Kids are so brutally honest sometimes. The other day Miriam and I were out playing on this massive campus that is essentially our backyard, and she asked if she could take a bath when we got home. I said, "sure!" Then she asked if I could come in the bath with her. Before I could answer, she was nice enough to add, "Is your fat tummy not too fat?"
Thanks, Miriam. I already feel like a walking eyesore lumbering around campus among an almost exclusively young, brilliant, and nubile female population with my toddler in tow. Now my own child has turned on me.
The times when I feel most awkward are definitely mealtimes. The entire Arabic School eats together at the cafeteria to facilitate learning opportunities and chances for lots of conversation. Like any cafeteria, the tables are all grouped in one area of the large room and the hot food serving area is in another (and the drinks are in another, and the utensils/napkins in another, and dessert in another, etc.). This means that between Miriam and me, I have to get up and down from the table and make the long walk across the room several times per meal.
And my goodness, is it ever a long walk. I really feel like everyone is staring at me, with varying degrees of disgust. TV shows and movies never show pregnant women as they really are at 8 months along. Instead, the otherwise perfectly skinny woman usually has a cute 6-month-ish belly (and sometimes is able to hide it entirely - John Locke's mom, I'm looking at you (enviously)). So in many of the students' minds, I must be some sort of an aberration from nature.
Combine that pre-existing assumption with the fact that I am always making multiple trips hauling plates of food back to our table (for me and Miriam, and occasionally Jeremy) and you can see where my self-consciousness comes from. To put it succinctly, and possibly offensively, I have BECOME that obese person who walks into Dairy Queen or Coldstone or wherever and everyone instinctively averts their eyes in righteous, unsympathetic judgment.
Also, I can't reach the (nonfat!) cottage cheese - it's on the far side of the fruit bar - and had to ask Jeremy to get some for me. Why?
Because my fat tummy is too fat. Just ask Miriam.