Ah, parenting. The joys of teaching basic social skills to 3-years olds.
Mondays are swimming lessons night. So Rowan and I went and she had a good time. Afterwards we went to the ladies’ locker room to change. There is a lady there who is quite a bit heavier and last week as she was walking to a locker to help her daughter, Rowan said out loud, “Look Mom, look at her big butt!” There was a hair dryer on near us, so the lady could feign not hearing us. I whispered, “Don’t say that, that’s not nice,” but I gave no other explanation.
So of course, this week, again in the locker room, Rowan giggles and says, “She has a big butt!” This time other people had the hair dryer really close to us, so I think she really didn’t hear. It was time for the Talk.
In the car, I explained to her that saying someone has a big butt can hurt other people’s feelings. I told her that “big butt” isn’t a bad word (We’ve already had the Damnit Talk) but it made people sad, so if she needed to say something she should say, “Look Mom, that lady is curvy.” Let’s hope it sticks.
Isn’t it funny? The great thing about young kids is that they can’t fake anything. They don’t fake laughter, they don’t fake smiles. But a little bit of deceit helps to smooth things in an adult world. It wouldn’t be a good thing if everyone could hear everyone else’s thoughts, and sometimes too much truth is simply hurtful. Part of growning up is learning to not say everything. But it’s kind of sad to teach a kid, think about what you say. Learn to censor what you say.