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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