Skinny like a reindeer leg


If you think about it, the word “fat” is a pretty simple word in the English language. It’s spelled like it sounds. It’s short. And it has an opposite. As a result, it shows up on school spelling tests all the time.

But using the word “fat” is a totally different ballgame. And they don’t teach that in first grade.

“Look, Mom, that lady is fat,” my six-year-old son said recently, standing at the end of my shopping cart at Target. “Tyler, that is so ugly,” I said. “Do not ever call a person fat. That hurts their feelings.”

“But what about when we say ‘Sister has a fat belly?'” he asked.

“Sister’s a dog,” I said. “It’s okay to say a dog or cat is fat or even something, like, uh, a stuffed animal, but not a person. Does that make sense?”

He looked at me. “But what if it’s true? Like, what about if a lady is really, really fat, then can you say it just real quietly?”

I sighed. Apparently, this was to be another one of those “teachable moments” that I’m growing less fond of every day. I pulled the cart over.  “Listen to me,” I said. “You ESPECIALLY don’t say it if it’s true. You don’t say anything. It’s rude. And I’m going to give you your first lesson about women, Tyler Gala, so listen good. You do not ever,ever, ever want to call a woman fat, do you hear me? Not now, not twenty years from now. Got it?”

“What about a boy?”

“Well, not a boy either, not anyone, but ESPECIALLY not a woman.”

“By why?” he asked, genuinely bewildered.

Clearly I was not getting through.

“It’s hard to explain, but most women want to be skinny or have been trying to get skinny,” I half laughed. “Just don’t call anyone fat, ever, okay?”

“Okay,” he said evenly.

Finally, shopping done, we were in the checkout lane 45 minutes later.

“Mom? Can I get a treat?” asked Tyler, eyeing the Skittles, M&Ms and gum.

“What do you say?” I prompted.

He thought about it. “You’re as skinny as a reindeer leg.”

Not quite was I was looking for, but I’ll take it.


12 Responses to “Skinny like a reindeer leg”

  1. LOL.. he is too funny love it… he has a point Reindeer legs are skinny.. LOL

  2. He is a quick learner!!! hahah

  3. A reindeer leg??? where in the world did he get that from?? But hey, at least he was listening!!!!

  4. I had to think about a reindeer leg for a second and then I thought, “Yeah, I’ll take that!” even if it is a weird little comparison. Where do they come up with this stuff? I mean, he got “reindeer leg” from that whole conversation?

  5. The word fat is really getting complicated. I saw a story on the Today Show the other day that talked about people who are “skinny fat”. Skinny fat? Huh? What the….? Seems to me like one would either be skinny or fat, but not skinny fat. Jesh!

    • Are you serious?? Dang, I wish I had seen that. What IS “skinny fat?” It’s kind of like “streak of lean.”

      • If I remember correctly, it’s people who are skinny but still not healthy due to lack of exercise and not eating healthily. Hmmm…

  6. Love this! Every mom has had the discussion about “What if it’s true” There are many other politically incorrect terms. Brace yourself!!!!

  7. Tori Scuderi Says:

    I think skinny fat may be someone that appears thin but their fat content is actually too high. My problem isn’t that I’m overweight, it’s just that I’m about 6 inches too short. I’d love to be called skinny like a reindeer leg!

  8. I’m six inches too short, too!

  9. Too funny! Out of the mouth of babes though! A friend of mine had been telling her kids you the “dangers” of drinking beer and had mentioned you get a beer belly as one of the “dangers” They were in Lowe’s Home Improvement one day and there was a gentleman with a very large belly and her young child said, very LOUDLY, man mom – that guy must drink A LOT of beer!! Gotta love kid’s!

  10. How-do-you-do, I came up with your web logs in a new directory of blogs. I dont know how your blog was selected, could have been a typoo, anyway,Your article looks honest. Have a an awesome day.

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