As I'm sitting there watching her, a lady (clearly a nanny), comes and sits next to me with a stroller. She lets a tiny little girl out to play while a baby boy keeps sleeping. Pretty soon we make eye contact, I smile, she smiles, and then she nods toward BG and says "Is she yours?".
"Yes" I say, with the smile that always escapes when I even mention my daughter now plastered on my face.
She smiles back and says "how old?".
"Fifteen months" I say still smiling like a buffoon.
Then I see it; the look.
You know "the look". It's the face people make right before they say something rude, condescending, or just plain dumb. In the South, we follow expressions made with said look with the always annoying "bless her (his) heart" or "I don't mean to be rude..".
"Wow. She certainly doesn't miss a meal does she?" the lady says now grinning stupidly at me.
I giggled but inside I was seething and said "yea, she's just a big girl", then slammed my sunglasses back down over my eyes and sat there stewing in my own juices.
Immediately I was furious. Furious at her for basically calling my kid fat; furious at myself for saying what I did because I was uncomfortable; and furious at freaking society for the standards it's placed that make people think they need to say things like that.
For about 2.5 seconds, the Irish temper in me fought to get out and say the same thing to this (slightly overweight) woman.
I'd be lying if I said this was the first time I've heard something along these lines. I get it; my child? not small. But she's far from fat. And if she was, she's fifteen months old.
So shall I be real?
The weight thing is a huge fear of mine. I was actually a small child. Then puberty hit (or living with my grandparents hoarding M & M's hit..), and wow. Not so small. About that same time, I decided a perm would be cool (bad, bad idea), and I was a sight. Middle school Megan? Awkward.
I hated how I looked. I watched the guys I had crushes on chase the skinny girls. I was the fat friend. It was awful.
Fortunately in high school year round soccer shed the baby fat, the perm grew out and braces fixed the triangular shaped teeth. I was in the best shape of my life, but I was far from small. At my thinnest I was weighing in around one hundred fifty pounds.
Yep. Numbers. I said it.
Maybe I just didn't pay attention but I do not remember this intense body scrutiny when I was younger. My ideal size was a six. Purely because Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield were described as being a "perfect, athletic size six". That's what in my mind was perfection. I wasn't a size six. I was a ten. Easily. But I was okay with that. Most of the time. There was one time a guy friend of mine called me "Turkey Neck" and made me quit eating for a week. Then I realized that was stupid and I was hungry and I was cured.
I digress. A six. Do you realize that in today's society, that's practically a plus size?! And while I'm sure I'm exaggerating a bit, it's not by much.
To be honest? I don't care what the world says is fat/thin/ugly/pretty. It's my absurd self confidence kicking in. I want to be a happy weight for me, yes, but I know I'm never going to be a size two. Not going to happen. I love the food too much. I don't want to be overweight, so I do what I can to not get that way. Am I going to be miserable to be skinny? No sir.
But what if my child does care? And even if she doesn't, these people who think they have the right to say these comments, they're going to get to her. As much as I would like to carry out a public shanking every time I hear this, I'm not sure that's a grand idea.
PSA: My child is perfect. Your child is perfect. They are babies. She's healthy. Lucky for her right now healthy rocks rubberband smuggling arms and cheeks to die for. It rocks some cellulite on the thighs and a belly that pokes out way past her toes.
She rocks. She's perfect.
I think it's a sad, sad person who has to comment on the size of a fifteen month old. I truly do. But more than that, I think it's a sad, sad world when even at this age, we're judging them.
If my child wants a cookie, she's getting a cookie. And if I give her a cookie in public and I get that look from someone? Well, then I'm giving her another one. Then I'm eating three. And tossing that crankypants a couple.
Give it a rest people. This?