Friday, July 1, 2011

The Superstore Incident

AND a VERY happy Canada Day to you! :)

--

So Peyton's power of speech continues to grow by leaps and bounds. She rarely has trouble expressing exactly what she wants us to know. And I've gotten quite used to knowing what she's saying in pretty much every situation.

We were in line at Superstore on Thursday. She was in the first cart (Kurt's) and I was behind with the second and Tenley. She was kinda being "punchy" (our family word for bratty - but not as harsh-sounding, right?) a few minutes before - but seemed momentarily content. She was transfixed on the cashier - a middle-aged woman who was calmly pushing the items over the scanner and toward Kurt who was packing like a madman at the end of the conveyer belt.

I was distracted from my bored perusal of the Soap Opera magazines by Peyton's voice announcing, "She's fat. Fat, fat, fat! Wow! She's so fat!"

To say I was shocked would be an understatement.

"Peyton!" I said sternly, "WHO are you talking about?" (note to other mom's out there who may be potentially embarrassed by their child's total lack of guile - for pity's sake! if the clarification is going to be brutal - don't ask publicly!)

"That lady, mommy." she said.
POINTING at the cashier.
"She's fat!"

The cashier glanced up at me in time to see my horrified expression. As I looked back at her with a mortified apology written all over my face, she simply shrugged and looked down.

"I'm SO sorry. I don't know what she's talking about! You are not fat!" I gasped.

Then, looking at Peyton, I said in my MOST stern voice, "Peyton Grace Elaine. That is not something you say about or to people. It is unkind. Do you understand?"

She was first puzzled, and then sullen and irritated looking as she replied, "Okay, Mommy. I understand."

I probably apologized at least 3 more times - and also reassured the cashier that I would be discussing some things with my daughter later. She - to her immense credit - was very easy-going and said to me, "You know what? Don't worry about it. Really. I just roll with the punches."

Augh! My daughter punched someone with her MOUTH!

And seriously? (My pride reared it's ugly head.) If my TWO year old is saying that kind of stuff in public, WHERE are people going to think she got it from? From her mother, that's who! I'm going to be thought of as one of those moms who bad-mouths other people in front of my kids. No! No! No! NOOOOO!

-- Now, it is important to note that the cashier really wasn't fat - I wasn't just being politically correct and horrified at the child saying something I myself was secretly thinking. Not that she would be allowed to say such a thing even if the person were heavy!

It's also important to note that we don't use that word in our house at all unless we're talking about something on the edge of a piece of bacon. If you ask Peyton why mommy goes on the treadmill or works out, she'll reply, "To be healthy!"

I've never said a word in front of my girls about wanting to lose weight, or being/feeling 'fat', and we don't even own a scale. It helps that I don't think that way about myself. Besides, they'll figure out the world's standard of thin = beauty soon enough - poor things. But I don't want their insecurities to ever be justified by something they see their own mother pursuing/thinking/obsessing about.

Maybe I'll post on this someday - because I've put a lot of thought into it especially having daughters. But not today! :) )

--
Kurt, meanwhile, was so busy packing he was totally oblivious to the entire interaction.
When we rolled up beside each other outside before we headed to the truck, I asked him to stop so we could talk.

"Ask our daughter what she just said to the cashier." I said with a frown.

He looked at me, and then down at Peyton's innocent face staring back at him.
"What did you say, Peyton?" he asked.

"Nothing." she replied simply.

"That's not true, Peyton!" said an indignant mommy. To Kurt, I blurted, "She told the cashier she was fat!"

"What???" said Kurt.
I was glad to see his horror justifying my own.
"Peyton! Why would you say she was fat?"

"I didn't say that!" she replied with a frown.

Taking a big, dramatic breath, she pronounced with great gusto, "Fats. She was really fats."

We stared at her for a series of heartbeats before I replied, "Fast? You were saying she was fast?"

"Yeah!" she replied with a huge grin and her hands passing sideways mimicking a cashier's slide down the conveyer belt. "She was so fatsT!"

Her tongue literally poked from between her teeth to click out the previously missing - and all-important - 'T'.

Oh, the sweet, sweet clarification of an extra consonant.

You better believe I turned my cart around - Tenley and all - and walked right back into that store. Hey, I'm a woman too - and if some little kid looked at me and announced authoritatively that I was fat, it wouldn't matter HOW good I felt about myself. There would be some damage.

When she looked up and noticed me I said, "Just so you know: when we asked our daughter why she said that she clarified that she thought you were very fast at moving the groceries. Not fat."

She paused while looking at me, and then literally laughed out loud. With a big grin, she told me, "Well, that made my day. You're so sweet to come back and tell me!"

I'm not really sure there is a lesson to be learned here. Perhaps something about listening to your kid before you judge them. Perhaps about not letting pride take over...
I dunno. Regardless. We've had a good laugh over it. :) Thought you might as well...

But blogger is having some trouble - so I'd better post this fats!

11 comments:

Carol said...

Thanks for sharing this cute story!

Bearce Ladies said...

Aw Sheesh, Peyton! You are soooooo cute!

R.S. said...

Oh that is so funny! The 2-year-old around here says other words for "truck" and "sit" which can get a little awkward at times...

Victoria said...

Oh wow. I am not sure what I would have done. I'm glad you were able to clarify that. Poor Peyton must have wondered why she was being scolded for giving someone a compliment :P.

Ashley said...

Haha! What an amazing little story! You definitely have a way with words. I'm glad it was just Peyton having trouble pronouncing her words and not the alternative! I can only imagine your horror, though!

Angela S said...

Awww so funny! And so well written.

Allie said...

You are a great writer, Kendall! I laughed so hard that Paul had to come see what was so funny :)

But wow ... that's the kind of thing I'm afraid of with an almost-2-year-old here. Just today in the store, Tanis said, "It's a MAN!" just as a kind lady with very short hair walked by and smiled at her. :S

kelly ens said...

oh MERCY!!! what a story! I do love that you went back to clarify - that would have made my day :)
oh kids and their speech, eh?

Mrs Manz said...

Victoria: you're right!

I did actually give her a big hug before I went back into the store and apologize for scolding her when she didn't do anything wrong. :)

She just smiled (like she knew she was right all along) and said, "I forgive you, Mommy."

No lack of self-confidence there... lol!

Melissa said...

I enjoyed reading this story - I loved how you took the time to figure out what she was really saying and how you went back to the cashier! What a shopping experience!

JM said...

What a great story! I was laughing as I read it, but all along I was thinking, "That seems a little uncharacteristic for Peyton. I wonder what got into her?" Glad that what she said and what you heard were two entirely different things!