Monday, April 16, 2007

Too Petite

J is small for her age but not alarmingly so - at least up to now. I do worry about it sometimes but tell myself she'll catch up soon. I have to admit that it is important to me that she "catches up". Reading one mom's heartfelt post about her tiny daughter struck a very painful chord. J's doctor commends me on keeping her off processed and junk food, on taking the time to prepare wholesome home cooked meals - specially for giving J only organic dairy products. Apparently, I am doing all the right things and J is doing just great. She clings to the height and weight charts almost precariously which the doctor assures me is does not factor race.

Yet when I go to her school, J is the tiniest person in the whole class. Even elsewhere, I notice other Asian and Indian kids her age are a lot bigger than her. What is more they also seem to be more mature in a social setting. For the longest time, I had attributed that to J's lack of exposure to popular culture. While she can be precocious at home, she adopts this almost "baby persona" around these bigger looking kids - probably her strategy for fitting in.

For the most part the kids in her class take her under their wing and baby her because she is the youngest and the smallest among them. J seems to find it comforting and suffocating by turn. I have noticed that she gets along very well with older kids who like her are smaller than average - with them she is more her natural self. Being taller than average myself, I have no idea how it is to feel like a "ballet dancer among basket ball players" all the time. I lack J's world view and in as such the ability to help her rise above her challenge.

No comments: