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Ds and I were in the YMCA locker room yesterday changing clothes after swimming when a fairly overweight woman came in and started changing her clothes right in front of us. Ds, who is just about to turn 3, says, very loudly and clearly and about a foot away from the woman, 'Momma, look at her big bottom! She has a really big bottom! Why is her bottom so big?" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yikes">: I was beyond mortified, and didn't know what to do. So I completely ignored him (and her) and immediately started talking to dd and her friend who were showering a little ways away. I guess I was trying to pretend that I hadn't heard ds. However, ds saw that I was not listening (or trying not to listen) and became insistent ('why is her bottom so big? Mommy! Why?') <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hide.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hide">: I tried to distract him with food; that worked for a minute, but then he was at again. At that point I took him aside and whispered that it was not nice to ask that particular question, and that we would talk about it later. At that point dd and her friend came over and distracted ds, and thankfully the woman finished dressing and left. I feel horrible though. I felt like I should apologize to her, but what could I say? And what to say to ds, if anything? He's pretty young to understand why saying something like that is not appropriate. Arghhh....<br><br>
Any words of wisdom?
 

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omg my ds when he was 4 did the exact same thing at the swimming pool with my mum - he kept pointing to the lady and saying that she had a big round bottom!<br><br>
if i had been there i hope i would have said something like 'people come in all different shapes and sizes, some are tall like your uncle, some are slim like .....' but that would only be possible after i stopped turning red!
 

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Isn't it great when our children throw us to the wolves?! My dd1 said a lot of mortifying things on the bus and subway when we used to live in Manhattan and she was 2-3 yo.<br><br>
After the first few times of nearly passing out from horror, dh and I formulated a few responses. When dd2 made loud comments about people's bodies, we would calmly say "Yes, all of our bodies come in different shapes and sizes, isn't that great? If you have questions we can talk about them at home. Talking loudly about other people's bodies can sometimes cause hurt feelings and we don't want that." I tried one sentence at a time and only continued if she continued the rant. We followed up at home, bringing it up at a more relaxed time, etc.<br><br>
Around this time, I overheard some women talking about ways to curb their infants "bad" behavior. One said, "Yeah, the last thing I want is to have the kid embarrassing me in public in a few years!" Oh honey, I wanted to say...you have no idea! It's all part of the package! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Hope this helps! Take care!
 

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Oh, giggle. They are all like that at that age. Best thing to do is take them aside (once you have composed yourself) and say "We don't talk about other people's looks because we don't want to hurt their feelings and make them sad." I don't see how you could have handled it any differently. They were just too little to know any better.
 

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Yep. Something like "everyone is different, we all look different. Mommy has blue eyes, Daddy has brown eyes. You're blonde haired and your brother has brown hair..." etc. Truthfully, if you act embarrased and try to hide purely honest and innocent questions like that from a child young enough to not have experienced it before, then they could well internalize that there is something "wrong" with being different, or large, or small, or another color or shape or size or what have you.<br><br>
My kids were both fascinated with wheelchairs and walkers. My toddler is still amazed by them. He tries to push people in their wheelchairs, and I usually say "look at that! they have wheels like a car! do you have wheels like a car? let's not touch though, b/c those aren't our wheels...", and I've never once met with a negative reaction. In fact, most of the folks we encounter in this manner end up talking to my oldest about their "wheels", they've offered to give the toddler a ride, all kinds of fun stuff.<br><br>
I know it's embarrasing, but try to use it as a forum to educate your child that different is beautiful. As for the appropriateness of these types of comments - if you answer them casually and without getting upset, they will rarely happen again.
 

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My DD asked a similar question at the same age, but it was about someone with some physical issues that included a twisted body and an unusual gait. I think DD said something like "why does she walk like that?" We were waiting for an elevator, and other people heard her (including the woman she was talking about), and looked at me like "so, whatcha gonna do now?"<br><br>
Thank goodness my brain was functioning that day, and I explained that we all have different bodies and do things in different ways, and that's OK. At that point I was very pregnant, and used that as an example of how her body could do something - run! - that my body couldn't right then.<br><br>
I've used similar takes on questions about other people - kept it judgment-free and said that there are lots of body shapes or skin colors or ways of dressing and isn't that fabulous?<br><br>
Really, I've been that fat lady in the dressing room and I'd rather hear a mom say to her questioning kid that there are lots of different bodies with lots of different shapes than have the child shushed and make talking about fat (or skin color or physical capabilities) something shameful. Little kids don't ask questions like that to be malicious - unless they're being taught some pretty screwed-up stuff from the time they're born, they really are asking questions because they're trying to learn about all the different things around them.
 

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Ds did that to my DH at the YMCA. They were in the locker room after swimming when DS(2.5 years old at the time) gleefully yelled "Look at that man's penis Dad!!!!"<br><br>
We have had many conversations about what is appropriate and not appropriate to point out.<br><br>
Aren't children grand?<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>wwisdomskr</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7941688"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Isn't it great when our children throw us to the wolves?! My dd1 said a lot of mortifying things on the bus and subway when we used to live in Manhattan and she was 2-3 yo.<br><br>
After the first few times of nearly passing out from horror, dh and I formulated a few responses. When dd2 made loud comments about people's bodies, we would calmly say "Yes, all of our bodies come in different shapes and sizes, isn't that great? If you have questions we can talk about them at home. Talking loudly about other people's bodies can sometimes cause hurt feelings and we don't want that." I tried one sentence at a time and only continued if she continued the rant. We followed up at home, bringing it up at a more relaxed time, etc.<br><br>
Around this time, I overheard some women talking about ways to curb their infants "bad" behavior. One said, "Yeah, the last thing I want is to have the kid embarrassing me in public in a few years!" Oh honey, I wanted to say...you have no idea! It's all part of the package! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Hope this helps! Take care!</div>
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Excellent response.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Zach'smom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7941822"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Ds did that to my DH at the YMCA. They were in the locker room after swimming when DS gleefully yelled "Look at that man's penis Dad!!!!"</div>
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OMG!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/ROTFLMAO.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rotflmao"> Thank you - I officially do not feel alone in the world of embarrassing children's comments!<br><br>
I love the simple explanation of everyone's bodies coming in different shapes and sizes, and making it a positive thing. Thank you!!! Why oh why didn't I think of that yesteday???
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yikes">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Sorry, but I think we've all heard those lovely learning moments...<br><br><br>
But, I take my kids to the private family locker rooms and now that they're 4 & 6, I send them (together) to the boys' room and wait by the door for them. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"> To each his own, but I'm not comfortable w/older boys in the women's room & our posted age is under 3 only.
 

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Just for perspective, I've been the woman on the "receiving" end of those sorts of comments. I don't want a child punished or scolded for asking innocent questions, but I do like to hear some sort of response from the mom -- generally something like "People come in all sizes. Its not nice to point (or comment or whatever) though." It is important for children to learn when not to say things, and I don't think that 3 is too early to start pointing that out. After all, it is just as hurtful for someone to make fun onf another person than to hit them and we (I think) teach that hitting isn't right by age 3. I don't think an apology is necessary if you are just passing by, but if you are standing there for longer than a few seconds, some sort of acknowledgement that your child has just, however innocently, insulted me is nice. "Sorry about that" with a shrug and a smile is just fine.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Evan&Anna's_Mom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7943349"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">After all, it is just as hurtful for someone to make fun onf another person than to hit them and we (I think) teach that hitting isn't right by age 3.</div>
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I don't think the baby that is just about to turn three was making fun of the woman. He just thought he was asking a question about something he was seeing. I honestly don't think he was trying to be hurtful.<br><br>
Mom was asking how she should have responded. We have all been in those situations where your child says or does something and you are so mortified your brain can't figure out how to react. Now if it happens again she has a few preplanned responses ready to go. Because she will need them. Even after talking about that people come in different shapes and sizes and it is not polite to comment about certain things in public. That can take a while to sink in.
 

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When my brother was about that age, he was at a grocery store with my mother. They saw a very old woman, and my brother asked if that lady is a witch.<br><br>
I had a friend who told me that when she was little, she saw a man who had both of his legs amputated, and she would not stop staring until her mother dragged her out of the store.<br><br>
I guess that little kids don't understand etiquette. The best thing to do is to apologize to the wounded party, get the kid out of there and try to explain that it is not nice to stare or say things that aren't nice.<br><br>
To quote Erma Bombeck, "Kids say the darndest things."<br>
(At least, I think that is Erma Bombeck).
 

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!<br><br>
'people come in all different shapes and sizes,<br><br><br>
this.<br><br>
Then we would talk about why sometimes it is not polite to talk about how people look.<br>
We were in the store one day and this different looking man walked by and ds couldn't get over it.... it was awful. Mommy- he looked WEIRD!<br>
He has also done the larger person thing 2x and it was awful.....<br>
We talked about it tho and I did not scold him just explained..... it is normal to be curious and things like that.<br>
Em
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Zach'smom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7944311"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I don't think the baby that is just about to turn three was making fun of the woman. He just thought he was asking a question about something he was seeing. I honestly don't think he was trying to be hurtful.</div>
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First of all, I do not accept that a 3 year old child is a baby. That's not even a toddler any more. A child capable of formatting repeated sentences about a person's size (or whatever) and not distractable is old enough to BEGIN to learn that some things aren't appropriate.<br><br>
Second, it doesn't matter if a person is trying to be hurtful or not. Some actions are hurtful. I, as an adult, will get over it BUT it still hurts. A child's peer will not get over it so easily and thus it is important to begin to teach children to be kind If he were teasing your child, would you not have the parent try to explain that it is hurtful? I'm not suggesting anything other than that this is a "teachable moment" and the parent should take advantage of that so the child does not inadvertantly hurt others at a later date.
 

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THis is so tough because a child's innocence and authenticity are so healthy and wonderful, and so absent in the adult popluation. I think it is so difficult to teach what is socially acceptable without sacrificing authenticity.<br><br>
BTW, that has happened to us too. We were at Target and a young man who worked there walked by who was extremely obese. My then 3 yr old blurted out something about how big he was. I was pg at the time and burst into tears. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes"><br><br>
Another time, my dh and my dd were at a Cold Stone ice cream place when a family with an obese little boy walked in, and my dd pointed to him and asked dh a question about why he was so big. The family left without ordering any ice cream. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">: I wasn't there but felt so bad when I heard about it - my dh felt bad too.<br><br>
Best wishes,<br>
Tracy
 

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OP here - I actually agree that I could've started to have the conversation with ds about the inappropriateness of certain types of comments. The moment is over though, I'm sure he's forgotten all about it, and I didn't do it. The reason - I'm not quite sure what to say to him. Do I just do a blanket statement of 'it's not okay to talk about people's bodies in front of them?' For a 3yo, that's probably all he's going to be able to absorb (if that).
 

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My older son has had an uncanny sense of appropriateness from an early age, so I was spared a lot of embarassing moments. Like, he somehow knew to whisper the question in my ear. But we too have just explained that everyone comes in different shapes, sizes and colors. I haven't wanted to introduce him to the concept of being body conscious, and haven't yet had to explain that some people feel bad when you comment on how they look. My mom is heavy, and he has referred to her as being really big, but she doesn't mind. I have a biggish tummy, and he often rubs my belly and says "Oh, you have such a big belly! I love your big belly!"<br><br>
I definitely don't think it's in the same category as teasing, however.
 

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As Oceanbaby mentioned, I too have been lucky enough to be spared dealing with this, as dd has also had a keen sense of politeness.<br><br>
But I do agree that a simple "sorry" on behalf of your child is appropriate in these situations if you are in a tight confines and not just "passing by". I don't think it's like teasing, but if dd did something physically hurtful (like stepping on a toe or accidentally bumping someone), I'd apologize. I think it's just as polite to apologize for unintentional emotional hurt. I'd probably say a simple, "Oh, honey, that's not a polite thing to say." and then give a simple, " <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> sorry" to the person.
 

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I am right there with you! When dd2 was about 3 we were at the supermarket. The manager has one of those huge purple birthmarks that cover half his face (I know there is a name-just don't know it!) Virginia says"Look mommy! That man has a purple face!" He just smiled at her and said, yes ma'am I do! He has kids and understood how they are so brutally honest, so it was no big deal. I did explain later that it's not polite to talk about how people look.
 
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