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10 Things I Wish You Wouldn’t Say In Front of My Daughter

One of my daughters was born two pounds at almost 34 weeks gestation. I had something called IUGR which stands for Intrauterine Growth Restriction which can produce a baby who is SGA or small for gestational age. Sadie is four and a half years old and weighs twenty-eight pounds —when weighed at night, on a full stomach, with socks on. She’s also a full head shorter than her twin sister Matilda and Matilda weighs forty-two pounds (in the morning, naked -if that gives you a better comparison).

What I’m saying is that if you don’t know Sadie, she can seem startlingly tiny. But Sadie is my child so when I see her, I see so much more than her small packaging. I see her curly, silly haircut (grown out from a DIY job she did after some alone time with a pair of safety scissors). I see her smile and her attitude and usually some stray glitter.

This kid has been through a lot: NICU, a bijillion doctor visits not to mention a g-tube for a year and a half, severe reflux, and almost daily therapy. Let’s just say we’ve traveled the bumpy highway of medical issues and we carry the road rash to prove it. But, we’ve moved beyond her size – so why can’t everyone else?

When I’m out with my twins, I have never been able to avoid people’s comments. Standing together, the girls look so much alike in hair, eyes and coloring but possibly eighteen-months to two years apart in age. And when people find out they’re twins, chaos ensues.

When the girls were younger, the comments and questions didn’t bother me, in fact sometimes I was relieved to discuss it. But Sadie is almost five. She has ears. She’s small, not deaf.  What I’m saying is, SHE CAN HEAR YOU.

Look, I know most people mean well, that people are naturally curious and sometimes just don’t think before they speak. But I wish people would realize they’re being insensitive without having to have me shoot them an icy stare. If you must say some of these things to me, at least try to do it when Sadie’s out of earshot. It will save us all (more) therapy.

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  • What is she…two? 1 of 10
    What is she…two?
    I know you mean well, but it hurts her feelings when you think she's two. Kids are very age proud until later. So guess up not down. Unless of course you're guessing my age, and then guess waaaay down.
  • Can I pick her up? 2 of 10
    Can I pick her up?
    What part of "she's four" didn't you get? What four-year-old do you know who likes to be scooped up by a stranger? She's not a puppy. But she does bite.
  • Send her home with me and Ill fatten her up! 3 of 10
    Send her home with me and Ill fatten her up!
    So, basically what you're saying —without meaning to I know — is that I'm not doing all that I can do and clearly I'm missing something so obvious that someone else could figure out in an afternoon. Or that I just don't feed her which leads me to…
  • Don’t you feed her? 4 of 10
    Don't you feed her?
    No. She's on a diet. She's going to be a baby supermodel if it kills me. Only adult supermodels are tall. Duh.
  • Shell catch up. 5 of 10
    Shell catch up.
    Um, no, she won't actually. Are you an endocrinologist? Because unless you are, and you have some new information for me, you shouldn't say that. I happen to know that Sadie will never catch up without growth hormones and whether or not my child is going to get growth hormones is not something I'm going to discuss with a stranger.
  • Whats wrong with her? 6 of 10
    Whats wrong with her?
    Absolutely nothing. Except that now she's going to ask me what's wrong with her and I'm not going to know how to answer. Thanks.
  • Why is her sister so much bigger? 7 of 10
    Why is her sister so much bigger?
    You are asking me that in front of "the bigger one." Now you are giving them both a complex. How would you like to be referred to as "the bigger one?" Imagine you're out with your best friend and someone wonders outloud to you why you're so much bigger than your friend? Hurtful.
  • Shes so little! 8 of 10
    Shes so little!
    We've heard this so many times and all I can say is NO SHIT. I mean, do you think that I don't know that? What happens at this point is that Sadie yells, "I'm not little!" She's tired of it, I'm tired of it. Please, please, try to refrain from that one.
  • Better too little than too big! 9 of 10
    Better too little than too big!
    I'm as optimistic as the next mom but I'm not sure either is ideal. If you know this from experience, thanks for sharing.
  • Have you tried… 10 of 10
    Have you tried…
    Everyone's got a miracle cure for me. From people on the street to people in my comments, everyone seems to have the answer or at least a good idea. I'm not opposed to hearing them (well, I've looked into everything at this point so I am actually not into hearing them) but especially not in front of her. I know they're excited to share their advice but I'm more apt to be open to it at a Dr.'s appointment than in the express line at Safeway.

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