Let’s talk about something else

Let’s talk about something else

Simon still wears a size 3 diaper (at least until this package runs out) and some of the clothes that he wore when he was 4 months old. He is in (approximately) the 5th percentile in weight and 10th for height. He’s closer to the 90th in head circumference which may influence people’s perception of his size, but I still have a hard time fathoming how we can have so many people who take one look at him and say, “He’s a big boy.” And I don’t always know how to respond. I’m sure they are just making conversation, but what am I supposed to say? What are they really saying? Sometimes I ignore the comment or say something about how he’s starting to stretch out (although he’s been “stretching out” for about half his life now). More and more I correct them and tell them that he’s actually rather small for his age and perhaps that we are under doctor’s orders to fatten him up because he hasn’t gained much weight in the past 10 months.

Honestly, I am bothered that so often the first thing people comment on is his size. I know, it’s an easy thing to see and comment on if you are looking for something to talk about, but it is also kind of an uncomfortable subject for me. I don’t want to think about how big he is more than I have to. I am worried about becoming obsessed with weight and size and driving myself and my children to unhealthy habits. I am worried about having unhealthy expectations for our bodies. I am worried about equating thinness with healthiness and drawing the conclusion that thinner is healthier. I know this is a weakness that I am subject to and it scares me to think of the pain I could inflict on my child by worrying about how big he is when he is still so young and has so much growing to do. Besides, aren’t there more interesting things to talk about, like what words he is (not) saying or how many teeth he has?

11 thoughts on “Let’s talk about something else

  1. Amen! Amen! Amen!

    Now that I’m a parent and experience this ALL THE TIME, I make sure that I don’t do that to other parents and their children.

  2. I agree! My little boy is TOO BIG. So, everyone always says the requisite things to comment on his size too. We’ve even had a few scares about hydrocephalis so, I really don’t like it when people tell me that his head is as big as a 2 year old and he’s only 11 months old! People just don’t know what else to talk about.
    Simon looks like a very coordinated kid. Climbing is hard to do!

  3. It’s unfortunate that there are so many societal expectations, for how everyone and everything should be. From the time that I spent with Simon he seemed happy and healthy, and I’m not sure what else you really need. But seeing as things are the way they are, until we find a solution we, and especially all you parents, are going to have to deal with it. My heart goes out to you.

  4. I’m telling you, EVERYONE comments on size, and they will FOREVER! I still get it about my almost five year old! I just ignore it, and smugly think, “he, he, he! What do they know?” But I do admit, I have said it myself. I think it’s one of those things that you hear other people say all the time, and you have always heard it growing up, so its stuck in your head, so that’s what you say, you know? I think Simon’s adorable, no matter what size he is, and really don’t worry about it. You’ll know if he’s unhealthy or not, because you have mother’s intuition :)

  5. People first commented how teeny tiny our boy was…asking if he was born early etc., and now that he’s got a double chin they’re saying what a big boy he is. All I know is all kids are different in size and timetables of when they reach certain milestone and that:

    Simon looks HEALTHY and ADORABLE to me!

  6. Amen. Lizzie, you’re awesome and because this is such a concern for you- you’ll be fine! I feel the same way and worry that I’ll say things about health or weight that I’ll regret. We just have to keep each other in check, okay? Ü I know I’ve said it before, and I know this won’t be the last time… Simon is ADORABLE!

  7. The next time someone says, “He’s a big boy,” you could try simply changing the subject by saying something like: “And he’s such a great climber!” or “And he’s such a good helper!” or even “And he’s got eight teeth!” Steer the conversation toward accomplishments and milestones you think are important.

    You can take a page from the book of any person interviewed on cable news: When someone asks you a question or expects you to comment, simply ignore it completely and move right on to the next point on your agenda. (This is me trying to be helpful and vent about a pet peeve at the same time.)

  8. Too funny. Yeah, we have very “small” kids as well, and the nurses all tell you to fatten them up… but then my mom made a really great point: Childhood obesity is becoming a rising trend in the U.S., and isn’t the Almighty Percentile just comparing our kids to the general population of kids… many of which are obese? So… let’s fight obesity by pressuring new moms into thinking they need to “fatten up” their lighter kids… Hmmmmm? According to a woman who was a child in the 50’s, namely my mother, our kids would have been pretty average back then.

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