When Your Kid is the Big Kid
My youngest son turned 5 in January.
He’s smart, and funny, and really energetic.
He’s also 4’1.
Yep, that’s freaky big for a preschooler.
He’s the tallest kid in his class.
He’s the tallest kid on his soccer team, in his swim class, and in his gymnastics class. He’s the tallest kid on his football team, in his story class, and most places we go where other kids his age (or close) dwell.
Which is awesome.
Except it seems that most of the other parents don’t think so.
It started really when he was about 18 months old. He was tall then too and people used to give us “the look” when he’d cry for me to carry him. You know “the look”. The why-is-she-carrying-that-big-old-boy-like-he’s-a-baby look.
I wanted to scream, “BECAUSE HE IS! HE’S JUST A BABY!”
He didn’t look like one, and honestly he didn’t talk like one either (he learned to talk pretty early) so I get it. But he still was one and he acted like one, at least sometimes.
As he’s gotten older the judgy looks have continued. When he was drinking from a sippy cup at 2 while looking 4. Or, riding in a stroller at 3 while looking 6, with his feet dragging on the ground.
Now that he’s older, it’s in sports.
He’s faster and stronger and bigger than all of the other kids. He’s competitive, he’s athletic, and he loves playing sports. So, when he runs out on the field, passes all of the other children, and scores every goal of the game, we get “the look”.
Recently I had a dad approach me and question me about my son’s age, saying that he feels like he wants me to prove that my 5 year old is actually 5.
I kinda wanted to prove that I had a mean right hook, but instead I laughed. Because, really? I’m going to put my just-turned-5-year-old who still cries on the first day of practice and really only just shows up and plays hard for the promise of a post game snack, on a team below his actual age with kids that can’t keep up because…? One day, he will seem even more amazing than he already is?
Yeah, no. That’s what crazy people do.
And, I may be the mother of a freaky-big, crazy-fast 5-year-old with a wicked accurate left-footed goal kick, but I’m not crazy.
And, I’m not going to ask my son to stop doing well at something just because other parents don’t like it.
It’s not his fault that he came out big. And, he shouldn’t be punished because he’s got the size and motor skills of a seven year old (seriously, the average height of a 7 year old boy is 48 inches).
We constantly remind him to be gentle, to be careful of children around him, and to be polite and apologetic when he accidentally plows over someone.
But, what else can we do? Make him go easy on the smaller kids (which means all of them)? Hold him back to give the other kids a chance (unlikely, he’s a machine)?
Or, just ignore judgy parents and their birth certificate demanding ways?
Image via Amanda Rodriguez