Michael’s daycare lady now understands. She deals with it when other parents come to drop off and pick up their kids from her daycare. People are constantly commenting, “Oh, he’s so small!” when admiring Michael. Ahem.
The latest instance was as I waited for my dinner earlier. I was waiting outside, talking and playing with Michael, when a father carrying a baby in a carrier stopped and looked inside Michael’s car seat (which snaps into a stroller frame) and said those gratingly annoying words, “Oh, he’s so small!”
Oh, I’m sorry your 7-month-old is a GIGANTOR and you think my perfectly healthy, happy baby is small.
What exactly are these people trying to say? Are they trying to say, in not so many words, that I am not nourishing Michael adequately?
First off, Michael was a preemie. Michael was born at 3 pounds, 7 ounces a month early, but unlike most (fat) babies, he was born with his eyes wide open, curious and nosy as his own journalist parents. At 5 1/2 months, Michael is probably about 12 pounds, which apparently puts him below the fifth percentile. So what? So he’s not bigger or fatter than most babies? I see nothing wrong with that.
Here’s what’s important. Michael sees everything. He watches me as I get ready in the morning, following me from one side of the room to the other. He talks to us, in his baby babble. He’s beginning to grab at stuff and feel the textures he can get his hands on. He can keep his head and back up, straight and steady, and is now happily eating first stage solids (and in fact, I think he quite enjoyed the sweet peas I started him on). He can hold his head up and roll from his tummy to his back, easily. He’s now giggling when I tickle him.
So what if he’s “small?” I love him no less. He’s just as healthy and happy as any baby who’s in the “normal” percentile. And what if those percentiles just trend higher because babies are getting fatter?
I’m not entirely sure why people feel the need to make comments like, “Oh, he’s so small!” or “Oh, he’s so big!” I can’t remember ever making a comment like that about a baby who has no control whatsoever over his physical size. So, since the baby doesn’t have any control over his or her size or weight, they must be making some backhanded statement on the parents’ ability to take care of their child. And seeing as how Michael is as healthy as he is, and seems to be making his milestones like most kids and not like a preemie, all you people who want to blurt out, “Oh, he’s so small!” can just shut your trap.
My son is just perfect. Your baby might just be fat.