A few nights ago, I was reading to my kids. We were on the floor of Evan's room with our backs against his bed. At the end of the story, they were delaying going to bed. Both wanted another story, but most of all, they wanted to not have to go to bed. Alexa leaned against my shoulder and pretended to sleep, Evan flung himself on my legs, pulled up his shirt to itch his belly and announced, "I'm fat." I immediately said, "You are not. You are chubby and your body will use all of that for the growing you keep doing. Now me, on the other hand, I have no more growing up to do, so this is fat." I patted my middle. Evan sat up, looked at me thoughtfully and said, "I like you soft, Mom. You're nice to cuddle with." Alexa agreed, and we all snuggled for just a minute before the inevitable bedtime routine: goodnight kisses, blankets tucked, fans on, and lights off.
Dictionary.com defines a synonym as "a word having the same or nearly the same meaning as another." Given the choice between fat, chubby, or soft, I'll take the latter any day, especially when it comes from the innocent lips of my son.