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Really worried I handled this badly... 'fat' comments and DS

(335 Posts)
LeadTheWay Fri 12-Aug-16 16:25:02

Quick background - After having ds2 I was quite over weight, I've been eating very healthily and running alot and dropped over 4 stone. I still have a bit to lose but only about another stone or so. I've had a lot of support from my family and my husband, so my children been aware I'm trying to be healthier and want to lose weight and have been really interested in knowing about healthy foods etc.

So today I was out with my 5 yr old DS1, we passed a lady who was very obese - as we passed her, and really were very close, DS1 said really loudly to me - 'Mummy why is that lady so very, very fat - that can't be good for her heart or bones'. He said it very matter of fact, rather than in a nasty way ifkwim. She obviously heard and I felt awful so I said 'I'm so sorry, he really didn't mean that like that - I've been trying to lose weight so we've had a lot of conversations about health and fitness things - I'm so sorry'. I admit this wasn't probably a great or very eloquent response but I was caught of guard. She just snapped 'maybe you should teach him some fucking manners instead'. I was a quite taken back and just said 'I'm sorry but please I don't think that language is necessary - he's five, he didn't mean it as an insult'. At which point Ds piped up 'you could go running with my mummy'. We hurried off at this point, but as I looked back I am sure this woman was crying.

I've been there where I've felt people's looks and comments and it hurts - I feel terrible. I know she shouldn't have sworn but I think she was just really upset. We were in a very public place and a number of people must have heard the exchange.

I had a really long chat with DS about appropriate comments etc and being respectful of how everyone is different, but can't shake the feeling I should have handled it differently and cannot shake the image of her crying.

I want to go back and say sorry.

EastMidsMummy Fri 12-Aug-16 16:27:42

You said sorry. You've talked to your child about what's appropriate or not. I think you've done all you can do.

Squirmy65ghyg Fri 12-Aug-16 16:28:25

He's 5. You were embarrassed. So was she. Not a nice situation but try not to think about it. Also good time to teach him that commenting on other people's looks is rude, which you've done. Don't beat yourself up.

LadyintheRadiator Fri 12-Aug-16 16:30:24

Ouch. Cringe cringe cringe. Maybe you've overdone it with explanations really. I also lost about 4 stone after DC2 and my DS was 4ish at the time. I never discussed it with him and I don't think he noticed anything about my weight changing. He did cry once when I picked him up from school with totally different hair to how I looked in the morning though hmm

Don't worry about it, you've told him what's appropriate and what's not, hopefully he'll bite his tongue next time.

Msqueen33 Fri 12-Aug-16 16:31:17

At least you said sorry. You never know it might be the straw that breaks the camels back and pushes her to be healthier.

OpenMe Fri 12-Aug-16 16:32:43

I expect she's regretting the way the conversation went too. It might have been better not to day anything or to simply reprimand your son within her earshot iyswim but I understand why you did what you did.

And he wasn't really rude imo. Not at 5yo. He didn't insult her and he didn't say anything she didn't already know.

SaucyJack Fri 12-Aug-16 16:32:52

I think, on reflection, you should've told him to zip it. I think you just dug the hole deeper with your explanation TBH.

Poor woman. But he's only 5. It's just unfortunate.

Aoibhe Fri 12-Aug-16 16:33:42

I had almost the exact same thing happen with my dd a few years ago. Children will just say things as they see it.

I think you handled it well. I froze and said nothing sad

LottieDoubtie Fri 12-Aug-16 16:34:53

I think the only thing you could have done differently was explain less to the poor women he insulted. "I'm very sorry, that was totally wrong of him" and then turning to your son and saying 'Making personal comments is very rude" would have done it. You could have spoken to your son at greater length later on.

A drawn out explanation or excuse is bound to make the poor woman feel worse. She needed to hear your apology and you reprimand your son and then she needed the dignity of not being anywhere near either of you while she got over the embarrassment.

WorraLiberty Fri 12-Aug-16 16:36:06

I would have left it at "maybe you should teach him some fucking manners instead".

I dont think there was any need to continue the conversation after that, because as you say, she was obviously very upset.

RandomBlueHat Fri 12-Aug-16 16:36:37

I don't think he was rude. He made a completely justifiable observation and offered a solution that he understands worked for you. She, on the other hand, was definitely rude. You don't swear at a 5-yr-old.

mrsfuzzy Fri 12-Aug-16 16:39:15

over weight people know they are over weight so it's obvious she would lash out, you'll know how not to handle it next time, -god forbid there is a next time.

VladmirsPoutine Fri 12-Aug-16 16:39:40

Young children have no filer what so ever so you can't help that but you went bit over board with all the explaining. Just a quick "don't comment on other people's looks" would have sufficed.

ExtraHotLatteToGo Fri 12-Aug-16 16:40:33

At least you said sorry. You never know it might be the straw that breaks the camels back and pushes her to be healthier

People that make comments like this really just have NO FUCKING IDEA.

Honeyandfizz Fri 12-Aug-16 16:40:50

I agree with Random you apologised, she was rude (probably mortified) but no excuse to say fuck in front of a child.

myownprivateidaho Fri 12-Aug-16 16:41:46

I think that what you said was probably the best thing you could have in the circumstances. I think giving the explanation rather than just apologising was for the best. But ultimately there isn't anything you could have said to soften that particular blow. Horrible to see her cry, but no one's fault really, as I'm sure the lady realised as well. I'd try to put it out of your mind.

monkeywithacowface Fri 12-Aug-16 16:41:47

Agree with Lottie an apology and reprimanding your son would have been better rather than trying to justify his comments. Maybe at 5 years old he doesn't need to know the ins and outs of your diet and weight loss either.

WorraLiberty Fri 12-Aug-16 16:42:14

She didn't swear at the five year old, she swore in front of him.

Not acceptable but completely understandable, given the situation and how upset she was.

I would have walked away at that point and explained to my child, why the lady was so upset.

It's difficult for kids to 'get' honesty and discretion. I don't envy anyone with a young child.

I'm pretty glad that's all behind me now grin

Pearlman Fri 12-Aug-16 16:43:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RhiWrites Fri 12-Aug-16 16:43:43

The other woman didn't swear at a five year old, she swore in a sentence directed at the parent.

I actually think she had a point. It's really annoying to have small children telling strangers that smoking is bad for you or it's a bad idea to be fat.

Can't you teach your son that we don't know the details of a strangers life and can only make these decisions for ourselves or those we're responsible for?

The little boy didn't mean to be rude, but he was unintentionally cruel and hurtful. The woman reacted angrily because she felt judged and insulted.

GrimmauldPlace Fri 12-Aug-16 16:45:00

I actually think she was really rude. Yes, she was probably embarrassed, could have been having a bad day etc but there was no need for her to swear and snap at you like that. You apologised and hopefully your DS won't say anything like that again but as you say, it was an observation not an insult.

Maybe she is at home feeling bad about speaking like that in front of your DS.

Germgirl Fri 12-Aug-16 16:45:09

At least you said sorry. You never know it might be the straw that breaks the camels back and pushes her to be healthier


PinkSparklyPussyCat Fri 12-Aug-16 16:45:37

I don't particularly blame her to be honest. She shouldn't have used that language, but she was obviously extremely upset and she is right - his manners were very poor indeed. A five year old should know that it is rude to make personal remarks.


Floggingmolly Fri 12-Aug-16 16:45:38

Why are you involving your 5 year old in your weight issues; to the point where's he's commenting on larger people and it's effect on their heart and bones?
I'd have been totally fucked off at a comment like that as well, the woman obviously thought you'd been discussing her size with your child.

LeadTheWay Fri 12-Aug-16 16:45:57

I agree I over explained - it is a poor habit of mine when thrown or caught off guard. Just feel rubbish about it and DS was really upset that he thought he'd upset the lady. as a previous poster said, he really doesn't have a filter but is also quite a sensitive lad so I dealt with it in the way with him that I felt he would respond too and learn from in the best way.

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