Eliza Grace was born on March 15, 2006, at 26 weeks, 4 days, weighing 1 pound 4 ounces and measuring just 11.5 inches long. She is the light of my soul and this is the story of our life in the big city.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bag of Bones

I was really torn between titling this post "Bag of Bones" or "People are Asses." Since I figured the word "ass" in the header might offend some people of delicate sensibilities right off the bat, I went with the former title.

So yesterday I was in Talbots returning a pair of slacks that were too big (you'll see the irony of this in a minute). While I was checking out, Eliza decided to decorate the front of the counter with her "Winn- Pooh" stickers. After apologizing for the toddler graffiti, two of the clerks came over to help me get the stickers off at which point they got a close look at Eliza. They both proceeded to exclaim "Oh my god, what a bag of bones she is" and "she looks like a stick figure." This was followed by a handful of other equally unsolicited comments on how skinny Eliza is. Although unusual for me, I walked out without saying anything. And stewed for the next day and a half.

Then I went back.

I found the two clerks and asked if they remembered me and they didn't (no one ever remembers the brown haired girls). But when I asked if they remembered the "bag of bones" their memories perked right up! More comments on Eliza's skinniness ensued. I asked them if they had any kids and as luck would have it they both did. So I asked if their kids were perfect. This was met with very, very blank stares. They asked what I meant and I said "well are your kids fat, bald, do they have flat heads, big noses, crooked teeth, anything along those lines?" They both conceded to having "chubby kids" and one admitted to her son having a bit of a flat head. I do believe they thought they were on a game show at this point since they were all smiles. Then I asked "so you you would be OK with me calling your child "tub of lard" or "flounder head?" No laughter at all. I asked if they thought my comments were cute or funny? No ma'am. They thought I was rude and abrasive. My point exactly! But when I asked them if they thought their comments about Little Miss Bag of Bones were abrasive, they actually insisted that calling a skinny kid names wasn't nearly as bad as calling a fat kid names because they "meant well" and "it's not really a criticism when you point out that someone is skinny." Huh? I mentioned that the bag of bones comment is not too welcome when your kid is skinny because of a feeding disorder, then left them to ponder whether they will increase sales at Talbots if they continue to critique the size of the customers' kids.

So I guess the lesson is that it is OK for someone to comment if your child is noticeably underweight but let's just not go there if someone's child is noticeably overweight. Go figure.

And to clarify:

This is a Bag of Bones:

This is Eliza:


Emily said...

wow! I would have been speechless, completely flustered. I have never had anyone say anything more than "she's so tiny" and Dakota's a good bit smaller than Eliza. You have way more guts than me!

Natalie and Abigail said...

Good Lord - what is wrong with people?? I hope you also spoke with the manager.

I don't think Eliza looks skinny at all. Even if she was "a bag of bones", who are they to say so anyway?

I think it's wonderful that you put these people in their places. they deserve it. Go Mom!

Anonymous said...

My sympathies, people are awful/ignorant! This weekend I complained to the nurse at the hospital that my very small daughter has been eating even less lately. Also throwing away her school lunch a lot more, sometimes living on a few cookies or crackers for 9.5 hours. Her reply: "Oh, all kids throw away their lunches". As if I'm just a silly anxious mom... Aargh... And she's a nurse that works with kids that have issues!

Cora said...

Hmmm...I like the second title for your post, because those ladies sure were asses!

Eliza's no bag of bones to me. She's a beautiful and wonderful little girl. And HUGE now compared to her start.

Sarah said...

Bag of bones, indeed! She looks beautiful in the tub picture. I'm not sure why people think it's okay to comment on things of that nature.

And, I have a picture of Emery very recently where you can see every single one of his ribs. No one ever calls him a bag of bones because they're too busy asking me what's wrong with him because of the o2 and feeding tube.

People are rude! But I laugh because you always have the best comebacks (especially with bringing the picture of Eliza to the pool!) You are formidable!

MamáChanga said...

Hooorah for you! I agree you should have stuck with the original title, much more fitting.

People are just so clueless when it comes to things they say. Everyone should have an automatic check and built in "a$$" filter.

Hugs & Blessings!

Anonymous said...

Somebody from Talbots head/corporate office should send you and Eliza an official apology. I shoud have thought that their staff be more well trained than that. Talbots' customer service used to be excellent.

abby said...

When I first read this, I was struck speechless and could not even imagine how to respond. And you know me---it's not exactly like I'm lacking for words. Anyway, I think your response to those old biddies was perfect. And I also think that Eliza is one of the most gorgeous little girls in the universe.

Sarah Furlough said...

I have to salute you. I don't know if I would have had the gumption to go back and set those idiots straight! Way to go, Eliza should be very proud of you!