I am starting to think no one can be more cruel and insulting than a toddler. I’ve been called a lot of different names, but somehow none sting as badly as the ones spewed from the mouths of babes.
The other night I was lying in my daughter’s bed, reading her a book and she started smacking my stomach and chanting “Fat belly! Fat belly!”
I told her that wasn’t a very nice thing to say.
She responded, “But, you’re belly is big so it’s a fat belly.” I asked her where she learned to say that and she told me from her daycare worker.
(Reason #456 why I wish I was a stay-at-home mom)
It was enough to make me want to do 1,000 crunches immediately and swear off the consumption of beer for the rest of my life.
I’ve moved past showering or bathing in front of my daughter. I’m done fielding the awkward kind of questions you anticipate from a kid at least in the double-digit age range. I learned my lesson when she started poking through the trash so she could point out “pons.”
But, the other day it was unavoidable. I was getting dressed and she looked at me and said, “Mommy, you’re ewwwww.”
My mother tried to make me feel better about the whole exchange, saying small children just don’t understand the way adult bodies look. They think little kid bodies are normal. Nice try, ma. I still feel like getting lipo.
Awhile ago, Alma told me I have “up hair, like a boy.” She means “short hair” but of course it was the “like a boy” part that made me feel butch and brawny. It was enough to convince me to grow out my hair. (which means I will shortly end up trapped in the stage where I look just like Patrick Swayze in Roadhouse)
Then there was the day when she said, “I love Daddy. You love me. But, I don’t love you.” I thought perhaps she was confused. I asked her to repeat herself and she said the exact same thing again. Awesome.
Before my daughter graduated to verbal insults, there were the physical ones. As an infant, she thought it was hilarious to slap me repeatedly in the face, sometimes in public. The only tactic that worked was humiliating. I had to allow her to slap me over and over and over while not reacting at all. It worked, but not before many tears were shed.
Do the Gods of genetics throw me a bone with my son?
He’s a hitter AND a kicker. If I don’t react at all to his attacks, he just keeps on hitting and kicking. He’s like the long-distance runner of assault and battery. If his skill level in bruising and beating me is any indication, his verbal insults will entail F-bombs.
The worst thing about all of this? There is no satisfying revenge. I can’t fire back at Alma that giving birth to her is what stretched out my belly skin to create a perfect calorie pouch. I can’t kick Huck in the shins, though Lord knows the desire is occasionally there.
I guess I’ll just go cry and do crunches.