About Me

My photo
I live in Kent with my husband, toddler Tilly (henceforth known as Monkey) and another baby due in November. We have two cats, Duncan and Lady Macbeth, and four chickens who kindly lay us eggs daily. We live in the picturesque seaside town of Broadstairs. I enjoy reading, knitting and cooking. I'm trying to be a bit 'greener' (not sure how successfully), and to be a gentle parent. Extended breastfeeding and co-sleeping don't freak me out, we use cloth nappies and try to follow some of the ideals of Attachment Parenting. If that sounds as if I know what I'm doing, I don't! I am also a psychotherapist with an interest in Focusing-oriented therapy, and I have a small private practice in the area.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

A Plea...

A plea to those members of the general public who exclaim that my daughter is "tiny". I don't tell you that your son/ daughter is fat/ bald/ ugly, so please keep it to yourself. 

(okay, so I'm a bit tetchy about this at the moment but it happens every single time we are out and I'm really struggling to just smile sweetly and nod)

I took the Monkey to get weighed at the clinic yesterday. We haven't been in months but I wanted to know how she was doing in advance of our hospital check-up in a week's time. She's now 14lbs 11oz, so she's put on 11oz since the end of March. She's still under the 0th centile but I'm really not so fussed and the HV was pretty cool about it too. But I'm starting to worry about how it will affect her, being the "tiny" one. Will she be babied by the other children when she gets to playgroup or school? Will she feel self-conscious about her size? What about when she begins to understand when people say how tiny she is? Maybe she understands it now? I'm even worrying about whether we will find a school uniform to fit her, as she is 1 now and still wears 3-6 month baby clothes. I know I'm being a bit silly, and I certainly don't want to create an issue out of it but I does concern me. Will she be strong in personality to compensate for being small in stature? She is certainly showing signs of that! 
Is the fact that I am even writing all of this an indication that I want her to be different in some way, that she isn't 'okay' as she is? We have the precious gift of a bright, healthy, happy little girl, that's all that should matter.

11 comments:

Earthmummy xx said...

Hugs xx
I was tiny as a baby - born at 7lb odd but never really kept up with my peers. At 2 I was still in 9-12month clothes, so I was probably about Tilly's size at her age. Being 'tiny' was never really a problem for me, although it entertained my mom to see people's faces when a 'young' baby started talking to them ;) I certainly dont remember being aware of it. When I started school at 4 1/2 I was in age 2-3 clothes, but mom just bought the smallest uniform she could and did some very basic alterations to make it fit. I'm not really sure what age I caught up, not even being aware of being small, but I was 'normal' size wayyy before I started high school and now I'm a very normal sized person - 5ft 6 and 11stone.

Bit of a long one, but basically, there is still time. Being on the slight side now doesnt mean she will be forever, and if she is, I'm sure she'll be fine xx

Joxy said...

**hugs** it's perfectly natural for you to have concerns, it doesn't necessarily mean you want her to be different etc.. all it means is you love her and worry about how she will interact with other children, who are likely to be quite a bit bigger than she will be... but then she has plenty of time to grow. And as you say she's healthy etc.

It's what we mums do, we worry, even when we probably shouldn't. I worry constantly about Rye's speech, whether I ought to be doing more with him and so forth.

Joxy.

Naomi said...

I second what's already been said and that she might catch up (so to speak) with her peers in the long run anyway. :)

It's only natural to worry though ((hugs)) I sometimes think it's what us mothers do best ;)

xxx

Cave Mother said...

I felt the same for six months, until Cave Baby had a massive growth spurt recently. She wasn't tiny - about 15th percentile - but still everyone said she was small. Actually I think it was because most babies around where I live tend to be bottle fed, and they get really fat. The "norm" has become much larger than it should be. But it's really annoying when people comment on your baby's size. I bet you find yourself saying "She's fine, she's putting on weight and she's happy" to complete strangers about five times a day (as I used to).

Becky said...

Hi. A friend of my sons is 8 now and in 3-4 year age clothes. He has been much smaller than average (below 0th centile) since he was a few weeks old.

She got lots of grief from HVs about what she was eating/what he was eating and now says she wishes she had totally ignored them as it put a downer on his first years.

He is a very confident child, nobody pushes him around or babies him at school afaik and he has no problem doing what he wants and ordering other kids around LOL

I think the constant focus on him being small got her down a bit too when he was a baby/toddler - it's such a shame that unless our babies are dead on average someone feels the need to say something.

My eldest was a huge baby, over the 100th centile and was consequently head and shoulders above all her peers for many years. Of course everyone commented on it, laughed at her clumsy attempts at playing and dancing with her friends and expected way more than they should have done for her age. That infuriated me too!

Tsk, people.

bohemianmumma said...

I can identify with this so well. Despite being born average weight my eldest two both dropped down and DD1 fell below the 0th. My first HV was generally ok with this as DH comes from a "tiny" family but she left and the 2nd HV was a total pain in the ass about it and consequently DDs 3 and 4 never went near the weigh-in clinics!
I don't think my girls have suffered socially because of their size. Even now at ages 11 and 12 the older two are both only in size 9yrs clothes! DD1 can still fit into shorts and t-shirts she had when she was 3!
It's easy to say ignore other people's comments but I know it's hard to do! I always found that people would start fishing for reasons why and start quizzing me about what she ate which really wound me up! Try not let people bother you too much. You know that your LO is healthy and that's all that matters really.
(((hugs)))

willow81 said...

People always ask me if she was premature, grrrr! I suppose I should put it down to tactlessness and curiosity. Earthmummy, thank you for sharing your experience, I'm sure that she will catch up at some point.
I think I will just say to people "she's perfect, isn't she" from now on. xx

docwitch said...

I do understand. My girl was tiny, (but also healthy like your girl), for a while there, and along with all the comments I would be dispensed endless advice, and asked if I was feeding her adequately.

People seem to have less boundaries than they ever would normally when you're a mum with a baby. Sigh.

And I love your intended response: "yes, she's perfect isn't she?". Excellent way to handle it.

mrsb said...

I have the opposite "problem". My daughter was 9 lbs 12 oz when she was born. She's ten years old now, and is already 5 foot 2 inches tall. She was barely 2 when people started asking her if she had started school yet!

As long as your daughter is happy and healthy, don't worry about it too much. EVERY child has something about them that is different. I also have a child who has autism, so I know all about "different"!

Just work on instilling a sense of self confidence in your daughter as she grows, and remind her that everyone has something different about them - that's what makes us special!

And when the day comes when she gets teased (and it happens to us all one day, doesn't it?), hopefully she'll be able to brush it off without too much upset. And if she can't, you'll be there to help her.

I just found your blog today, and your daughter is just beautiful! I call my daughter Monkey as well :O)

Rach said...

My 2 years and 4 months old daughter is the grand total of 1 stone 10lbs :)
She has always been dainty - never going to be anything but I reckon.. but I did stop taking her to be weighed because I got told by the HV to stop breastfeeding her and 'get her on a bottle to fatten her up a bit' :O

Good job she's my third - as a first time mum I may have listened to their (incorrect) advice and gone against what I (now) know was right for my child and me.

When people commented to me and I was in a narky 'can't be arsed' mood - I used to say "Oh yes she is just perfect... I don't think it's right to see fat babies, not good for them is it." and smile sweetly before looking/walking away. :D

Rach said...

Oh and I find that huge fat babies take a lot longer to walk whereas my skinny rabbit children were all walking before their first birthdays - in fact my 2 youngest were 10 and 10.5 months.

She looks absolutely fine from the pics we see - as long as she is eating and healthy and developing as you feel is right, don't worry about her so much.