The weight of the matter.

When my daughter was born, she weighed 7 pounds 9 ounces. With every well baby check-up, she would only gain a little weight with each visit.  At 14 months, she was in the 3rd percentile. When she had her check-up at 18 months, she weighed a little over 21 pounds.

I can never remember how tall she is because by the time the nurse checks her height, my daughter is usually screaming which makes my brain melt.

I was a preemie and weighed 4 pounds 4 ounces when I was born. I was always tiny throughout my childhood and I’m only 5’2.

When my daughter was about 9 months old, we took her to a different pediatrician for her check-up because her normal doctor wasn’t available. This doctor really ticked me off because she spent most of the appointment telling us that we have to fatten up our daughter. Seriously?!

She’s perfectly proportioned and I just think she’s going to be petite like me. The regular doctor she had at the time told us she’s thriving and we have nothing to worry about.

For some reason, people think it’s okay to tell us that the little hummingbird is too small for her age. I know that some parents are on the other side of it and have people mentioning how big there child is.

Just today we were on our way inside the grocery store and a woman stopped us to tell us how cute our little girl was. She mentioned that she had a 15 month old daughter at home. When we told her our girl was 20 months old, she said “Really! Wow, she’s so small!”. Grrrr. I wouldn’t make a big deal out of it except it happens frequently.

My daughter is going to spend her lifetime dealing with people that are critical of her hair, her height, her voice, her looks, her weight……

“She’s pretty short.” “Does she even talk?” Total strangers will say this and they do it in front of her. I know she’s young but I also know she understands a lot more than we think.

I thought it would be several years before people would be so critical, not before she was even two years old.

It would never cross my mind to tell a parent that their child is tiny for their age, nor would I ever say “damn, your baby is huge!” I’ve come to the conclusion that some people are just idiots.

I know I'm biased but I think she's perfect.

*Blog of the week: The Domestication of the (Once) Single Girl. Michelle has a daughter, The Cute, and is expecting a baby boy. She is so funny and I love talking with her on Twitter. @ShellDSmith

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17 Responses to The weight of the matter.

  1. The Last Girl Standing January 6, 2011 at 00:41 #

    I was just telling someone, the other day, that I don’t understand some people’s obsession with the whole percentile thing. I was always short. People always commented (because you’re right, your daughter will pick up on it and, hot damn, strangers can be rude, ignorant and stupid). I don’t know if there was such a thing as percentiles back then (no, that does not make me old… does it?!?) but I would’ve been low. But you know what? In grade 6 I had a major growth spurt… So what does it matter if my height was in the bottom 25% at age 2 if I ended up in the 60% range in the end? I say if she’s healthy, thriving and it’s not due to an underlying condition (Which genetics are not) than don’t worry about it. If you try to ‘fatten her up’ they may say she’s too big and the only thing that does is create a lifetime of eating and image issues. I think your daughter is proportioned, healthy and, hello, cute as all hell. You’re doing a great job! xoox

  2. Jayne January 6, 2011 at 01:46 #

    Hahaa, you may not be the kind of insensitive dolt who would tell a person that their baby is huge, but believe me, they’re out there! Sausage has always been tall for her age and in the higher percentiles, but by no means overweight, and she’s pretty advanced with her talking and social interaction so people are forever telling me they can’t believe she’s only 2 and isn’t she big for her age? I got to a stage where I was really worried and comparing her to every two year old I knew. In the end, I realised I was over reacting to stupid comments and just ignored it.

  3. themrs January 6, 2011 at 07:41 #

    my two youngest are both really small for their ages and i hear it all the time too! in fact, at the WIC office they lectured me about putting more fat in their diets! are you kidding me?? they’re fine. i shrug it off now. people are idiots .i’ve accepted it 🙂

  4. Issa January 6, 2011 at 08:18 #

    People need to let it go. Seriously. As long as she continues to grow and thrive, what does it matter?

    My girls? Hoover between 3 – 5 % on the weight charts. My oldest is tall now, but she was a little peanut for a long time. My middle is short and skiiiiiny. They both wear skinny jeans and it still looks baggy. Then there’s my son. He’s a whole other story. Ha. Linebacker for sure.

    Try not to let them get to you. Oh and I’d go back to the nice doc. 😉

  5. the grumbles January 6, 2011 at 08:22 #

    I think for the most part people are just idiots. They’re looking to make small talk and size is an easy/obvious thing to blurt out. Stupid, but generally I don’t think they’re trying to be jerks. The “oh he’s so much short than my son/daughter/niece” gets old fast.

    What gets me is when medical professionals do it. One of the pediatricians at our office goes ON and ON every time we take our son in about how short he is. Coming from two very small people it isn’t exactly shocking that he would be short and round 😉 but she acts like it’s a huge problem and sooner or later we’re going to need to “fix” him. So, I feel you, I do.

  6. Michelle January 6, 2011 at 09:00 #

    I’m hating on people right along with you for this one.

    I gained a TON (…a 55 lb ton…) of weight during my first pregnancy. I am, normally, a wee little thing. My SO is 14 inches taller than me and over 100 lbs heavier. He’s on the XXL side, I need to hem all of my pants. ‘Twas meant to be.

    His family seemed fixated on our baby girl being ‘huge’. Even before she was born. She was a chub-monster at birth (probably due to her mama’s pigging out, hmm?) but didn’t stay in the 90th percentile for long.

    She’s short. She just…is. And my ‘inlaws’ cannot accept this. “What a BIG girl, she’s HUGE, huh?”. Really? She’s mine, she’s your son’s, she’s your granddaughter, she’s perfection. And just because she isn’t fitting into the weird, BIGBIGBABY dream of their’s doesn’t make it any less so. But the BIGBIGBABY thing sure crawls up my ass. (Especially since when I politely disagree, SO’s mother will make a comment about just letting the little one be who she is. Trust me, NO ONE needs to tell her mama that. *SLAP*)

    Does EVERYTHING have to be analyzed, commented on? And though they mean no harm it drives me nuts. Let’s not get into the habit of just commenting on her size/weight/appearance. There will be enough of that in this superficial world that we live in, someday. There is NOTHING else to have small talk about? I’ll just teach mine better than their parents did for them and hopefully it’ll hit home someday when a 2 year old corrects their social graces for them.

    (I’m still typing away. You’ve clearly hit a nerve. ;p AND the baby is kicking, oh my!)

    There isn’t anything about your sweet little thing that ISN’T perfect and beautiful. I love her hair, sweet face and button nose, and I would love to snuggle her. I would shower her with compliments in the grocery store and if I were her Dr I would tell you that you’re doing a great job. Anything else would just be weird, IMO.

    Oh. And? Thank you! *Squee*

  7. Michelle January 6, 2011 at 09:01 #

    (My above comment is way too long. Sorry.)

  8. Mojoleonie January 6, 2011 at 09:57 #

    It’s so true my baby is nearly 8 months old and ws 8lb 10 when born… He’s also very long and quite solid & every one particularly the in laws are like oh god he’s massive, he’s sooo big, oh what r u feeding him?… It pisses me’ off sooo much cos as he grows older he will understand & those comments will be remembered. I don’t want him growing up with any complex about height, weight etc whycant people just mind there own & keep it to themselves I never say if someones baby is smaller or larger I know how it feels cos at some point you do start to think… Is he too big?….

  9. theboyandme January 6, 2011 at 11:49 #

    She is beautiful! Look at her gorgeous golden hair flowing in the wind. That would be a tell-tale sign if she was ‘malnourished’. Look at her rosey, chubby cheeks. She is absolutely gorgeous, ignore the f*ckers.

  10. cakeandteablog January 6, 2011 at 12:09 #

    She is gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!!! My wee one is precisely average in weight and height, and depending on who I talk to, I get “Isn’t he a big boy?” and “He’s so little” in equal measure. It’s weird. And boring. You are right, some people are idiots.

  11. Sarah January 6, 2011 at 13:55 #

    Sigh, I’m totally guilty of commenting on kids’ size. I guess I never really thought about how it would make the parents feel-I always mean it in a “wow-this makes your kid special” kind of way and not “wow, your kid is a freak”, but I can totally see how it could make you feel judged. I always think tiny kids are so super cute, I end up saying something like “oh, he so tiny”, which now I’m thinking…isn’t such a compliment to some parents. Thanks for the perspective!

    • Elle January 6, 2011 at 14:32 #

      Since I know how awesome you are and that you would never intentionally say anything mean, you get a free pass. 😉

      For me at least, it’s more from people who don’t have good intentions behind what they say. Those are the people that really bother me. The ones that seem to be in a mood because of a bad day and they take it out on someone else to feel better about themselves.

      The woman I wrote about in this post was with her two young sons and seemed frazzled. It was like she wanted to throw her crappy day at someone else.

      It’s also in the tone people use and what they say, like you mentioned. Instead of “Oh how adorable, she’s like a small doll”, it will be more like “Uh, she’s really tiny. What is she, 10 months old?” Big difference. 🙂

  12. Karen January 6, 2011 at 15:42 #

    “Does she even talk?” For reals? That is just a stupid and thoughtless things to say with no true bearing on anything.
    Everybody is a different size. Your beautiful little girl is happy and healthy and growing normally into herself and that is all that matters.

  13. Jenny @ Party of 5 January 6, 2011 at 15:53 #

    My daughter Addie is 3.5 and she is also 3 percentile. She also doesn’t have much hair, like no haircut yet and she looks pixie like. I spent month 6-12 trying to fatten her up at the doctors recommendations and then, like you, just realized that is how she is.

    I wonder how this affects children. People comment about how big my baby boy is, and he is (only one pound less than big sis at 90 percentile), I find myself being glad that they aren’t the other way around. I guess in our society a petite girl is more acceptable than a petite boy – especially when they are being told over and over and over what size they are.

    I hear your frustration – and I’ve often stopped and wondered what this does in their little minds. Being told what they are. My oldest daughter is told her feet are big, for her age they are a size or 2 bigger than normal. She is 6 and I notice that she has already become self conscience when people say it. How does she “know” having big feet is something to be worried about? Is it the tone of voice? Why isn’t she proud of it like she would be if they mentioned how long her hair is getting?

  14. Brighid January 6, 2011 at 17:40 #

    SO well said! Re docs and WIC, the charts used by most are vastly different than those of the WHO. Just another testament to how much Americans base “health” and normalcy on size/appearance. And your girl is perfect!

  15. neeroc January 6, 2011 at 18:58 #

    The talking thing is bizarre. So is ‘She’s pretty short’
    I have found myself mentioning a child’s size and honestly I’m always thinking about how easy or difficult it is to clothe the child, not percentiles, not a comparison or competition, but how varied their bodies can be at the young ages and the challenges it can present. (And I don’t do it in front of the child)
    My 3yo’s BFF is 2 weeks older than V and 2 maybe 3 inches taller with the same-ish (I didn’t measure or anything) sized waist. Pants that fit? Good luck.
    My sister had a son who was in 3T at 9 months, he had clothes they never even saw let alone wore.
    I have friends who had micro-premies. I learned early that the progress a child is making is more important than the actual measurements. But I might comment on a petite child because I’m thinking they get to experience each size a bit longer, and since I’m a bit obsessed with carseats, note that they’d be able to stay rear-facing longer. *g*
    Seriously. Shopping.

  16. Jess January 7, 2011 at 05:43 #

    She’s absolutely beautiful. And she’s completely healthy, like you said… and that’s all that matters. It really bothers me that people think that they have the right to make such rude comments and openly criticize our children.
    thanks for the comments on my blog! The poop cheerleader one definitely made me laugh… and I need it at that moment. I can’t believe how many people read my blog and are praying for Elliot. It’s amazing!

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