A Fat Bum With OCD – It’s A Compliment

It’s been awhile since I’ve called a family meeting. After our car ride home from school yesterday and the subsequent retrieval of a child who was left crying in the back seat, I walked into the house with the dramatics of Carol Brady with an armful of groceries and yelled “that’s enough, everyone at the table, we’re having a family meeting!”.

The teenager had already begun to make her snack, she stood with a knife paused over a piece of bread with a look on her face that said “really?”

“All of you, now! At the table.”

The car ride had got off to a rocky start. With three children waiting at the gate and one who was nowhere to be seen they’d all felt a need to voice their displeasure. It was hot, over 40 degrees. Within minutes of finally having four out of four the first punch had been swung.

“I was talking!” the fourth said to the third, “you butted in and we’ve been waiting for ages for you and I WAS TALKING”.

I made eye contact in the rear view mirror with the third “he was talking darling, he was telling us all why he was sad, can you just wait for two seconds for him to finish”.

The fourth stepped back onto his proverbial soap box and with a flick of his hair began again “There were two posters that we were allowed to take home and I wanted one and the teacher said that we had to….”

“YOUR TWO SECONDS ARE UP, BLAH BLAH BLAH” interrupted the third.

It was on.

Someone told someone they didn’t have any friends and then someone told someone they were a fat bum and then someone told someone they were OCD and a doofus. When I announced that all technical devices were now banned for the week the third child quickly tried to back track.

“It was compliment! I was giving him a compliment.”

“Yeah right” giggled the second, just like “hey I love that ADHD thing you’ve got going on there or wow, your chicken pox is soooo attractive”

“Just be nice to each other please” I pleaded from the front seat.

The second began to sing, a number from Sister Sledge, We are family. I smiled as I recognised the tune. “We are family” she said before continuing with her second verse “even though your fatter than me”.

I knew it was too good to be true.

After we’d parked in the driveway and I’d wiped away the tears from the battle weary I decided it was time. Only last week we’d all talked about a conversation that had taken place. Something none of us had been involved in but we’d all heard about. Bullying, gossip and meanness.

“I had four of you so you’d always have each other”. It was true, we’re low on cousins and we’re far from home. “No matter what, you guys are meant to be there to build each other up, to support each other. To let each other know you’ve got each other’s back”. Someone smirked.

“There’s enough people on this planet who are going to try and tell you that you can’t do something. That you’re not good enough. There’s always going to be someone to plant the seed of self doubt. There’s going to be people who don’t have time for you, who don’t understand you and aren’t willing to get to know you.”

Silence

“You guys have to look after each other. Be kind.”

The third lifted his head from the table. “I’m sorry guys.”

The second looked around the room “I’m sorry too.”

The fourth giggled “I’m sorry”.

The teen who’d stayed out of the fight motioned towards the kitchen where her snack was waiting.

“Muuuuuuum….” the boys said in three syllables.

“No, no electronics for the week”

“BUT!” I held up my hand “two weeks?”

We went for at least an hour before the next fight was underway, but it was a little more gentle this time around, no-one was complimented on their OCD.

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