Don’t You Feed Her?

Just wondering at what point is it no longer laughable/amusing/appropriate for strangers to comment on my daughter’s size? So really what I’m asking is: When is it socially appropriate for me to stare at these people until they feel awkward about approaching me with their size-judgements? Because, seriously, shut up!

Jay is in the 90th percentile for weight and 93rd percentile for height. So, she is proportionately large. But she isn’t off the charts for a 12 month-old. And she doesn’t look like I picked her from the baby patch in the Land of Giants.

Yes, we are in the grocery store checkoout line and she is staring you down with the meanest mug you’ve ever seen, so you feel compelled to say SOMETHING. Here are some appropriate responses to awkward baby-stares: Ignore her, smile, ask me if I’m her nanny, ask me how old she is. But  shut up about her size for the love of all of the gods!!

Normal-sized kid

Last week, a complete stranger asked me, in earnest, what I was feeding my baby because she was so huge. He looked concerned. I sort of chuckled and said, “Yes, she is a big baby” and died inside. He wasn’t satisfied though; twice more he asked me what I fed Jay because I did not start listing foods as I was loading groceries onto the checkout counter. Well, sir, I feed her a big heaping of none-of-your-business! Good day! His wife actually stepped in and told me I had a beautiful daughter and ushered her husband out of the store. Lady had my back.

At the grocery store this week, a different man smiled kindly and said, “Don’t you ever feed that girl?” I laughed and said, “Yeah, I know she is a big girl!” He wasn’t trying to be mean. That was his way of reaching out and making a connection, I think. But still, why do I have to keep having this conversation? Let’s talk about the weather?  Jay’s gorgeous blue eyes? Her dubious stare?

I think this questioning bothers me so much because I spend a lot of my time planning Jay’s meals and making sure she is eating nutrient-rich and healthy foods. We don’t do juice, and I avoid sugar whenever I can because she gets plenty in fruit. She loves veggies and protein and eats what amounts to a balanced diet at the end of the day.

My daughter is only 1-years-old and I don’t want her growing up with any size label, be it “big” or “small.” But even as I write this I realize that is an unrealistic hope. Can we at least push off these size-labels until middle school?

I am part of the problem when I’m socially-laughing and confirming everyone’s view that my child is “so big.” Why am I apologizing or explaining my daughter’s size to anyone? She is healthy, happy, eats an amazing variety of good foods, and is thriving. So be warned, I’m done talking about my daughter’s size with strangers.

Man: What a GINORMOUS kid you have!

Me: It IS a gorgeous day out! Enjoy the apple harvest!


18 responses to “Don’t You Feed Her?

  1. People are awful sometimes, but hopefully, you’ll be able to laugh about it later. Once, this happened: (Entry from my old baby blog.) People be crazy.

  2. Don’t let them get to you. She is nothing but tall & gorgeous! \o/

    • I try not to. It didn’t at all bother me when she was a chubby, giant baby. But I think as she gets older and I recognize that she is picking up on words, it makes me more concerned.
      Also, I’ve now substituted “tall & gorgeous” into Wiz Khalifa’s song “Black & Yellow.” So thank you! ;)

      • Haha! You’re welcome! Now I have a new ear worm! This new trend of strangers thinking they can comment on other people’s children etc is most annoying tho’. I think they think real life is still social media!

  3. I get the same thing with E all the time. Strangers tell me how big he is, and that he looks like he’s at least 18 months old. Thank you?? He certainly does love food (um, hi, look at his mother), but I don’t think he’s abnormally large, and even if he were, how on earth is it someone else’s place to comment on that?!

    I find myself justifying his weight to other people (“don’t worry, he eats three balanced meals a day…”), but really, why should I have to? Unless you see my 1 year old eating a bucket of fried chicken unsupervised, shut your mouth. :)

  4. So strange. It’s always something! People are just downright weird. Our daughter doesn’t have a ton of hair, so people just always assume that we have twin boys, even though one is in pink with a hair bow.

    • I was the same way — a bald girl for ages. My mom tied a pink bow around my head because there wasn’t enough hair to attach a bow onto and people still called me a boy. She was traumatized by it. I now have more hair on my head than 20 women combined.

  5. Two of my children were so small that it was a concern. When I see large babies, I look on in admiration and think “Good job!”

  6. Next time just tell them you feed her people who comment on her size.

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