Sensitivity Training

Monkey had made me a Mother’s Day gift at school, but then she mixed it up with a classmate’s gift. It wasn’t until Tuesday that I got hers. It was a picture of her in a frame that she decorated, plus a little paragraph about me that she filled in (kind of like Mad Libs for preschoolers). Here’s Monkey’s:

“My mother’s first name is D. She has black hair and green eyes. She is 40 years old. Her favorite food is broccoli. Her favorite thing to do is work. I love my mommy because she is my mommy.”

She got my name and eye color correct. I like me some broccoli, but my favorite food is anything I don’t have to cook myself. I was a little outraged about my age — a few weeks ago she told me she thought I was 17 years old. I told her my correct age (38), and she said casually, “Well, that’s still old.” Thanks, Monkey.

The “favorite thing” answer simply broke my heart. “Oh, Monkey,” I said, “my favorite thing to do is spend time with you and Bun and daddy. I just have to work.”

“I’m sorry I wrote down the wrong thing,” she said.

“Oh, baby, that’s okay. I just want you to know that I love spending time with you guys more than anything else in the world.”

Yesterday as we were walking out of a Target restroom, another woman was coming in. Since I had one of those huge carts, where the kids sit in the big red seats facing forward — the minivan of shopping carts — I let her by.

As we were going out the door, Monkey said thoughtfully, “I’ve never seen a woman so…” she searched for the word… “puffy.”

Admittedly the woman was overweight. And I don’t think she heard, us as we were already out of the door. But I leaned close to Monkey and said quietly, “We don’t talk about how people look. That’s not very nice.”

Monkey seemed unperturbed. I hope I did the right thing. Would you have said anything?