We are still having issues with Anders’ behavior at preschool. I’m kind of at my wit’s end here. Everyday it is something new — not listening, refusing to clean up toys, talking during nap time — but today’s infraction was by far the worst yet. When his teacher met me at the door to let me know he had another difficult day, I flushed with embarrassment, but by the time she finished giving me the details I was almost purple.
Today Anders told a parent dropping off their child with a travel mug in their hand that coffee is only for fat people. This came out of nowhere for me. I drink coffee, but rarely in front of Anders and, as far as I’m concerned, the word fat is worse than the other F-word. I do not use it in front my children.
“Can you talk to him about why that is rude?” His teacher asked, but it felt a lot more like she was saying “Why doesn’t your child know this is rude?”
Once in the car I began my interrogation.
“Anders, where in the world did you get the idea that only fat people drink coffee and why would you say that to someone?”
“Dad told me that, mom,” he said, matter of factly.
“When did dad tell you that? I don’t believe it.”
“He told me and Dani that yesterday when Dani was crying for that coffee in the fridge. Remember?”
Suddenly, it all became clear. I didn’t know whether to cry or giggle.
My husband and I have been on and off diets a lot this summer. Our latest endeavor to lose weight involved meal replacement shakes which we quickly abandoned because my 3-year-old immediately identified them as chocolate milk and began crying for her own every time we took one out of the fridge.
As if drinking a meal that tastes like chalk weren’t enough, we were doing so while listening to her cry at our feet. In an attempt to calm her, we told her that the shakes were coffee and were for grown-ups who were trying to lose weight.
Five-year-old translation: Coffee is for fat people.
The children? They are listening … to every word we say. Beware.