I usually offer my wisdom and advice to all of you, but today I'm turning the tables and letting you impart knowledge on me.
Here's the scenario: We were at school registration looking at the bulletin board with the pictures of all the teachers on it. Mitch, age 6, points to one and says, "She's fat." I then quickly scan my head to see who heard and hope nobody who fits that description is nearby and Isaac, who is a little more in tune socially (sometimes) does his part by kicking Mitch for being insensitive.
On the car ride home I try to explain to Mitch why we shouldn't make comments like that. But the saddest thing was I felt my argument was lame. I said something about how it isn't polite to call people fat. Mitch's response: "But she is fat." Good point. So I said something about not needing to say things just because it's true. And calling someone fat isn't good manners. And that everybody is different and it's not nice to point out differences and blah, blah, blah. But then I started thinking that what I was saying was silly. Mitch wasn't meaning to be rude. Someone else making that comment may have meant it rudely, but not Mitch. He was making an observation. I thought of some other examples of things you shouldn't say (kids with braces, glasses, learning disabilities)--and it still came back to only being rude if that was the intent on the part of the sayer.
I guess my problem is that it is an issue of a double standard. We teach our kids that everybody is different. But telling them not to comment or notice the differences makes it seem like there is something wrong in being different. (You follow that?) And what about euphemisms? Would it have been more polite for Mitch to just say, "That teacher has a genetic inclination to obesity?"
So here is my plea: Please give me a good argument for why Mitch shouldn't have said the teacher was fat. If I buy your reasoning I won't send you any forwarded funnies for a year. You know you can't beat that prize.