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Kids Who Are Big For Their Age

Yes, My Kid Is Big — You Can Stop Mentioning It Now


My husband and I make big kids. I'm average height, but my husband is 6'3", and he's transferred his stature to our offspring. My 6-year-old daughter is already in clothes built for 8-year-olds, and my 3-year-old son? Well, let's just say one of my friends stopped giving me her 6-year-old son's hand-me-downs because our boys wear the same size in most things. Yes, my kid is big for his age. I am aware.
The thing about having a child who always hovers at the top of the growth chart (he's been completely off the charts at more than one check up) is that people like to tell you about it . . . a lot. It's as if they think that the fact that your own child is a head taller than the rest of his preschool class might have escaped your attention. Believe me; it has not. And while pointing it out might feel like a compliment, it doesn't always feel that way.

Usually the comments about his size feel pretty redundant — his bigness is not news or even debatable — but sometimes it's just plain nosy, followed by questions about how tall my husband is (surely my average-size genetic code didn't create this megatoddler alone, the questions imply), how much he weighed when he was born (an average eight pounds), and how much he weighs now (42 pounds and growing), as if this information will somehow help the questioner find a specific category in their mind to file my son into.

Although the queries and chatter can be annoying, especially after the hundredth or so time, the biggest problems with having a bigger-than-average toddler are the expectations his size brings with it. When your 2-year-old child is as large as a 4-year-old, people generally expect him to be able to complete tasks like peeing on the potty or talking in complete sentences. When he can't — because he's 2 — those same people often look at him like he's developmentally delayed or at least a late bloomer.

While he's still too young to realize that the discrepancy between his size and age can be confusing, if not disappointing, to the general public, as his mother, it's frustrating to feel like my child is being judged for something completely beyond his control, something that eventually will probably be seen as a physical asset but for now is a liability.

I'll admit that I sometimes worry about just how big he's going to get. I'm probably on those online height predictors more than most moms, hoping that my big child will turn into a tall, but not freakishly so, adult. His measurements at his last few check-ups have him eventually growing to a respectable but admittedly towering 6'4", pretty much confirming that his size will be up for conversation for the rest of his life. I can only hope that he has more patience for it than I do.

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