Monday, 23 March 2015

The day a 3 year old boy broke my heart

If you follow me on twitter you may have noticed the heart wrenching tweeting I was doing the other day regarding an incident that occurred with my 3 year old. Now my kid comes out with stuff all the time e.g. Bananagate. The time she spent a week denying that she ate a banana at nursery (she did) only to take my sister aside when I wasn't looking and confess all. The second she got called up on it she went straight back to denying said fruit eating ever happened. Or the time in the car when she confessed she thought it was better that I had a boyfriend because her and I needed help sometimes. When I quizzed her on this she went on to tell me that her and her Dad were fine and dandy but that I could probably do with a hand. Mum. Fail.

I relentlessly persisted that she and I were perfectly capable on our own too but she still doesn't seem convinced...

But the other day she came out with something that was most definitely not funny. And caused my heart to crack in a way I don't think will ever repair itself. As I was helping her on the toilet she looked at me with a quiet seriousness about her and told me, in that black and white way that 3 year olds do, that she had fat thighs. When I questioned if she even knew where her thighs were she pointed to them. When I gently pressed why she thought such a silly thing she confessed that a boy in her nursery had told her. And she got it. She wasn't just repeating something that had been said to her. She 100% understood the insult, what it meant and the negative connotations surrounding it. And that broke my heart into pieces.

I got lots of feedback from people on Twitter. Weirdly only from females. Not one man commented or responded. And so I did a little experiment and mentioned it to a couple of men to see what their reaction would be. While it was just as aghast as their female counterparts, it didn't seem to provoke that instinctual, gut wrenching, sob inducing, emotional reaction it seems to have cited in us girls. Maybe because we know only too well the pressure we are under every day to conform to societies unfair and unrealistic ideals and as a fellow sister, we all just felt a little sad for Ava.

Because we know that's what she will be up against for the rest of her life.

You can't blame the kid (although I wanted to rattle the little punk). It's learned behaviour and I wouldn't be surprised if he has heard his Dad say it. Sadly maybe even his Mum. And I can only put my trust into her nursery teachers and believe that he is chastised and reasoned with correctly when such incidents do happen. That hopefully somewhere in his little toddler head that that reasoning makes sense and he thinks before he says something like that again.

And you could argue that I am as much to blame as anyone. I have scales in the bathroom and have weighed myself in front of her without a second thought. They are now in the bin and when I do want to see what I weigh I will do so at the gym. I believe it's important to take care of yourself and so I exercise and I try to eat clean 80% of the time. Meaning when I am in the zone there is little chance I will share her ice-cream with her or have a bite of her pizza when she offers it. But come the weekend you will find us both chomping on prawn crackers and lemon chicken or eating sweeties together in bed. 

I'm not obsessive and I hope that if she learns anything from me it's that life is about balance. And that looks are a sideline. Nice to have but they don't get you nearly as far in this world as people sometimes think they do.  Because in a world of size zeros, glossy magazines and skinny fashion models, I truly believe that normalcy really does prevail in the end. Just like that little boy's behaviour, the important features we need to succeed in this world are learned. Discipline, education, determination, drive & positivity. 

And if you have these in abundance then the size of your thighs simply doesn't come into it.

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