“she’s so fat….”
So master 4 and i were out shopping when we came to the checkouts with our goods. As we approached there was a smiling, attractive and friendly operator who greeted us with a welcoming “hi”. It was the sort of “hi” that let me know we were going to be served efficiently and happily… ‘happily’ sounds abit strange here but you all know that feeling when youre served by a customer services rep who clearly doesnt care compared to someone who makes you feel like youre on top of the world? The kind who immediately perks you up because theyre just so polite and make you think ‘wow there’s still some good in the world’.
Anyway, we approached, i had a big smile to match hers, i said “hi” back then the OMG i-cant-believe-it happened.
Lil man said aloud “mommy she’s so fat aye” 😨😵😩 And just like that both our smiles fell from our faces. Mine was replaced with an OMG (silent wtf) horror. Hers was replaced with a now thinner and restrained curved-at-the-sides kind of smile (but not quite a smile) smile, and what moved me most was the sadness/pain i saw in her eyes.
I was so embarrassed. I felt soooooooo bad the kind that requires 8 o’s bad…. I was embarased for myself, for master 4, (for my entire family whose honour was now in question because of his behaviour). I felt soooooooo bad for her to be on the receiving end of my son’s unexpected rudeness. My first thought after ‘gosh i hope she didnt hear it’ #epicfail, was ‘where on Gods green earth did this kid hear such a thing!!!’ Id never ever in all his 4 years of life heard him talk about weight or size or anything like it, and noone at home ever talks about weight or size. We love food too much to notice boring unimportant things as counting calories or noticing clothing size.
The next thought and probably the most dire was ‘how do i fix this’?…. How do other parents fix these situations?
Still in shock yet trying not to show it, i summoned all the super-mom powers from Heaven. I mentally told myself master 4 needed to learn several lessons here and i had to be quick smart in how it happened or he’d grow up ill mannered and far from a gentleman 😲… and it would be my fault 😟
So there we were facing the said lady. She didnt look angry, she was still polite and efficient just sad. I turned to lil man, crouched down to his height and said loud enough for her to hear “son what you said was unkind and rude. You were not raised this way please apologise to the lady now”. His reply was swift and unexpected “but mom she iiiiis fat (and yes he did draw out the i’s to emphasise his point) why is she not skinny like you”? #cringetimesamillion then: “Each person is different son, just like the animals and flowers you love are all different shapes and colours. Its the same with people. We may have some similarities but each is special and we need to respect those differences not be unkind or rude about it ok?” …. “Oh like how b***** at school is the only one with toe jams and all the kids dont like him so i should still be his friend?”
Side note: this kid never ceases to amaze me… “toe jams” #smh
“Yes son we should always be kind and respectful of others.”
And just like that he nodded and smiled at the lady and told her how sorry he was. She was a perfect sport about it. She even said thank you because “apparently” it happens often with other lil’ kids and parents dont seem to care or make a fuss or just shrug it off.
I was surprised to hear this. I couldnt imagine walking away with master 4 and not making him accountable for his behaviour. I couldnt imagine walking away knowing a child of “mine” had hurt someone (albeit unknowingly) and not try to make it right.
The world is already full of uncaring, unkind, rude people. It definitely doesnt need master 4 or his 8 month old brother to join its ranks. I can only hope that these lessons stay with him as he grows and he gets better at practising the values we try to instill in him at a young age. He is afterall not just our son, grandson, brother, nephew… he will one day grow to possibly be someone’s father, grandfather, husband, son-in-law, employee, boss… and he will definitely be a grown member of society. How we raise him now largely determines what sort of person he will be to the rest of the world.