When I talk about my son on my blog, I often refer to him as the little guy. He is our youngest, so "little" seems to come naturally. He'll always be our little baby boy. The thing about O is - he actually is little. He was born reasonably big, at just over 4kg. I had gestational diabetes, so we'll never know if he was meant to be big or diabetes got in the way. But quite soon after he was born, he plateaued and he slid off the charts. You know, those all important charts that they plot your baby's growth on.
We've had him checked by a paediatrician and he suspects O will go through late onset puberty (which I probalby did too, when I look back on it).
It's only it in the last 6-12 monthst that he has had a bit of a growth spurt and as of last week at his four year old check up, he's on the chart. His height sits at the 25th percentile and his weight it at around the tenth percentile. In reality, this means he is quite a bit smaller than his friends.
His stature is just part of our decision to hold him back from school for another year. School is a long, long journey and it's not just abbout being ready now (which he isn't). What about when he's at highschool? Late onset puberty is not fun, but as a girl I could stuff socks in to my bra and shave my legs. I'm thinking it would be more difficult for a boy. So we're hoping that he'll be older but around the same level of development as his friends.
Now, I felt good about this decision. I still do. But you know what? Something I'm quickly leanring, is that teasing starts young. Very young. Just yesterday, a girl in his class was teasing him, "you're small, you're small". O was pushing her and yelling back "I'm not small, I'm big".
So here it begins. How we do we help him? How do we give him strength to be big inside himself? To know it is OK to be different? To know the value of himself, and not to worry about his size?
My heart breaks, as does any parent I'm sure, to think their child is different and may suffer teasing as a result.
He is strong, agile and keeps up with his friends. He is emotional, loving and so funny. Seriously, would you look at him?