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AIBU or is my OH an insensitive arse?

(99 Posts)
janey77 Wed 10-Aug-16 23:37:17

Sorry for the long rant but need to get this off my chest!!!! This evening, my 5 year old asked me if she was fat because her belly sticks out a bit. She knows that fat is a word we don't use to describe people in our house because it is mean. I explained that people have different body shapes etc...Just before bedtime she asked me again, and I queried why she was asking. She told me she had seen her Dad trying a new top on and had asked him why his belly stuck out a bit. He said it was because he was a bit fat and when she asked him about her belly he said she was a bit fat too....I had tears in my eyes when she told me, but she said "it's okay mummy it doesn't bother me"...…this is the same response she gave me when she was in nursery and some older girls told her she was "a big fat girl". I am fucking fuming about this. She has got a bit of a belly, but she is very tall ( I'm 5"9 and she comes up to my ribs), broad shouldered and otherwise quite solid/muscly built. She does a karate 3 times a week, has swimming lessons and would play out 24/7 if she could. She doesn't eat rubbish, so I just think having a little belly is the hand nature has dealt her. I am so angry at OH right now I could just punch him in his stupid face, firstly for using a term I hate, secondly for potentially giving her a complex and thirdly for reflecting his own problems with his body image onto a 5yr old....I'm so angry I've hardly been able to speak to him all night, and I'm glad he's had to go bed early for work in the morning, cos I don't think I could have held my tongue much longer (im so cross I couldn't even bring it up in a civilized fashion without calling him a bit of a cunt!!!). Please tell me it's not just me who thinks this is wrong??

Msqueen33 Wed 10-Aug-16 23:39:26

I would be pleased if she referred to herself as fat. Personally I think a lot of men are just stupid. They don't think and realise the long term effects. That said in this case your dd seems okay. I would have a strong word with dh and say that he's not to make reference to her shape again or use that particular word.

Msqueen33 Wed 10-Aug-16 23:39:40

I wouldn't not I would obviously

Birdsgottafly Wed 10-Aug-16 23:49:50

I think that you need to speak to him about it, rather than expecting him to be physic.

It's not a word that you use to a child and if she has a tummy, because of 'puppy fat', or body shape, then he should have communicated that.

I think banning the word 'fat' from the entire houses vocabulary is misguided, though.

People can be too fat, or rather carrying too much body fat and I don't think it's wrong to discuss that, later on, of course.

Stevefromstevenage Wed 10-Aug-16 23:50:44

I did not enjoy my early teenage years because I was overweight. It was not that it got mentioned very often by many people it was because I was aware myself I was overweight. So although your DH was a total dick for emphasising the issue, I still think if it is there you and he should help your daughter deal with it rather than leave it as an elephant in the room. If your DH thinks your DD is fat while he absolutely should not be saying it to her, it sounds like the equally big issue is that you are in denial unless he was just making it up that she was overweight.

WilLiAmHerschel Wed 10-Aug-16 23:54:38

You sound very worked up about this. I mean, fat is just a word and it doesn't sound like she has taken it badly. Maybe I'm missing something but I don't see the big deal here (and ive had eating issues in the past so I do see how this can be a sensitive area).

GingerbreadGingerbread Wed 10-Aug-16 23:58:09

It's one thing playground bullies making comments to a five year old. Quite another that five year old having the same nasty (and it is nasty) comments made to her by someone she loves, her father, in her own home. OP I would feel the same way you do. I'm so sick of body image permeating every layer of society and now five year olds are asking if hey are fat?! It's awful. She's five! She shouldn't even be aware of that in my opinion she should just be enjoying playing and physical activity. Health is important and of course a healthy weight is important but for a five year old child to be wondering whether they are fat or not is so bloody sad that of that were my daughter is have tears in my eyes too.

Artistic Wed 10-Aug-16 23:59:50

I can totally sympathise. Something similar happened at my house. I totally flew off the handle at DH and made him feel really bad - to ensure it never happens again. But am so afraid that it may have left a lasting impression on my lovely DD1.

Talk to your DH. No need to be kind. Talk to your DD & tell her how fit & strong she is and how her body is going to be beautiful & strong when she grows up. It does take constant reminders & repeats to drive the point home. Be patient.

janey77 Thu 11-Aug-16 00:03:56

Msqueen33 I think you're right about men not thinking of long term effects, I'm very old now and I can still remember a particular remark my dad made to me in primary school...this is what bothers me so much, throwaway comments aren't really all that forgettable....Birdsgottafly he knows my policy (if you could call it that) and I think he should have known better....Stevefromstevenage I'm not in denial, I know she has got a bit of a belly, but the thing is she's only 5 and v active, I know OH was overweight as a young man and I think he's getting a bit obsessed she will end up the same tbh

WorraLiberty Thu 11-Aug-16 00:04:33

"Because I'm a bit fat", is a perfectly normal and perfectly factual thing to say.

"Because you're a bit fat too", was completely uncalled for.

However, if you're angry because your child is actually a bit fat. Now might be a good time to re-think portion sizes, diet and exercise etc.

Not every child has a growth spurt that sees their 'puppy fat' disappear.

Hence the reason approximately 1 in 5 kids start primary school overweight/obese.

And the statistics rise by the time they leave Primary school.

Stevefromstevenage Thu 11-Aug-16 00:13:32

If as you suspect he is just being hyper sensitive then your best bet is to check her BMI/ weight/height chart and confirm she is not over weight. Then you will have to cold hard facts to present to your DH to stop him.

GabsAlot Thu 11-Aug-16 00:15:40

steven the kid is five!

u dont tell a five year old theyre fat-if theyre exercising and eating well it will even out in the end

id be fumping too op u have to tell him how u feel

WorraLiberty Thu 11-Aug-16 00:21:20

Gabs I agree you don't tell a child they're fat.

But no, even if they're exercising and eating well, it doesn't always even out in the end.

Because exercising well and eating well, mean different things to different people.

If she was exercising enough and eating well enough (particularly portioned sensibly) then she probably wouldn't have a fat belly right now.

As I said, not every child has a growth spurt that makes them slim.

GabsAlot Thu 11-Aug-16 00:25:28

how many truly fat fiv year olds are there

i know obseity is a problem but surely u cant say theyre fat when they dont eat shit every day and are out all the time

DoinItFine Thu 11-Aug-16 00:25:41

I think YABU.

It sounds like she is fat.

It sounds like she has one parent who is not in denial about that.

It sounds like that parent had a reasonable and kind conversation with his child about body shape.

If she knows she has a big tummy, then why shouldn't she talk about it with her Dad?

Without having to navigate your policies about banned words and concepts?

He has been fat and dealt with it.

Why do you get to set the rules about this?

Small children know what it is to be fat.

Pretending it's not a thing doesn't fool them.

It just creates a thing they can't talk about at home.

I agree that he shouldn't have told her she was a bit fat.

But given your hysteria at the use of a very simple word, I can see why he decided to make an (ill-advised) solo run on this.

Stevefromstevenage Thu 11-Aug-16 00:27:10

Gabsalot I don't know the child from Adam but her own father thinks she might be fat, now that might be down to his own insecurities as her mother suspects or it might be other lifestyle related factors that are currently being missed by her parents, I don't know and I am answering on that basis.

The fact is though there is an obesity epidemic so it is not necessarily the case that all children with a weight problem will just even out and what qualifies as reasonable amounts of exercise and good diets can be misunderstood.

It is much, much easier to deal with a overweight 5 year old and stop obesity in its tracks if that happens to be the case here although currently only one parent thinks so. However I agree, that calling a 5 year old fat to her face is wrong as I said.

DoinItFine Thu 11-Aug-16 00:27:27

how many truly fat fiv year olds are there

Lots.

Five year olds should not have big bellies.

The ones that do are fat.

CoolToned Thu 11-Aug-16 00:27:30

I grew up with a mother who was constantly dieting and berating me for being fat.

It led to a lifetime of weight issues that until now I can't shake off.

YANBU.

janey77 Thu 11-Aug-16 00:27:42

GingerbreadGingerbread this sums up exactly how I feel feel.... someone of 5 shouldn't give a flying fuck about the concept of "fat"...Artistic think there will be some strong words tomorrow, when I'm feeling a bit more reasonable

WorraLiberty Thu 11-Aug-16 00:32:09

Gabs to answer your question

Over a fifth of 4-5 year olds were overweight or obese during the national weights and measurements programme 2014 - 2015.

As far as I'm aware, that only covers England but I could be wrong.

janey77 Thu 11-Aug-16 00:32:58

DoinItFine I'm glad you are so perfect, not many 5 year olds are as active as mine. She is fucking 5 years old, I'm glad you think it's okay to call a small child fat

DoinItFine Thu 11-Aug-16 00:34:50

someone of 5 shouldn't give a flying fuck about the concept of "fat"

But she does.

Because she is fat, and other children have noticed.

And she is aware of it now.

And she has reached out to her Dad and he has been honest with her.

You have no right to take that away from her.

You only have her version of the story.

Her father's perception of things is missing because instead of talking to him about your child's obvious concerns, you want to hit him in the face and call him a cunt.

WorraLiberty Thu 11-Aug-16 00:36:15

someone of 5 shouldn't give a flying fuck about the concept of "fat"

And maybe she doesn't, she was just asking a question confused

She might just as well have asked about her height, the colour of her eyes or her hair.

If you're going to tear up over a question like that, of course she's going to try to reassure you.

Although that's not her job to have to do so. Your projecting could well have far more of a negative impact on her emotionally, than her dad saying she's a bit fat too.

Gwenhwyfar Thu 11-Aug-16 00:38:54

"I grew up with a mother who was constantly dieting and berating me for being fat.

It led to a lifetime of weight issues that until now I can't shake off."

Yes, but I think a family where discussing body size is completely taboo is equally unhealthy (not saying the OH was right to call the 5 year-old 'a bit fat', but banning the subject altogether doesn't seem good to me.

janey77 Thu 11-Aug-16 00:40:14

No, she didn't reach out to her dad (as you put it). He offered his opinion himself. He shouldn't project his own problems on her. I think it was a bit cuntish of him and I am angry with him, is that a problem with you?

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