Wednesday, September 10, 2008

How old is she?

I'm enjoying being the mom to a 1st grader. Our day is somehow more relaxed when we don't have to rush lunch time for half school days. His first tooth is loose, which is major exciting! He can hardly wait to start getting his grown up teeth because that'll mean he's that much closer to being an adult (his words) and I can hardly believe I have a child old enough to be losing his teeth. Because he's away from home all day, he's actually excited to see me at the end of the day when I pick him up. Last year, he would be upset when he saw me and complain that I'd come to get him...every single day. The boys don't fight as much either, since they're not together as much.

Of course, it's not without it's growing pains. He really misses home now, which came out a couple days ago when he pretended to be sicker than he was so that he could go home early. Then the next day I got a call saying that he'd jumped in a puddle he'd been told to avoid and was sopping wet. Being the mean mom that I am and that Nate was sleeping...I told them to let him sit in his wetness...which he did.

All in all, so far so good.

Yesterday, as I was waiting in the hallway with Nate and Finny for Will to be dismissed from class, some of the other mom's were chatting. They started chatting about the 8 month old that was there and how big she was, etc, etc. Finny was restless, so I put her down to do her tummy crawl on the floor. As she wriggled herself across the shiny school floor, the baby's mom asked me the dreaded question, "How old is she?" This is an innocent question. One that I've asked other parents many, many times. An ice breaker, I guess. But, I've come to hate it.


Why do I hate telling people how old my daughter is? It's not because I'm embarrassed of her delays and issues. It's not because I mind people knowing about her. Heck I talk about it here all the time. I've been wondering for a while why I hate it so much and I think it's because it pulls me out of normalcy. Finleigh doesn't have a severe, physically obvious abnormality. She looks like a normal 8 or 9 or 10 month old so you know that's what people are thinking when they ask. And we can get away with looking normal. And then you pull out the age and people look at her and then you and then her again trying to make sense of what I just said. Then they smile politely and the conversation stops because, well, we're not normal. Sometimes I expand and say that she's delayed or she was premature (which is only a half truth and not at all why she is the way she is). If people guess her age, often I tell them they're right and we move on. It's just such a long involved thing to explain and since she doesn't have the tube in her nose constantly, people are surprised and frankly don't usually want to know.

So when the mom yesterday asked me how old she was, I know she was comparing Finny to her own daughter and I knew that she was thinking they were very close to the same age. "19 months," I said. Silence. One of the moms said something about her crawling around and the whole group stood around awkwardly. I didn't expand because I don't like feeling like I have to make excuses for her all the time and I didn't know how to say it. I likely should have because all the moms will be wondering, but I just left it at that. She is 19 months (18 corrected) and if they want to know more, they can ask. Which I'm sure they won't.

I can be kind of a jerk, can't I?


  1. I think you are doing a great job, Amanda. You are not a jerk! And as you said if they want to know more then they will ask.

  2. you are not a jerk. sometimes it is a beating to have to explain.

    i get the same thing with kirstyn over and over because she looks so much older than she is but she acts 4. when i say "she's 4", they always go "wow, she's big". then kirstyn's feelings are hurt because she thinks big = fat not big = tall. ugh. very hard balance for me and i now find myself correcting strangers, when they say big, i say tall like her daddy. (she started pre-k at 47 1/2 inches and 58 lbs).

  3. I don't think you need to explain at all. There is always going to be those rude people who say the wrong thing or give you "that look". You just need to do whatever you think is best is those situations.

  4. ah honey, I feel for you. People are constantly looking at me with questions in their eyes about Aiden. I hate it.