An unlikely critic

The other day I was dropping my son off at preschool.  One of the other boys ran up to me and asked, “Why is your belly so big?” I tried to ignore him, but he kept bothering me as I tried to say goodbye to my son.  Finally I looked at him and said, “I don’t know,” not the truth, true enough, but I was hoping that this would make him go away.  No such luck.  He pointed his finger at me and said, “You eat too much!”

Normally I would just shrug off something like this, but it bothered me all day. The problem that I had (besides the fact that he was reminding me how out of shape I am) was his tone.  This little imp wasn’t doing the typical kid without a filter routine.  No, he was intentionally being mean. Now, from my little interaction, this made little difference, but I started to wonder a couple of things.  First, was this how he treated the other kids in class? Is he one of the kids that makes fun of my son for being short? (No kidding here. Preschoolers already being mean to each other.) The other thing that bothered me was that he was obviously mimicking things that he had heard from his parents.  The kid probably asked about me (or some other overweight person) and instead of having a discussion about the many factors that could make someone be overweight, or perhaps about not judging people by the way they look, he was likely just shooed away with “he/she eats to much.”

Anyway, it put me in a bad mood. I suppose in a backwards way it motivated me. In any case, I just want to say to parents: Teach your children well.


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