Friday, June 05, 2009

Tears and Fears

My baby girls, May 2009
[Note: Julia wore that same skirt above when she was 2-1/2 years old,
and the blouse on her first day of preschool two years ago at age 3.]

Today I took Julia to the pediatrician for her 5-year-old well-visit. They should really just call this check-up The Traumatizing Kindergarten-Shots Visit. Oh my, the tears and wailing and trembling and trauma! So sad. Julia had brought along her tiny pink Care Bear, and Genevieve and I both promised to hold her hands, but even so those awful shots were a total nightmare. Julia screamed and tried to roll herself off the examination table, and poor Genevieve gathered up all her wits and determination and willed herself to be the strong one, even though I could see her wincing in Julia's direction and furrowing her little toddler brow. Afterwards, Genevieve gave Julia a big hug and kept repeating in her little baby voice, "It OK, Doo-we-a! It not hurt a yong time! I hode yo' hand! I hug you!" So sweet, but small comfort to the five-year-old, who then had to go down to the lab for a finger prick to test her iron level as well. I swear poor Julia thought turning five was becoming the biggest rip-off imaginable. Three painful shots AND a finger prick? What the hell?

It's all okay now, though, because to make her feel better, I promised the girls we could have a picnic lunch outside when we got home, and that instead of regular cups of milk I would make them a smoothie drink with fresh strawberries and milk. Plus, later today we get to visit our CSA farm for the very first time and pick up our first farm-share box of vegetables, and the girls are super excited about that.

In other newly-five news, at Julia's check-up this morning I found out that my once-giant baby/toddler--bigger than all her peers back then, in the 90-some percentiles from six months on--is now a mere 35 pounds and 40-1/2 inches tall. That means she's at the 17th percentile for weight for her age, and the 15th for height--a peanut compared to all her little classmates.

I'm not used to having small children, but suddenly it's all making sense to me--scattered, unobservant me, who truly never noticed she's grown (ha! no pun intended) so small compared to her peers: the way her classmates all grew out of their nursery school t-shirts this year and hers still flaps below her fingertips; how she only recently mastered the two-wheeler-with-training-wheels and hanging upside down from the bar at tumbling class; how it's hard for her to run as fast and jump as far as other kids she knows; the way her grandparents buy her size 5T clothes and they're a mile too long; the fact that a friendly acquaintance we ran into recently mistakenly assumed she was still a year away from kindergarten.

Ah well. I don't mind her being small; if nothing else it keeps her in her clothes a heck of a lot longer and thus saves me money at Target. I just hope she can keep up with everyone else on the playground at kindergarten.


Tricia said...

It is strange that a baby so round and so plump ends up being the little one. I remember her cheeks as resembling balloons about to burst! She's such a beautiful little girl, regardless.

Shan said...

My friend Dawn, a doctor's wife, reminds me of how fluid these growth patterns often are in infancy, baby/toddlerhood, and preschoolerhood. So true! Some children take awhile before finding "their" place on the growth-curve chart. Then they often stay steady at a certain percentile for many years (growing, but remaining consistent in terms of how big/small they are compared to other children their age).

As for cheeks, they were both chubby babies, but Julia was much chubbier as a baby/toddler than Genevieve has ever been (Genevieve is currently wearing clothes that Julia wore when Julia was an entire year younger than Genevieve is), however Genevieve had the CRAZY cheeks! Everywhere I went, people commented on them, for at least her first year of life! :)

donna said...

Sorry to hear about the traumatic MD visit. How sweet was G, though? Awwww..

And I can totally relate to having small children. My son was a huge chubbo infant and now he's very small for his age. (As in, below the percentile chart. And if I told you he was 2 years younger than he really is, you would believe me. That is, until he opened his mouth.)