I've been very quiet haven't I? -
Sorry about that - you know how it is, life and all...
I'm going a bit 'off topic' from sewing today - to chat about the way the world works, or my world at least.
Size, or more correctly, height, is a much discussed issue here in my home.
Why you may wonder??
Well, my husband is 195cm tall (6 foot 5 inches for you non-metric folk!) and my two five year old daughters are 127 and 123 cm while their three year old sister is 106 cm tall.
(That's 4'; 4' 2" and 3' 5" respectively).
They are all TALL for their age, quite tall in the case of Miss A - the tallest of them all.
Well above average and off the standard scales.
|Gorgeous illustration from here|
My problem with this is not the way people speak to my children as though they are older, they and I manage that OK; or the daily conversations I have about why they are having a "day off school" when in fact they are only kindergarten kids, or even the many jokes about what I must be feeding them - but the fact that people insist on saying, usually in a loud voice within earshot of my intelligent and literate child, "She's so BIG", when they hear her age.
"She is very TALL" I say, "quite tall for her age".
And that is the truth - my girls are all tall, long skinny beanpoles.
I know that and I love it, it's part of the reason I sew for them - so they can have age appropriate clothes that actually fit them properly. (nothing to do with my fabric obsession).
But they are not at all BIG for their height.
If they were then I doubt people would comment - as it's considered impolite to call someone big or fat if they are.
Growing up as a tall girl playing basketball I was constantly referred to as one of the 'big girls' - and it is only now, with hindsight, that I can say it does have an impact on the way a young girl thinks of and views herself.
I've always accounted for my weight being above the standard scale as being OK because I am a 'big' girl, that's just the way I was made I say to myself.
It's probably accounted for the fact that as I gained weight I felt it was OK to do so - after all that was the way I was meant to be.
And it works in reverse I can assure you.
I have friends whose children are small for their age - and are constantly bombarded with comments about how tiny they are, or are treated like a 'baby' or much younger child than they are, generally in a patronising manner.
I guess what I am saying is, take care in the way you communicate with people, especially children and young people.
They see, hear and understand much more than we often give them credit for and what you think is an offhand comment, they may have already had said to them ten times that day.
And it all sinks in.
They are trying to discover who they are and what you say to them shapes that.
Don't get me wrong - I am not bothered by people who comment that my children are tall, they are, we're fine with that.
But if one more person in the street declares them to be "SOOO BIIIIG", I may just turn my motherly wrath upon them!
What is your experience??
Are you exceptionally tall or short or do you have some other prominent physical characteristic on which people seem to define you??
How do you deal with it??
I'd love to hear your experiences.
I'll get down off my soapbox now!
I promise to show you some sewing soon - there's been a little bit getting done - not a lot, but a little.