Friday, January 11, 2013

He May Be Big, But He Is Only Two

All of my sweet boy's life people have made comments about his size. That doesn't bother me. I am guilty of doing the same with other children and that isn't my issue. It is the expectations people place upon him thinking he is older than he is because of his height.  From the day he was born it has been the case. Yes, he was a pretty big boy for a 38 weeker and NO, my OB did NOT "guess his date wrong". (Infertility babies with medically assisted conception have pretty darn accurate due dates). I still hear that comment when people find out he was almost 9 pounds and 22 inches at 38 weeks and 1 day. :-)
Nicholas is just a healthy boy that has a tall dad, 2 tall grandfathers, 1 of which was a college football lineman.  The kid can't help it but be tall!  Now, he can put away some food, don't get me wrong! I am terrified of the teen years and pretty sure I'll have to get a 2nd job just to keep him fed, let alone if we have a 2nd boy, Heaven help us! As someone who is short and always had trouble reaching things, buying pants and dresses, and wishing I was a couple of inches taller, I think he is blessed to be a "big boy" as everyone says.
However, there are definitely some cons to being a "big boy" and the unrealistic expectations people have for him aren't fair to a toddler. First, I get looks and/or comments on a daily basis about his development. People expect him to be much more advanced and clear when he talks because they think he is older. He is barely 2 and a half, he speaks in complete sentences and according to his pediatrician, he is right on target if not a little ahead. I want to cry when I see the surprise looks from strangers and on occasion the comments from even family that "he doesn't talk clearly for his age". Yes he does...for his age, but maybe not his size. When he was 16 months old he was asleep in his stroller at Lifeway bookstore and someone stopped me and in an amazed tone asked "HOW do you get your 3 year old to nap in the stroller?!" All I could think to say was, "Um, well, he isn't even a year and a half old!"
Also, there is the ever present pacifier. Now, let me just say right now that I despise this thing and I pray multiple times a day for him to be secure without it. I have tried to take it away and either he got sick or found 10 more stashed away. I honestly don't know what to do at this point, but his pediatrician said not to worry about it right now, so I try not to, but it's hard when everyone judges your parenting based on the fact your 2 year old that appears to be 3 has a paci. Best comment yet was from a lady with a much older child in the grocery store: "look at that BIG BOY (said with much emphasis) with a pacifier!" Stab!
The moral to this post is that I understand why my child and my parenting are judged based upon his size, but I worry as he gets older it will continue into other aspects that will effect his self esteem: sports, school, and even with girls and friends. I wish people would think before they make condescending stares or comments about a child. You never know what the circumstances may be. I guess this is just another piece of the ever present mommy wars and a part of parenting.
Since the new year I've started telling him how wonderful he is and how he is exactly like God wanted him to be. He is smart and just the perfect size for him because God made him to be that way. I've decided to go along with that, my new response to the frequent comment of "he is only 2?, He sure is so big for his age, Why does he have a paci, he may need speech therapy, I think he should be talking better than that for his age" Is going to be, "well, he is only 2 and he may be a tall for his age, but that is just how God made him!"