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Stefanie Wilder-Taylor is the host of Parental Discretion on NickMom as well as the author of four books including Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay and Naptime Is the New Happy Hour. She also hosts the podcast For Crying Out Loud.

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

By Stefanie Wilder Taylor |

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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Things Not To Say In Front Of My IUGR Daughter

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.

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Stefanie Wilder Taylor

Stefanie Wilder-Taylor is the host of Parental Discretion on NickMom as well as the author of four books including Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay and Naptime Is the New Happy Hour. She also hosts the podcast For Crying Out Loud. Read bio and latest posts → Read Stefanie's latest posts →

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70 thoughts on “10 Things I Wish You Wouldn’t Say In Front of My Daughter

  1. pauline says:

    She is beautiful. Just the way she is. I wish people would realize that commenting on a child’s size (in either direction) is something that can (will) stay with them forever. My daughter is almost five and looks like a seven-year-old. She has legs like her father and the height to match. Since she began sprouting, all she has ever heard from strangers is “Wow! You are so BIG!” As a woman with an eating-disordered past and a lifetime of dealing with the consequences, I bristle at the phrase, no matter how innocent it may be. I always gently repeat and rephrase by saying “Yes, she is very tall for her age.” She might here a stranger make a size judgement and, admittedly, I have no idea how she internalizes it, but I’ll be damned if she begins to think she is anything other than perfection or chance that single comment plant a lifetime of body image issues. So I try to defend and deflect an hope I am doing something right.
    Sadie is precious. Both of your daughters are. And high fives all around to you, Mama, for doing right by your babies by making sure they know you love them just the way they are.

  2. Rosstwinmom says:

    I have twins as well. One is about 3 inches shorter and 10 pounds lighter. They are only 4, so I know the difference is going to get bigger. It kills me that people don’t think they are twins for some reason. Plus, the tall one is super tall for their age anyway. Ugh, I hate comparing my kids. It ain’t right.

  3. kristina bachand says:

    All your babaies are beautiful <3

  4. Mary says:

    It is mind boggling what some adults will say! It is actually jaw dropping at times.
    There are quite a few I have heard along the way but here are the best 2:

    “He is just too pretty to be a boy!” Gee, thanks…. and how to respond?
    “Is his hair naturally curly?” Ummm, Really? REALLY??? “No, Ma’am/Sir my three year old gets A PERM every 6 to 8 weeks…….

  5. Mary Rekosh says:

    Beautifully said, Stefanie. Bravo. Your girls are gorgeous.

  6. Cass says:

    Morons have no filter. These are the same people who touched your pregnant belly without asking and send their families offensive political “joke” emails bashing a candidate because it hasn’t occurred to them that not everyone thinks as they do. In this case, all you can do is react and respond in ways that will diffuse the situation and make your girls proud later when they realized that strangling these people was one option you forced yourself to resist. Hang in there.

  7. Nadia says:

    Both of your daughters are absolute cutie pies! I listen to FCOL and have heard you talk about Sadie’s size before. I am sure those comments are old and tiring to you all, I wish there was a way to stop people from saying stupid things in situations they have never seen or don’t understand, but alas, tact is just not a knee jerk reaction for most. I hope you all find a way to deal with the comments so that they are not upsetting, you shouldn’t have to feel all that negativity from others when you have such a beautiful family.

  8. Caroline says:

    Maybe you should print this off and hand a copy to every idiot with a comment/question. I have 2 boys who are 15 months apart. They are the same height but the younger one is 15 pounds heavier than the older one. The older one is starting to get self-conscious about his small stature and the younger one is starting to get self-conscious about his weight. You can imagine how annoyed I get with stupid comments from strangers!

  9. Caroline says:

    I hate to break it to you, but as an adult who doesn’t quite hit 5′ in her stocking feet (a “good” growth year for me as a kid was when I hit the 5th percentile!), the stupid comments are going to continue well into adulthood. There was the time my roommate — 1 yr older than me and 6’1″ — got complimented on her lovely daughter when we were shopping together (I found it hysterical, she did not). Or when we went out to brunch to celebrate my college graduation and the maitre’d asked if I needed a child’s menu (not so funny that time). And Sadie will likely find that when drunk guys try to pick her up in bars… they will LITERALLY try to pick her up (not an effective way to woo the ladies, guys!). That being said, there are lots of benefits to being tiny, too, so hopefully she’ll learn to let the stupid comments roll off her back and celebrate her own unique beauty (because some people are just plain STUPID!).

  10. Rebecca says:

    She is adorable and who cares if she’s a little smaller than her peers. I happen to remember totally loving all the ‘she’s to tiny’ comments, especially when I was in middle/high school. But high school is a long way away. She’ll love it though. (I’m only 5 foot tall and until I got pregnant with my first I was only 95 on my heavy days with all my clothing on. I miss those days.)

    Anyway, I know a girl who is on growth hormones. Has been for a really long time. She’s tall (taller than my daughter of the same age) but still so thin (she might weigh 35 pounds). She is currently having some MAJOR behavior issues. Like they have put her in a self contained classroom and she gets a personal escort to and from her parents car, to and from the classroom and bathroom.

    Do you think growth hormones can be causing this behavior issue they are having? She is seven years old. Was born at 30 weeks and weighed about 2 pounds, I think.

  11. Mikki says:

    I just want to tell you that your daughters are beautiful!!! They look just like you. I was never diagnosed with anything, but I am just at 5′ tall as I stand to day at 27 years old. Growing up, many said that I was malnutritioned or that I was going to be a midget because I was smaller than most. I’m not for sure of what percentiles I was in. I just know that I was ALWAYS smaller than everyone. Frankly, I just got used to it and didn’t care anymore. I hope your daughter can have that attitude about it as she grows up. My mother certainly helped, letting me know that I was just a petite little person and that at least I don’t have to duck to go through small doorways. Lol.

    I’m sure that eventually she will grow not to care what others say about her. She will realize that it is their own curiousity or plain ignorance that leaves them to ask questions that aren’t exactly appropriate to ask. Either way it goes, she is beautiful. I love her smile.

  12. Christine W says:

    I totally agree that people need to refrain from making comments on appearance that have the potential to make kids feel bad about themselves! That being said, I was always the smallest girl in my class, but I loved being petite. Later in High School, College and the dating years beyond, there were a lot of guys who really liked to date petite women like me. I don’t view comments about my size in a negative way. I appreciate them. It’s all about perception. I know guys can sometimes have issues with being short themselves, but there is always someone for everyone. Adam Carolla recently complained in one of his podcasts that the short beautiful guys always get the girls. He was referring to Davey Jones and short cute guys like him. In the end, it will just be something that makes her unique, like having dimples or blonde hair.

  13. Heather R says:

    People are dumb. The only thing I would have to say to your daughters is something I have learned as a grown up….”good things come in small packages” AND “good things come in slightly larger packages, too:)”

    My first child was large for her age. No disorder, just a big, tall kid. As a baby and toddler, I got glares, stares, comments because this child was 2 or 3, and they thought she was 5 or 6, so her tantrum or whining was deeply frowned upon for a “child her age”…they didn’t know wtf her age was. Now in high school…she is super tall. Questions like, do you play basketball? No? Oh, you must play volleyball? No? oh, you should. Her reply: “I play softball, because I LIKE it. And I like drama, because it’s fun.”

  14. elaine says:

    i was like sadie when i was growing up. i had a million tests and lots of doctor visit because they thought i might be a dwarf/have a kidney problem/have an endocrine problem/what have you. my bone structure was that of a 3 year old when i was 6 and i didn’t have a growth spurt until my freshman year in college when i grew 2 inches to put me at a touch over 5 feet. my younger sister (by 2 years) was about the same size or slightly bigger than me, and still is.

    it did seem to bother others, but i liked being small, and my mom was the greatest about me and my size, it didn’t matter to her. hang in there, you and sadie will be just fine. you just have to go through the weeds a bit, but you will get out the other side.

  15. Heather says:

    Everyone better be careful, bites from tiny children can result in rabies.

  16. Thanks for all the great comments guys! Sometimes I just need to vent my spleen a bit! All in all, Sadie is not yet too bothered by people’s comments but I see her noticing.

    You are all great for supporting me!

  17. janel says:

    All I can say is “WTF is wrong with people??” and I hope by you putting it out there, people will think twice about the crap they say to moms, strangers, whatever.

  18. Chelle says:

    People are just thoughtless. They don’t stop to think what they say may impact this child for the rest of her life or annoy her mother. Everyone has an answer and everyone has a question. I sadly think the day that people just look at you and accept who you are is a long Long way off.

  19. Sara says:

    I don’t think people mean to be rude but just don’t think before they speak.

    My daughter was super small until about 6 months, at the very bottom of the charts, and I got asked multiple times if she was a preemie. Who asks that? When I said “Nope, she was 8 days late actually,” they just looked shocked and didn’t know what else to say.

  20. betz says:

    beautiful article :)

    my daughter wasnt small but there was this stage that she chose not to eat anything that i cooked (or even bought her) for few months… so some of these comments sound so familiar.

  21. Kelly says:

    Thank you for writing this! My daughters who are 18 months apart (and incidentally one is a Matilda too) are very different in size. We’ve totally been there with all of the stupid comments. I’m petite too… And the comments don’t stop. Just build your daughters up and teach them that it’s perfectly okay to speak up for themselves, even to adults. No one has the right to comment, judge or touch their bodies without their permission :)

  22. Jen D says:

    My daughter was born on time, but weighed 5lbs, and had severe meconium aspiration. She spent the first year of her life in the NICU on feeding tubes, breathing machines, etc. She is now a healthy, robust 5 almost 6 year old and is roughly the size of a 3 year old. She is about 35 lbs now, and about 3 feet tall. No one can believe she is going to be 6 next month! I get the “Oh my god, she’s tiny!” Or, “Wow, she’s sooo small!” But she’s beautiful no matter what her size!

  23. angela says:

    I think a lot of people dont know what to say and want to say something so they drop those one liners without even thinking about it. I have three small babies and every time I go out with them without their dad I get all Kinds of strangers come up to me and say you must have your hands full and since Im also 23 I get a lot of dirty looks to but dang their dad cant go every were with us Daddies gotta work. I guess they automatically think Im a single mom. People are curious and cant keep their mouth shut. Think of it if they can spit out those thoughtless comments without thinking maybe you ask them not say things like that in front of your daughter!

  24. Jami says:

    Thank you for writing this, I’m always looking to be more sensitive especially to kiddos. But I think what was missing was some tips on what TO say? Seems to me that it would be pretty normal human behavior to notice the difference. If I met you and your girls at a park, I might get all panicky and not feel comfortable enough to speak to you. Or I would try to keep my inquisitive 4 year old away so that she doesn’t ask a question that comes off insensitive. Which i think would be unfortunate for all of us, a missed opportunity.I can’t see myself doing any of these ten things, but I sure wouldn’t want to make the top eleven.

  25. Katie Moe says:

    Thanks for a great article…as a mother to twin 4 1/2 year old girls, I can relate. I have one tha is way ahead and one that attends the developmental preschool because she has social/speech delays. (thanks, in part, to her loving, nurturing, talkative and social butterfly of a sister). I can’t tell you how many times I have heard the same comments…when will she be normal? She is so tiny? She’s just shy? Etc etc. And then for her sister…you’re the bigger one. (that one boils my blood)

    All in all, just trying to love them wholly and completely and teach them to be strong from the inside out. Thanks again for saying what I wish I could!

  26. Beth says:

    Well said. And also…your girls are stunning. Those smiles…the curls…

  27. Angela says:

    Those baby girls are beautiful and PERFECT just the way God made them!

  28. Taylor says:

    She is beautiful. My daughter is small for her age, almost three and can still wear 18-24 months clothes doctor says she will be4’10 – 5’0 max . While my son is 5 almost six and almost to my shoulder (im 5’6) And wears a size 7/8. I’ve had people say At least she’s a girl and short and not a boy and short. fully understand people saying things around your kids that they shouldnt be hearing. My son is developmentally disabled and I get allot of things said to me that are way out of line. keep your head up, your little girl is beautiful and perfect just the way she is.

  29. Cami says:

    Wow – This is a lovely article. My “identical” twin daughters will be 12 this summer and are both off the charts, size-wise, as in – they’re not even ON the charts! They’re closer to the size of 9 year olds than 11 year olds. I was the same way as a little girl. Most of their friends are developing, many have grown well into puberty and mine are, just like I was, tiny and growing slowly. Their time will come, I tell them, and remind them that the most important thing is loving yourself for who YOU are, and accepting your body for its own inherent beauty. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. One much-more-developed girl who commented on my daughters’ “flat” figureless bodies at a recent get-together may have physical beauty, but she has little inner beauty, compared to my sensitive, thoughtful girls. The best part is that my girls LOVE being tiny! They don’t want to get tall, because being tiny makes them different!! :) I’ve told them that although they may *get* to be tiny like their aunt (my sister, who developed early and stopped growing at age 12), they also may be like – me… 5-foot-8-inches, and 135 pounds of legginess! They giggle when I say that. :) Cheers to being different. It’s a good thing we’re not all the same.

  30. Tiffany Naquin says:

    These posts are so negative. Instead of telling people all of the things that offend you, maybe you should suggest some things that people SHOULD say. When you read all of the “10 Things Not to Say” posts on Babble, you end up feeling like you just can’t talk to anybody about anything because the most natural thoughts and comments will offend them.

  31. Jocelyn says:

    Both of your daughters are absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!! <3

  32. schadenfreudette says:

    My girls aren’t twins, but they are 14 months apart and for several years when they were younger, they looked to be twins. But now…. Allie is healthy and strong and tall for a 9 year old, taking after her 6’6″ father. Avery was my preemie, has asthma/allergies, and takes after the really skinny side of my family. At age 8, she is 50 inches and 48 pounds. She is teased at school for being skinny, she is called “kindergartener” and I get alllll of those comments about “fattening her up” from family, friends and strangers alike. I’m the perpetual smartass, so I can blow off a “don’t you ever feed her?” with a “Of course! Twice a week, whether she needs it or not” and keep moving. But Avery is becoming more sensitive about it as she gets older. I’m working to give her ammo to fire back with, especially with kids in school. It’s hard and only gets harder, but Avery has a fighting spirit and a sense of humour and I know that all of this will only make her even stronger.

  33. Jamie says:

    They are both beautiful. As a mom to twin girls too – I know the questions and comments never end — and you’ve got an even more difficult situation. I have no words of wisdom. But they are beautiful girls!

  34. To anyone who is concerned that you can’t talk to me for fear of saying something offensive, that’s not the case. There are so many things you can say. But first of all, to comment that you feel like you have to say something is weird. Why do you have to comment on my girls’ size difference at all? When you see a person in a wheelchair to you feel that you simply must say something about it? No? Then why can’t you just appreciate seeing cute kids?

    You can say, “Are they sisters?” “What’s the age difference?” When I say they are twins you are welcome to say, “Wow, that’s so interesting. They’re very different.” Or how about “They’re beautiful”? Or “How lucky!” Or what about noticing the other things that make my girls different like how differently they dress or play. Lots of people make comments like these and I love it. I naturally love to meet and chat with people when I go out so it’s not that I get offended on a regular basis but when people make certain comments right in front of my twins, I do get irritated because it does hurt their feelings.

  35. Amanda says:

    It amazes me that no matter what our kids look like there has to be something “wrong” with them! I was always tiny and I’m sure that today my parents would have had lots of testing and appointments to figure out why but I didn’t. I was in middle school (7th grade) and was the same size and sometimes smaller then the preschoolers. In a school that was k-12 I often was told I needed to go back with mrs. Campbell (the preschool teacher) it did hurt as a kid your self esteem is being molded and I always felt like I must have been invisible because I understood everything but because of my size its assumed I wasn’t intelligent I guess.

    I’m a mom of my own now and through my pregnancies the same hurtful remarks came flooding back the well your so small so you make sure your eating enough to grow a healthy baby! Seriously I was/am healthy and are you implying that I wouldn’t do all I can to have a healthy baby!

    Good luck with everything! They are strong girls and have a strong mom to guide them! And i loved this! I related to almost all of them!

  36. Sue says:

    It absolutely amazes me what people say about children/in front of children. My jaw goes to the floor every time. We had a rough road for my youngest sons adoption. The birthparents changed their mind a day after his birth and then changed their minds again on day 5. By the time we got my son home a week after his birth, my other children had been on an emotional roller coaster. EVERY single time someone saw the baby, they said, “Oh, he is so cute. I”m going to take him home with me”. My four year old would burst into tears. Hello adults? You all think this is funny? Let’s pass out the duct tape!

  37. Dee says:

    AMEN! If I have to “explain” or make other people feel better about my son’s size one more time, I may scream. My son was born at 33 weeks. He is 10 months old actual age, and looks about 4 months old. On top of that, he has a shunt in his head from a brain bleed caused by prematurity. Just the other day a woman came up to us and said “what’s his issue”? She continued to press on about “what is his problem? I mean I see his head. Why is he so tiny…blah blah blah…” I said, “He is 10 months old and is starting to understand what people are saying around him. I would appreciate if you would be sensitive to people when you talk about them, no matter how small they are. ” She didn’t get it. Most times people do not have bad intentions, but they don’t realize how much we as parents have gone through and how proud we are of what they have accomplished in their short lives.

  38. Robyn says:

    I’m a whopping 4 ft 11 in tall and have never had any issues in life with being short, other than idiots that make short jokes! I clearly remember being in 3rd grade and being 3ft 11 in and weighing 38lbs! My now almost 6 yr old daughter is 42 inches tall and 34 lbs and you know what? She’s adorable and petite and perfect just the way she is, just like both of your girls. I do always remind my daughter that the best things come in small packagages ( jewelery) because kids are mean sometimes and pick on her for being little. I tell her that because she is small she is mighty and will be cute forever.

  39. Nicole says:

    Jamie and Tiffany, I agree with both of you. Some of the mentioned comments by blogger are indeed rude but others don’t seem rude to me at all. If I saw blogger I might have said before “oh, she’s so petite, they are so beautiful” and maybe looked suprised, but I guess that would be rude also, so I’ll just keep my mouth shut. I have a tall daughter she gets comments all the time about how tall she is. It doesn’t bother me or her (she’s small still so doesn’t really get it yet). I make sure she is proud of who she is and her height like her mommy and I explain how beautiful she is and the differences in people’s sizes and shapes but we are all special and wonderful. I was tall for my age that didn’t stop me from having friends or getting the guys! :) Our job as parents is to instill confidence to our children. One poster said people ask if her small child was a preemie and found that offensive. Being a preemie is offensive? How is that offensive? I think people are just so sensitive these days. Your child being called UGLY…..that’s that’s freakin offensive! Anyway, your twins are beautiful.

  40. Natalee Caple says:

    She’s gorgeous! What an imp. I have twins too — it is very hard to keep the direct comparisons from reaching them. Your girls look so much alike and two of the same gender it seems liek it would be even tougher to remind people that they are two seperate kids. But it sounds like you are doing a great job.

  41. Lisa Bassett says:

    I am a grandmother to 5 wonderful boys, one of which has a lot of medical issues. Logan is 5 years old and is going to be starting school later because his
    GI problems and his allergies have to be addressed. He is allergic to eggs and nuts. He has GI problems and has to take laxitives and at any given moment I have to clean up from diarrea or him throwing up. My daughter said that she knows that he is okay with me watching him because I clean up after him, smile and don’t yell at him for it because it is not his fault. He also on top of this has exema and this is where the looks come from. I watched a woman look at his sores and literally walk backwards. It is poison ivy lady, he isn’t contagious. He had to have tubes put in his ears last year and because of the problems from that, he was slower in learning to talk. Sometimes, it takes extra patience to understand what he said. He is really smart, he knows what his allergies are and makes sure that no one feeds him something he isn’t supposed to have. He always asks if it’s safe. I have my house Logan safe. No nuts or eggs out when he is here. The peanut butter is in the jar it comes in sealed in a rubbermaid container in the back of the cupboard, so that not even the smell is there from it. To me, he isn’t different from the other ones. All of my grandsons have things that are cute and set them aside. Whenever I do anything for him, I get thank you thank you thank you I love you I love you I love you.

  42. Emily N. says:

    I remember when my daughter cut her own hair with safety scissors!!! Lol Both of your children look happy and healthy, People need to stop worrying so much about appearances and look and see how a child is acting. If they seem miserable than they is probably something going on other than a health issue (people may be concerned about abuse or neglect) But you children look happy, And you seem to be a dotting caring parent! Brush off what they say and keep on keeping! Let them be ignorant, while you live in bliss with your babies!!!

  43. Trish Sammer Johnston says:

    My daughter is 8 and regularly gets mistaken for 5. It KILLS her. She hates being the shortest kid in her class – despite being one of the oldest!

    I cringe every time someone tries to guess her age … I love the idea of guessing UP!

  44. Stephanie says:

    I have a similar problem. My husband has 2 boys out of his first marrige. The older one is 7 and the younger one is 6. Due to a severe head injury and brain trauma Hayden ( 6 years old) is not whete he should be in heights amd weight. Together we have a 3 year old daughter and it doesn’t matter whete we go all the time we are asked “are they twins?”. First we said no he is 3 years older, and then the questions started. Don’t you feed him? What wrong with him? He is so tiny etc…. Now when leople ask us we just say, ” yup they’re twins.”

  45. Angie says:

    To start you daughters are beautiful and perfect! I have a similar problem myself. I have two girls 21 mos. apart and my 3 year old weighs more than my almost 5 year old (32 and 33 lbs.). The 3 year old is about the same height…maybe a 1/2 inch shorter. They get mistaken for twins all the time. My almost 5 year old is constantly treated like a toddler even though she is extremely well versed and very smart. People can’t see beyond her size. I was even told by her preschool teachers to not let her go to kindergarten because of her size (intelectually she was fine they said, but they were worried about her size compared to all the other kids). She has been poked, prodded and tested and all they can come up with is she is petite (5lbs. 10 oz. full term) and probably always will be. She has never made it on the weight and is >5% on height. And for a long time I worried about her size but I had to let that go and start treating her like any other child her age. At this point peoples remarks don’t seem to bother her, but I am sure she will be bothered in years to come…just as I am sure my normal sized 3 year old is going to feel like she is big since people compare their sizes. It would be great to not have to explain to people that they are actually almost 2 years apart every time they make a remark about them being twins…but I still feel the need to make it known to them that she is older and just petite. And the comments about what I should feed her to fatten her up are ridiculous! And of course I get the questions about is there a reason she is so tiny. I find it very rude that people are so bold as to ask questions in front of a child but I don’t see it changing so I am just going to have to teach her to speak up for herself once she is old enough! You are not alone! I feel for you and all the other moms who have to put up with the questions and comments!

  46. wunder says:

    Beautiful girls! all three of you :) and I’m totally in agreement with Kelly who said something about Sadie answering for herself. What would be better than a sweet petite little princess looking up at an adult who’s just said something incredibly stupid and thoughtless, and sternly saying, “that’s not a very nice thing to say in front of me”. All the best :)

  47. Angela says:

    I love the idea of Sadie speaking for herself! I also have a tiny daughter – at 2 1/2 she is about the size of her 6 month old brother. When I tell people no, they are not twins, most folks are suprised. We have considered Growth Hormone Therapy for her, and are not entirely convinced it is the right thing for us. (Really, at 5’3″ I’m one of the tall people in my family) We’ve also been down the NICU and endless cycle of medical appointment path – it is a bumpy one.

    My daughter also has gross motor delays, so she bum-shuffles her way through life. Other preschoolers treat her like a baby, and she’s getting pretty angry about it. I need to teach her the phrase, “NO! Stop it! I’m a big kid!”

  48. Bonnie says:

    I agree! Although I don’t have twins, my oldest boys are 14 months apart. The eldest is small for his age and my younger boy is a chunk. I get asked (almost on a daily basis) if they’re twins. I know it’s mainly because they look a lot alike (they are both clones of their handsome Daddy), but still.

    Kudos to you for teaching your girls that they are perfect just the way they are. :)

  49. Janice says:

    Great article. My son, also born early at 35 weeks, is still small for his age. Always has been. His is due to having gastroparesis (so far we have avoided needing a feeding tube), so not many people really get what that means.
    Your daughters are perfect just the way they are.

  50. Lisa says:

    THANK YOU! My daughter is very tiny (<19 lbs @ 17 months) and it isn't for lack of her eating; she eats more than I do! I am tired of the same comments/questions as well, and to incinuate that I don't feed her enough really makes my blood boil. There is nothing wrong with her and she is ahead developementally. We have had various testing done just to be sure there was no medical reason(s) behind her size and everything came up negative; the MD isn't worried at all and says "it's just who she is". She is just a petite, happy, fiesty little lady :-)

  51. Stephanie says:

    My son had cancer and he would get all sorts of rude comments about his small size, the mask he had to wear in public, his bald head. They’d run away like he was contagious or something. People can be so rude and they sure don’t consider the thoughts of the child who is sitting right there listening to it all!! Your girls are beautiful! Thanks for this article, hopefully it will make people think before they judge and speak.

  52. Casey says:

    Beautiful article and beautiful girls! I don’t have twins, but I do have an extraordinarily petite 4 year old myself. She was born at 7.77 lbs and now is a total 26 pounds of cute, but she is constantly getting compared to other kids. Her cousin, who is a month younger, is 10 pounds heavier and a head taller. The other day a 16 month old girl tottled over to my daughter with her mom just behind. My daughter smiled and said “Awww, she’s adorable mom, I love her little shoes too!” The other mom looked surprised at the conversation coming from my little one and asked “How old is she?” when I replied 4, her eyes bugged out of her head.

    I almost inevitably and automatically reply to “How old?” with “4 ~laugh~ I know, she’s my petite little pixy, 100% healthy too.”

  53. Gentry Garcia says:

    My daughter is 7 1/2. She is super thin and average height. 48″ and 42.5 lbs. each time I take her for a routine physical her doctor says she’s healthy but insists she gains weigh. She eats when she’s hungry and she is extremely athletic. People are constantly commenting on her weight. I’m afraid she’s going to develope an eating disorder. I love your blog and your podcast. Both your girls are super cute.

  54. Lani says:

    I just think some people don’t know what to say. Sometimes they just spout off without realizing the words can be hurtful. My daughter is barely 5 foot and is 17. Everyone thinks she is much younger, to the point of thinking one of her friends in 8th grade is her older sister. She is used to it…and believe me, you better tell your girls to buckle up they are in for a bumpy ride. Thats just life. Unless you want them locked up in their room for the rest of their lives, they will encounter rude, nasty people and their comments. My daughter has learned to embrace those comments. Yours will too.

  55. An says:

    Yeah, no matter what, people pretty much comment on EVERYthing that’s out of the ordinary. I think generally they mean well. I always got the “I’ve got to take you home and feed you!” and “I’d love to fatten you up!” comments, not because I’m small, but because I’ve always been skinny. It’s usually older women, trying to be friendly, I guess. Sadie will learn that actually being petite is quite desirable and since she’s also such a cutie, she’s going to gather up a ton of admirers as she gets older! I know the girl in my son’s class that he has a crush on is definitely the smallest, daintiest, prettiest little girl in class. I’ve heard she doesn’t like being “short” at all, but it really does contribute to her loveliness!

  56. Jen says:

    Oh my gosh- I hear these comments ALL THE TIME about my son! I could have written this post, except for the fact that I don’t have twins :) Thank you so much for writing this and bringing these issues to peoples attention. I wonder if people knew how rude they were being.
    I didn’t even know that 1 child could be SGA and the other might not. Fascinating.

  57. Goon Squad Sarah says:

    People are amazingly rude and they make crazy comments about twins that nobody would ever say about a singleton. It is as if multiples give them Tourette’s.

    She looks perfect to me.

  58. Monica Bielanko says:

    Dude, your girls are super cute. I just want to love all over them. And now I sound all pervy and stuff so I’ll go away now.

  59. Shelly says:

    LMAO at “Mary” about the perm….I bet you send your kid to a tanning salon too!! HUh! I knew it!!!
    AMAZING! I would say “who des that?!” but obviously, lots of people do!!! DUH!!
    I don’t have twins, but I had the Amazing Rude Belly Grabbers in the GROCERY STORE WTF???? I hate to be touched randomly anyway, and that was just OVER THE TOP. One day I snarled “Don’t…touch…me!!!” in this horrible voice, and the offending woman said “Oh…but it’s just so cute sticking out there!!” and I said “Well your BUTT sticks out, but you don’t notice me grabbing IT, do you???” She huffed away. Too bad! Keep your hands the eff off me!!
    And keep your stupid remarks to yourself!
    There, am I mean enough for ya???

  60. Viktoriya says:

    She’s sooo cute!! Her size doesn’t matter :) :) She’s a cutie and will be even cuter when she’s older :) :)

  61. Courtney says:

    I know it’s been said above over and over, but your girls are beautiful. Thanks for this informative post.

  62. cst says:

    I think your daughters are adorable, and I totally get where you’re coming from here … but please don’t ask a bunch of strangers who’ve never seen your kids before to move past Sadie’s size just because you have. Of course you’ve moved past it; you see her every day. Of course she’s so much more than 28 pounds; no one thinks that’s all she is. But someone who’s never met you guys before doesn’t know how old she is (many are terrible at guessing!), and probably thinks she won’t understand if they ask about her. I’m not saying that’s fair — I’m not a fan of talking about kids as if they’re not there, regardless of age — but I’ve found it’s a lot less stressful to assume the best of people, you know? No one’s trying to be ignorant or rude … just curious and social, even friendly. It’s just a social norm to comment about things we can all see: the weather, a cute skirt, or a small frame. Sadie’s old enough to understand if you tell her that the way strangers open up a conversation is with something obvious. It’s just an ice breaker, a way to get to know the people in your community. They definitely didn’t use the words you would have preferred, and Sadie deserves as much respect as any one else, but I’m on the side of intention here.

  63. Patty Gatter says:

    Well firstly, you are all beautiful! Secondly, I did enjoy your post – actually read through the whole thing – people can be offensive and not realize it. I think many people are just curious and ask out of innocents – and not trying to be malicious – but it seems you already know that.
    Have a great night!
    Patty, Owner
    http://www.HarperGraceBaby.com
    http://www.HarperGraceBoutiques.com

  64. anonymous says:

    People are astoundingly rude with their comments about kids (not to mention family size/spacing etc). Both of your daughters are beautiful! I am sorry you and your daughters have had to deal with so many inappropriate comments. I think with the exception of moms who have 2 neurologically and physiologically typical kids that are spaced 2-3 years apart you get all sorts of invasive, thoughtless, comments from everyone ranging from family members to complete strangers. This article reinforced for me that even guessing a child’s age could be sensitive. (Which I guess I should know since my 5 year old is often mistaken for being 8. We once had a nurse walk in and turn right around and walk out of the room when we were at the doctors because she couldn’t fathom that he was so big given the age on his chart–which she then came back in and told us–even medical providers can be clueless.) Thanks for the great perspective!

  65. NZErin says:

    I distinctly remember being 2 1/2 stone (35lbs) at the age of 8, and very short too.

    Anyway, the best thing a stranger ever said to me was around that time. I was off school sick and had to go with my mum to collect my younger brother from pre-school. This lady told me that she was about to ask if I was having a day off from kindy, but then noticed how I was speaking, and suddenly realised I was a lot older. I think she also said something like I sounded very smart too.

    As a short but precocious child, it was one of the few moments when a grown-up actually listened to me before judging my age – and I think I couldn’t stop grinning all day.

  66. Susan (5 Minutes for Mom) says:

    She’s so precious and so is her twin sister. It’s complicated being a twin and it’s a blessing. Janice and I love being twins but admit it can be difficult sometimes.

    If you’ve seen photos of our two youngest – we each had our second babies within 2 weeks – 4 days gestationally. (We call them twin cousins b/c they are genetically like half sisters and so close in age.) But my kids take their time growing and hers are always off the charts. So when I’m out with my two girls and her girl, it looks like my 7 year old and her 4 year old are similar ages and my 4 year old looks like the little sister. It’s obviously NOT so complicated as yours but Sophia sometimes gets frustrated with being the little one.

    And I totally agree with you that people should simply NOT talk about kids in front of them as though they aren’t there.

  67. Judy (Lazarus) from Get Unwrapped! says:

    I’m short, never made it to 4’11″ – now middle-aged with grown kids of my own: both taller than me although still considered short by North American standards (under 5’4″). The words people say can cause deep wounds that may or may not ever disappear, and most of those words come from people who are insecure or hurting within themselves. Some come from people who just can’t be quiet about anything, they just HAVE to comment on everything. Especially if it makes them uncomfortable. I’ve lost count of the people who have implied by their comments that bigger is better and that smaller people can be treated like babies or talked about like they aren’t there.

    One of the best things people (esp strangers) can do when there is a small child present is to first ask the parent(s) if it’s okay if they talk to their child; if permission is given, just squat down on the child’s level instead of talking above his or her head. If curious about the age, ask the child how old he or she is (and for the love of God DON’T talk baby talk!!) And say things that will emphasize the positive attributes they have, or ask them about what they like to do. “What pretty curls!” “What’s your favorite animal?” Whatever. People like to talk about themselves. And CHILDREN ARE PEOPLE.

    Way to go for affirming your children’s personhood above all else. They’re going to encounter insensitive, unthinking / reactionary people all their lives, but their primary opinion of themselves as they get older is and will be the one they consistently get from you. You are such a wonderful mom. Brava, classy lady!

  68. Kim says:

    Honestly, those comments from random clueless strangers never bothered me, my daughter had downs so i expected it. What peeves me off to point of using my fathers navy vocabulary was getting aaaall of those remarks from my sister in law and Grandmother. I responded to my sister in law with bitch you KNOW better once, and my husband backed me up. She kept her nursing school `experts` out if my way after that.

  69. Ariel says:

    First, I really love your articles and your offspring are so flippin’ adorable! Second, I can relate to having a rather petite child.

    My daughter is two and just now tripled her birth weight. I highly doubt she’ll be more than 30lbs by the time she is four.

    I was tired of the comments within months of her birth, especially the ones implying that I don’t feed her enough. It makes me feel like I am failing somewhere as a parent. She eats constantly throughout the day at the consistent rate of the speed of light, but she also Never. Stops. Moving. Ever. Even in her sleep she rolls around. So she is small because she always deposits the same if not more energy than she puts in everyday regardless of how much she gorges (and she gorges a lot) on food.

    Oh and she has small genes. Something no one seems notice when the comment on her size is that they have look down to talk to me. I am only 5’1 with a lean figure and her dad is 5’7 with a petite figure for a man. Odds are she will be petite and lean like us. That is how genetics work, if the parents are small then most likely the offspring will be too.

    The comment that irked me the most was when my daughter was eight months old I took her clothing shopping with me – I had finally dropped enough weight to buy some new clothes – and I let her crawl around the dressing room lobby as I looked in the 180 mirror. A woman came in and spotted her crawling around then said, “OMG, she is so advanced! I have never seen a four month old crawl before!” I replied coolly with, “She is eight months old.” and the lady with much surprise said, “Really? She looks so small, she can’t be more than four months.” I really wanted to say, “Oh that’s right, I forgot I had the very traumatic cesarean birth four months ago not eight. My bad. Thanks for correcting me.” Luckily my mum was there helping out and reflected with, “Nope, she is just a petite eight months.”

    Now when people comment on her size I say, “Well I am pretty small so it makes sense” or “Her doctor says she is perfectly proportional.” There isn’t much more to comment when they realize they were being insulting.

  70. junipers says:

    My twin sister was smaller than I was & all I heard when we were growing up is: June is the big one, and Jane is the little one. Why couldn’t people just say June had blue eyes and Jane has brown? I’m 62yrs old & can remember how hurtful those words made me feel. People just don’t stop to think before they speak. My oldest daughter was big for her age and my youngest was tiny. People were so cruel to my oldest daughter & would tell us how tiny and adorable our youngest daughter was. I finally had to plug my ears so people couldn’t see the steam coming out of them! :) Both are beautiful and unique, just like your daughters are.

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