Robby is typically a sweet little boy. He habitually demonstrates a sensitivity and acceptance of others that makes me swell with pride, and he willingly volunteers to stand up to defend and offers to help those in need of assistance. Scott and I have always been proud of his accepting and loving nature.
Yesterday was not one of those occasions. Sitting in my prosthetist's office, I found myself in a rare situation when I was utterly mortified by the actions of my son. If it had been possible, and if the staff hadn't known better, I may have passed off Robby as my nephew because I was too embarrassed to claim him as my child!
After signing in for my appointment, Robby and I took seats in the waiting area. For a while he was happy looking at magazines and chatting. Everything changed when another patient entered.
Reading the look on my little boy's face, I could tell that he was shocked. No, this lady did not have an amputation. Missing limbs, prosthetics, crutches and wheelchairs do not phase Robby. This patient was obese, and Robby was enthralled.
I tried to redirect his attention, but his gaze was fixed on this lady's midsection. Trying to divert an awkward situation, I invited Robby for a walk. He declined and continued to stare. I didn't realize that staring would be the most benign of his actions!
With the waiting room quiet, I heard "Psst... Psst... Momom. I want to tell you something" in a not so quiet whisper. I realized what he was going to say, so I replied with a curt "Robby, you need to be quiet or we are going to leave."
"Psst...Psst.. Momom. I just want you to look at her belly fat. She is as big as the biggest tire."
I felt all of the blood rush from my face. My heart broke because I knew that this lady heard Robby's remarks and that she must have been humiliated. I grabbed Robby by the arm and began to direct him out of the office. Unfortunately he kept whispering in a not-so-hushed tone.
"Momom... She is shaped like a football. Did you see her jiggle? Her belly is full of jelly." I put my hand over his mouth and rushed out the door considering putting him into the car, skipping my appointment and driving home!
Robby was read the riot act outside my prosthetist's office. I scolded his words and remarks, informing him that talking about the appearance of others simply hurts feelings. I reminded him how my feelings are hurt when people make fun of my leg and how it makes me sad when people stare.
Upon reentering the office, Robby promptly apologized to the lady. She nodded but refused to speak. I don't blame her, I could tell that she felt humiliated by my little boy's insensitive remarks.
I, along with Scott, spoke with Robby again last night about his comments. It became obvious that Robby did not mean to hurt the lady's feelings, and I believe he was truly surprised by her girth and became fascinated by what he saw. He is typically so accepting of others, I remain shocked that he didn't realize that his "observations" could hurt her feelings.
Robby was both shamed and lectured because of his actions. Yesterday was certainly not my best Mommy moment! It is a horrible feeling to be embarrassed by the words of your own child.