Lesson #1: Kids, don’t call Mommy fat. We love you more than life itself, but we changed your diapers and grew you in our bellies, please be nice to your mom.
I can finally talk about this now, a dumb little incident with my kiddo that pushed my emotional buttons, big time.
About two months ago, I was hanging out with my 5 year old little boy Bex in the early evening, and he announced that he wanted to play a game he made up called “Tickle Mattress.”
The rules of Tickle Mattress are that I have to lie on the bed in my bedroom while he hides in my closet, which has a sliding door. Then I get up and knock on the closet door to his “house” and say “Are you home? I want to be friends.”
But the twist is, I’m not really a friend at all, I’m a villain. I’m always the villain and he’s always the hero, which is more than fine by me. Sometimes Bex even dresses as his character, in his Spiderman or Mario costume from the Mario Bros. video game.
If he’s Spiderman, I play the evil Lizard. If he’s Mario, I’m the bad guy named Bowser. Once I knock on the closet, he comes out and I announce that he can’t trust me and we “play fight.”
Bex has a manual pop up wooden puppet toy that he treats like a fire ball cannon and shoots them at me, or he hits me with webs, lasers, swords, etc…all imaginary, of course.
I say “You got me!” and fall on the mattress at the end, but first I scoop him up and tickle him on the mattress while he giggles. It’s loads of fun and I get to hug and kiss him a lot.
So now that you get the picture, we were walking to the room to play that day, and I had put on a few pounds, my tummy is my problem area where I gain weight.
It was near the end of the day and I had on a t-shirt that showed my expanded belly.
Bex looks at me and says “You have such a FAT BELLY! You have the fattest tummy. Your tummy is SO FAT!”
(I’ve lost 13 pounds since then, that’s why I can even write this without cringing and sobbing.)
My first instinct was to remember who the adult is supposed to be here, me, and that he is a little kid, my child, who is just stating, well…the truth. He doesn’t know how rude it sounds, not really.
But I’m also a human who was sensitive about the weight I gained on the dreaded Lexapro, which I’m now off of…but still. I held it together for a few minutes and when we started to play the game, I suddenly burst into tears about what my son had said. I could not stop crying.
My precious little guy came over to me and said “Oh, honey…oh honey, don’t cry…” Which is probably him copying me when I comfort him. So sweet.
I had to explain to him that women, actually most people do not like to be called fat, and that it hurt my feelings. I felt so embarrassed that I was hyper sensitive, but I told myself this was a teachable moment: This kid will probably never call women or people in general fat, like, EVER!
Which will serve him well with his girlfriends and wife, someday, when she asks him if she looks fat in those jeans. And she will.
Afterwards, I dried my tears and Bex announced “I’m not calling you fat. I’m only gonna call you PRETTY!” He is my whole heart wrapped up in the body of a boy.
Do you have any cringe worthy moments with a little kid like this? Do tell. And stay tuned for my upcoming post about my ongoing weight loss journey and what I learned (and didn’t learn) from Weight Watchers.