I have two kids. One eats everything and the other eats nothing.
One is in the 80th percentile and the other is in the 5th percentile.
One is 3.5 and the other is 1.5.
One is a boy and one is a girl.
By the title of this blog, I’m sure you’ve guessed where I’m going with this. I’ve got myself a big girl and a tiny boy.
And you know what? I don’t care.
I can’t tell you how often I hear “well, she’s a healthy girl.”
Most of the time, I genuinely giggle and respond with something like “she doesn’t skip a meal, that’s for sure.”
But I do have to admit that sometimes I think it should bother me. I mean, I don’t walk up to strangers and ask if they’re having a boy or girl. Why is it okay to do that to toddlers?
As a mom, I get in this weird conundrum where I’m covering her in nicknames and using hashtags like #rollslikearoyce because well, it’s funny. I totally own that my daughter is delicious.
But I say “conundrum” because you know what happens now that I’ve owned it? My son walks up to her goes “hey, chunks.” And then I freak because I clearly failed at teaching my son proper language around bodies.
The part I do care about is where we go from here. In our house, it’s always about cramming food down his throat, but with her, I have to take watch how much she gets and it’s just weird. I don’t want either to have a complex but they have different needs. If he comes out of his room at 9pm and says he’s hungry, I’m like “have a donut, take three.”
But sweet girl… she can out eat all of us (fact) and we find ourselves sneaking around when we are hungry so she doesn’t throw a tantrum because she can’t have a (third) snack.
Also, I don’t dare think my son will play football. (Whew! Dodged a bullet there.) Based on genes, he won’t be of average size until late high school / college. I clearly don’t care about the football thing so much as just the social aspect of being small in high school. What challenges will he face? Will he struggle with confidence? Fortunately, my husband and I are pretty confident people so we can model that for him but as we all know, we can’t force it.
I have the size complex in my own house yet I still find myself saying things like “oh how sweet and ever so tiny….” to the mom that may have been up the night before crying that maybe her milk isn’t enough for her child and darn it, I’ve made it worse. It may not “bother me” but I should still be mindful that it might cause real concern for others. I put that in quotations because on some level, it is annoying to constantly have it pointed out to me as if I’m blind or if perhaps my lady parts didn’t notice the difference when you know, I delivered them through a tiny little hole.
I truly have no worries about their health. My doctor, whom I trust fully, promises that they are on good tracks. I just find myself in a weird mom-world where I seem to find conversation about my kid’s body size and shape as an everyday thing. It’s caught me off guard in my parenting plan, I suppose. I think a lot of moms feel this way. When mommas have super-sized kids that can’t talk or engage well on the playground, other moms are confused why the 5-year-old is being a jerk… when really, “that jerk” is only 3 and actually doesn’t know better yet.
I don’t know what their bodies will do for them in life. But I do know that they are far more than just bodies and in that regard, they are going to be just fine.