Tonight at our local pub named One Fat Bird, my seven year old stepson looks over the kids menu titled “Little birds”.
“You’re a little bird!” I laugh.
He laughs back. “You’re a fat bird!”
Immediately his smile disappears, uncomfortable with regret.
“- But you’re not fat, mama.” He says so softly, apologetically, the look of horror which he’s barely keeping a lid on is spreading over his face.
“But I am fat.” I say gently.
He struggles not to wince. At seven he knows there’s something uneasy and confronting about saying that.
“I am fat,” I continue “and it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. I have red hair. And I wear glasses. That’s what I look like.”
His dad joins in, relaxed. “I’m tall with brown hair. And I wear glasses too.”
“Yeah and I’m really tall for my age” my son says, easing back into a relieved smile.
He sips his drink, chooses his meal and the night goes on as normal.
I am fat. I have red hair. And I wear glasses. And tonight for the first time, my son apologised to me for saying one of those things.