Relativity

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“You’re fat!”

“Excuse me?” I thought I might not have heard him correctly. I squatted down low, my eyes even with his 3 year old head. I smiled reassuringly. “What did you say? Try again!”

“I said…. You. Are. Fat.” He took special care to enunciate each syllable clearly and then punctuated the statement with an eye roll.

I stood up, taken aback. There was no mistaking that.

“Now, you shouldn’t say that to her!” His mom looked as embarrassed as I felt, redness creeping up her neck and into her cheeks. She leaned over to me and whispered in her Southern drawl, “I’m so sorry.”

And I instantly hated her, I will admit. Here she was, having given birth to a child (I had not) and she was skinny as a toothpick. Next to her, my normal body was fat.

“Look here, you little brat! Your mom is an anorexic anomaly.”

Except I didn’t say that.

Instead I smiled and said, “Guess how many shots you get today?”

(As a side note, I have watched this kiddo grow up over the past ten years. He really is a great kid. But I still hate his mother…well, not her per se, just her metabolism.)

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40 thoughts on “Relativity

  1. Hahaha, it’s amazing what comes out of young patients’ mouths. When I was a resident, post-call after being up all night in the PICU, I had to go to my weekly clinic that afternoon. I didn’t have time to shower so I still had my scrubs on. When I wheeled up to check the ears of a sweet little four-year-old perched in her mothers lap, she pinched her nose together and said, “Pew, you stink.” Aw, that’s sweet.

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  2. Very funny. I have also had this experience and I’ve replied, “You’re right, I am fat.”
    Since you are actually NOT fat, perhaps this would not occur to you. But I always get satisfaction from not being embarrassed or put off by what is considered socially unacceptable behavior.
    I go on to say that some people may have their feelings hurt by comments like that and they should be careful not to be hurtful. Which usually brings a little shame to the face of the parent. 🙂

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    • I have been overweight at various times in my life, so I am rather conscious of my weight. It was on a good day when I felt good about myself too. Oh well! I really didn’t let it bother me too much. Maybe that is a silly thing to say, though, since I am here writing about it ten years later! 😉 I blame Carrie Rubin for her comment on the previous post…

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    • Actually they do. You think fat 3 years old are not made fun of at school?
      Also, it does not necessarily come from the parents. If they live in a city and see fashion ads all the time or have access to TV they will quickly see the difference between fat and thin.. But the same thing happen to different ethnicities who are questioned from the colour of their skin to the shape of their eyes or nose.. Some children travel much more now and are aware of the differences but when I was younger a lot of children would come to me asking why I was brown, why my hair was not like their or why I had a big nose.

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      • Never thought of it that way. I guess I base my views on the way my kids were at that age – they never noticed or cared if a classmate or teacher was a different skin color or fatter or thinner than anyone else. But you’re right – kids these days are much more in tune with pretty much everything thanks to TV and the internet. I’m not sure that’s a good thing.

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  3. Hmmmm, call someone fat and get shots. Hopefully that made the connection in his little head. But in parenting defense, there are many words our children learn and use in many different places and settings. I remember when my child starting going to daycare at the age of 2 1/2 and the first time she came home and said “I hate you!” with all of the force as if she meant it. She had no idea, she had picked up the expression and it’s force from others. She mimicked it very well, but had no clue the depth of it’s meaning. Even explaining it at that age was not as powerful as what she saw and mimicked.

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  4. That was great. I had a little kid walk into a convenience store once while I was shopping. He looked up at me and said, “Your old”. Like yourself I was a bit taken back. The mother right behind looked at me with a forgiving look on her face. Me, I just had to laugh because it was true. Oh the cruel jokes God plays on us.

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