2 unrelated things

February 6, 2014

does she sense something?
i got the saddest report today from a’s daycare/preschool [she attends for half the day]: they said she’s basically been acting sad and crying off and on all week.  and that when they go to console her she is supersensitive and doesn’t want to be touched.


that so does not sound like her usual self!  there are definitely moments of that kind of touchiness [often after waking up from a nap but not being fully awake — i call it the zombie period] but i’ve never seen it last.  and our nanny agrees she hasn’t noticed anything either.

anyway, of course one of the teachers asked our nanny when i get home from work and suggested that maybe annabel misses me*.  so:  now i feel horribly guilty AND sad.  part of me feels like this cannot be the issue — while she is not with me all day, she and our nanny have a great relationship and the time she DOES have with me is so focused and one-on-one [unfortunately .  . . going to change a bit.  but it hasn’t yet!].

has anyone ever been through this at a similar developmental age — or do you think she really might sense that big change is in the air?

i like to think i am incredibly careful about keeping work out of this blog.  after all, privacy is of utmost importance.  however, i think one recent interesting moment is nonspecific enough to share.

i was giving someone a ‘height prediction’ over the phone — often done by comparing a bone age [hand X-ray] with a child’s current height.  the algorithms are old-school, but generally give a good estimate.  today, i was making a routine call and told someone that the predicted final height of their [female] child looked to be about 5’0 – 5’1″.

[ie: my height]

and after a long pause, the mother said she was in tears.  she did pull herself together, but i have to admit her reaction threw me for a huge loop.

first of all, i was slightly shocked!   was she implying that there really something inherently terrible about being a female** on the low-but-still-normal end of the growth chart?

second of all, i was slightly taken aback regarding my own stature.  her reaction was so visceral and surprising***!  i wondered if it means that i look like a pygmy to most people?  do people think that being on the short side means less life success, less happiness, or even less physical attractiveness?

then, i realized — quite happily — that i have never really disliked being short at all.  aside from having to hem things, i don’t even see it as a negative.  and there are plenty of vain physical things i’d change about my appearance if i could do so with a magic wand on a whim — but adding a couple of extra inches wouldn’t even particularly appeal to me, were it possible.

anyway, it was just a very interesting moment.  it also reminded me of the importance of accepting children for who they are in multiple dimensions.  baby boy might get mostly MY genes and end up short.  annabel may have grow up to have preferences and hobbies that i despise.  but the major things that matter are health, kindness, and happiness.  and self-confidence is important, too — which is probably easier to cultivate if parents aren’t aghast at the idea of a height that is below the mean.

* she might have said annabel’s ‘parents’, but let’s be real, we all knew who they were likely to be thinking of . . .

** or male, but that’s another post for another day

*** especially because she herself was not all that much taller than that prediction

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