I thought I was prepared for this moment. I knew it was just a matter of time before she picked it up from our fast-and-loose media culture.
But when it came, it came out of nowhere.
"Mommy, are you fat?" Said with a look in her eye that said, "I know the answer, but I need to hear you say it."
What could I say? I have been fat my whole life, so this really shouldn't be an unexpected moment.
And I don't tell you this to get protests or reassurances. I'm fat. If I were 12 inches taller, I would still be fat. I look like those people you see on the news, with their heads cut off, wearing elastic-waist sweat pants and polo shirts, just strolling along in packs to illustrate how fat Americans are becoming. In fact, some of them look good compared to me.
I'm fat. But, I'm also smart, funny, sexy, and, in my own way, quite gorgeous. I consider my weight to be one thing about me, a thing I'd like to change, but just one thing. I think about it sometimes, but I don't let it define me. In fact, there are entire days that I forget that I'm fat. I will attempt to have one of those again sometime very soon...
"Yes, I am," I answered after a brief out-of-body experience that I'm sure she didn't notice.
"Why are you fat?" she asked. Princess is nothing if not forthright.
"Because I eat too much and don't exercise enough," I replied.
"Why not?" she asked.
"Because I'm lazy," I said. "I don't want to be fat. I'm trying to change that."
"I don't like being fat either," she said. Great. I've now got my 3-year-old on the road to an eating disorder.
"Honey, you're not fat," I answered. "You're healthy."
"Healthy. Yeah," she said. "Daddy's not fat."
"He's a little fat," I said, somewhat stung.
"No, he's just really healthy," she answered.
Sven wins again.