparing for the big puberty growth spurt and about a year ago he was at his max bmi witch was 20.6 and was in the 82 percentile and I didn’t know that he was going to have a big growth spurt I thought he was just getting fat because he had a big gut and a double chin and then the weirdest thing happened wen we were at the beach on vacation he looked so tall all of a suden and when we got to are condo and I was scratching his back I felt some ridges or something but I didn’t ask him about it though but when he took off his shirt so I could put sunscreen on him I just looked at him in shok those ridges I felt were his ribs now he’s just thin not anorexic but how could my little chubby boy be so tall and so thin I mean he had a flat lean stomach slender chin and face and now I have noticed that he hasn’t been eating as much thank god and I said to him o my gosh how did you become so tall and thin and he didn’t even think he was that much thinner that growth spurt really helps you slim down now his height is five foot seven and his weight is 110lbs

  28. Jennifer says:

    We went out to eat tonight and we went to a rib place and my son used to be able to eat a hole Rack but this time he got half a rack and didn’t even finish it and didn’t even touch his fries and as we were leaving his grandma asked him if he had lost weight he said he didn’t know but I told her he lost about 25lbs and she can’t believe how much leaner he has gotten and since it is track season I think he might of gotten a little slimmer and you can difenetly tell he isn’t eating as much and I still don’t know why but he isn’t anorexic so I don’t care

  29. 000000000 says:

    Hi I am a 13 and a half year old boy and I have noticed that you do thin out during puberty because about a year ago I started getting fatter and I liked it when we went to the beach I liked having a gut and a double chin and I also loved to eat but then I started puberty and I didn’t like it because at first you just start to grow taller and don’t notice any difference in weight but then by next summer your like wow where did my fat go your just 8 inches taller and the same weight and everybody asking you how you got so thin and now I’m a stick and I hate it

  30. LEB says:

    Sooo… lose weight if it bothers you so much. Trim down to 1200-1400 cals a day (not less than that), don’t eat anything marketed as kid food EVER, and play WITH your kids rather than sitting and watching. The weight will fall off. And if it doesn’t, you may have a hormone imbalance and should pay a visit to your doc, since any moderately active woman eating 1200-1400 cals a day should be able to fit into her high school jeans. Okay, maybe college jeans.

  31. Jennifer says:

    Ok update on my son he actually gained some weight and was looking a little chubby again so I put him on a diet and I’m having him run 2 miles a day and he’s been doing that for about 6 months now and he is thinner than ever


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