How quickly you forget about some stages that you go through with little ones. How quickly I have been reminded.
We had a hockey game the other night and we invited my brother-in-laws to come. Uncle Billy and Uncle Tom show up and the trips all take turns saying hello and goofing around with them. Finn decides to sit next to Uncle Billy and they strike up a conversation. Finn is listening intently and interrupts Billy, mid sentence with, "Uncle Billy, why are your teeth brown"? Billy starts laughing out loud (thank goodness he says this to Billy because he takes no offense to the question, in fact I think he gets a real kick out of it..sorry Billy). Finn is now really starring at Billy's teeth and he is pointing to Billy's teeth and asking the question again. Billy comes up with some sort of answer for Finn but Finn is not giving up. "Uncle Billy you need to brush your teeth". Again I am thankful this conversation is kept within family. Finn then tells Billy to open up his mouth and the conversation goes deeper into what is all that grey stuff in your mouth. It was rather funny but a quick reminder of the honesty of a 5 year old.
We walk into the gym the next day and the man checking us in is extremely tall. He was one of those men that you look twice at because could be someone famous because of his height. Declan hands him the card and says, "You are really big". The guy laughs out loud and Declan follows up with, "why are you so big?" It was cute and again we are not afraid to be completely honest.
This last one was hard for me. We were walking out of the gym that same day and we were met by a large and clearly overweight man at the door. He opened the door for us and as we were walking out the dreaded comment came out of Finn's mouth. "Mom, why is that man is fat". I could have crawled into a hole at that very moment. It was a moment of feeling paralyzed and knowing you had to say something and nothing you could say would really help. I felt the redness coming up my neck and into my face. This was not one of those situations where you could just scurry the kids along and pray he didn't hear you. Oh he heard Finn..loud and clear. I have a very big sensitivity to the word fat so this was a big deal for me. I was imbarrassed and clearly we have not encountered this situation so I have not had the talk with them about saying that word to people. I stopped dead in my tracks and as the boys walked on I just turned to the man and said, "I am so sorry". It was a heart felt, head down, shoulders weak "I'm sorry". The man looked at me and said, "hey no big deal...I'm fat and fat is fat". At that point he turned and walked away and I turned to the boys and even at 9 degrees outside we had our talk right then and there. I didn't get mad at the boys because they are discovering things and quite frankly they were just making an observation and they were right. "Boys, you can't say that to people. Saying someone is fat can hurt someone's feelings. Everyone is different and everyone looks different". "Do you remember the words that mommy doesn't like?" "Well this is another word that we can add to that list". Then they all had to say all of the words that I don't like. "Mom you mean like the word fart, and stupid and shut up and butt". "Yes boys thank you for reminding me of the words I don't like". Declan pipes in with, "mom those are potty words and we don't use those". "Right Declan..right". They all said ok and they jumped into the car. I felt so bad driving away but know it was a good learning experience..I hope.
It is almost like 5 year olds are adults after way too much to drink. They have not developed that ability to keep certain things to themselves. It is very interesting to me though how it is ok for kids to stare at people and as adults you try not to. Kids question things that seem out of the norm to them while adults often avoid differences and ignore them. We all notice them in our heads but living in a society where you have to be so politically correct it is easier to avoid when you don't know how to react. Kids....they always make life seem so simple.