Soph reported to me that she had a "problem" today and that she sat on the "peace" rug.
Here's how the story goes.
Soph: Mom. I had a problem today and went to the peace rug.
Me (hesitantly): Oh yeah? Tell me about it.
Soph: Well, Isabel wouldn't tell me it was ok.
Me: Hmm. Wouldn't tell you WHAT was ok.
Soph: She wouldn't say, "I accept your apology."
Me (worried): What did you apologize for?
Soph: I called her fat.
Long pause so I could collect my thoughts and address the issue as a calm, skillful parent.
Me: YOU DID WHAT!? SOPHIE GENE WE NEVER NEVER EVER CALL PEOPLE FAT! DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?! EVER! THAT IS NOT KIND. DON'T YOU EVER EVER DO THAT AGAIN. I WILL SPANK YOUR BARE BUTT IF I EVER HEAR YOU CALLED SOMEONE FAT AGAIN!
Soph (in tears): But mom, you told me that you're fat. Grandpa Ray says his belly is fat.
Me (contemplating my eternal suckitute at parenting): Ok. You're right. But it really hurts people's feelings when OTHER people say they're fat.
Soph: But she is fat.
Me: Sometimes we don't say things even when they're true. We need to protect other people's feelings. Why did you tell Isabel that she's fat.
Soph: She got stuck in a chair.
Me (biting a hole in my cheek, trying to prevent myself from laughing): Well. Bodies are all different sizes. Some are big and some are little. Everyone is different. That's ok. I want you to be really really nice to Isabel, ok?
Soph: Mom. There are too many rules. I don't want to go to school anymore.
So, after Soph went to bed, I called her teacher. Mrs. E explained to me that actually, the "fat calling" incident happened a week ago. She didn't even know about it. Then today, Soph started kind of crying quietly. After digging a bit, Mrs. E found that Soph was feeling really really hurt that she kept apologizing to Isabel, and that Isabel wouldn't accept her apology. So the three of them sat down on the peace rug and talked it out. Big sigh.
I'm feeling equal parts responsible, sad, angry, and really, slightly amused. The thing is, "fat" is a description. Its connotation, obviously, is negative, but none-the-less, it is just a little ol' adjective. Of course, in our place/time, fat, when used to describe a person, = bad. Very, very bad. Kids read, "The fat cat sat," and it's fine, but call someone fat (particularly ME) and the shit will hit the fan. No more to say really. I'm going to sleep on this one.
Today's best thing about being a mom:
Well, I never become overly cocky.
Today's worst thing about being a mom:
Having a walking, talking conscience.