Does Size Matter?Posted: July 14, 2014
The origin of this post is actually last night’s post, when I was crafting Rainbow Fish’s birth announcement. I had originally planned to inform you of his length and weight (I’m guessing 1.5 inches and 1 ounce). But I took it out because I don’t love birth announcements with weight and height info. Maybe this is because my two children combined barely topped eight pounds. But I also feel like we fixate way too much on children’s size in general, and it sets us up for a life of judging other people’s sizes. Except we all at least know it’s not polite to do that with adults. There’s a weird value judgement attached to baby size, but it’s the inverse of grown-up: everyone wants their kids fat and their adults skinny. And it’s crap. We can fix this in two ways:
1) I can say, “Oh my god, guys, can you believe that I’m 95%ile for height and 25%ile for weight? Isn’t that crazy?!” [Note: I actually looked this up]. And you can all want to pelt me with rotten fruit, which is rotten because I’d rather eat candy but I’m genetically lucky to be someone who loses weight by breastfeeding.
2) We can stop talking about kids’ size all the time, and stop idealizing fat babes and skinny adults. Neither are an accomplishment. Everyone is different. Stop calling my kids peanuts and I won’t call yours Mack trucks. And let’s stop talking about (or secretly judging) each other’s bodies, too.
But, now that I’ve ranted about this, I have to tell you that I also hate these sensitivity memes. Like 10 things to never say to an anxious person, or 10 things you should never say to a sober person, or 10 things never to say to your Uzbek neighbor. It’s not that I don’t like sensitivity. In fact, I’m politically correct and proud. It never hurts to be nice or to be sensitive to others’ needs. But you can’t assume that all sober people, anxious people, or Uzbeks are the same or have the same needs, and assuming you shouldn’t say certain things to them takes away their ability to speak up for themselves and make their own personal needs known. There might be a list of ten things never to say to a preemie parent (I’ve heard lots of horrid things, including, “Nice for you because you didn’t gain lots of weight, right?”). Obviously not a great thing to say. But I had the opportunity to educate that guy. And to tell him that I weighed more when I gave birth to my preemie than when I gave birth to my almost term baby, and that no, it was not nice, because my kid almost died and spent four months in the hospital. In general, I like to share about my experience and I don’t want some HuffPo writer telling people what they can’t say to me.
Even thought I spent the first half of this post telling you not to talk about kidsize or adultsize. But I’m not telling you what you can’t say to certain people. I’m telling you to get over your obsession with size and focus on something interesting, like books or cheese or why I can’t stop wearing mildly skanky outfits on public play dates with my dear gal pal Rocky (a supermom and ass-kicking boxer who totally rocks.)
What self-respecting thirty-six year old mom wears tall boots and short shorts to the park, or a strapless dress to an indoor playground?
That’s right: Deine Hipster Hausfrau