These are my kids at the start of the week. All happy to go back to school and confident and such. Aren’t they cute? By day four of week one, my little one, ironically a girl with special needs is still tickety boo and thrilled with school. And my overachiever grade five rockstar Original Kid, fluent in two languages and pretty damn great all around, well she’s asking to be homeschooled. Again. This, for the record, is how much of last year went. Bully girls and bullshit. Anxiety. Stomach aches. Anyways, so much was plugged in at the end of the year and so many great people offered reports and gave me hope, that we are still there and we even were thrilled – two thumbs up just yesterday. I believe I tweeted to two of my awesome blogger friends @MamaDweeb and @SweetSadieMarie just last night regarding how excellent my children’s teachers are this year. Anyways awesome kiddo in grade five hopped off the bus tonight helping her little sister home and she blurted this:
“Mom, today I felt really self conscious.”
“Oh, why is that?”
“My teacher has this reflections exercise and he made us weigh ourselves in front of the class.”
At which point steam started coming out my ears. And my husband, calmest man on the planet, same man who has lovingly helped assure our child, monitored by several doctors over the last couple of years for weight issues, that she is not fat, well his face is looking pretty mad. This is a daily struggle already at our house for a child who hears that she is overweight everywhere she turns. From the Back to School shops that stocked only skinny jeans this year making our efforts to dress our kids nightmarish and miserable. To the other kids at school who have told her she is fat to relatives who unknowingly say things like: “Oh I think you are slimming down!”
Now, any adult female out there who was ever ten knows that all of this is stunningly insensitive. Stunning, really. So Mommy tries to gently ask for more facts and I am told from DD that everyone weighed and measured height. Boys and girls. I am still waiting for a callback from the school.
“I went first.”
“The teacher picked me, probably because I am the fat one.”
I never wanted to write this post about weight because this will be a lifelong struggle for her. She is not a teeny tiny stick girl. We are trying to help her grow into a healthy girl. I spent a year of my life driving her back and forth to LHSC for Healthy Eating clinic. Because my child’s self esteem has been poor from grade one on, which is roughly the time kids began to exclude her from some activities. We signed her up for swimming and martial arts and she sings and acts and is an amazing student. She ironically tells me often that she wants to be a teacher. Finally a female doctor told her she was beautiful just the way she is. I think I cried at that doctor’s appointment. Last year we specifically asked the Martial arts senseis to help target self esteem. That worked for a time. Now it is all undone by a thoughtless classroom activity.
Who thinks it is appropriate to weigh grade five children in class in front of one another?