Thursday, May 10, 2012

I Should Write a Parenting Guide

The Boy and the Girl were upstairs getting dressed, brushing their teeth, trying to stuff each other's heads in the toilet (you know, normal stuff) while a finished my morning coffee.  All of the sudden, the Girl yells, "MOM! The Boy said I was FAT!"

Egads.  We will have none of that in this house because (a) the Girl is not in any way fat, (b) at five years old, she shouldn't waste any brain space on fat, or thin, or any of that nonsense, and (c) I suspect that they'll get enough teasing in school, and I don't want them to have to hear it at home as well.

Also:  if he considers her fat, then he must think I look like Jabba the Hutt or something.

"Boy!" I bellowed. "Get down here, NOW!"

He peeped his head around the corner of the stair railing, fidgeting with his tube socks.

"Come here, please."

He sidled up next to me until our faces were pretty close.  I asked very quietly (as I did not want the Girl to overhear a Very Serious Discussion about her body weight), "Did you call your sister fat?"

"Well, she asked me if..."

"Honey," I interrupted, "let me tell you something.  If a girl ever, ever, ever, ever, ever asks you if she looks fat, the only right way to answer that is, 'No, you look beautiful.'"

"But what if..."


"She asked if her shirt..."


He looked at me for a second, then shrugged and ran off to slip into his socks and shoes.

Did I give him permission to lie? Nah, not really. 'Cause here's the thing:  a woman wants an honest answer to that question about one out of a thousand times.  The other nine hundred ninety-nine times, she wants affirmation that she's pretty. So, what I really did was prevent a few clashes in the future when a girlfriend asks him how her butt looks in her new jeans.

You're welcome, future girlfriend.

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