I love my Facebook newsfeed. I’ve “liked” all manner of sites – from the cute to the crazy to the thoughtful – so trawling through it each day is a fascinating treasure trove.
Yesterday, a story called 8 Things My Very Tall Daughter Can Expect popped into my feed.
It caught my eye because I have a very tall daughter of my own. In fact, she officially overtook me in the centimetre stakes this week.
Now there’s a freaky milestone: I have an 11-year-old who is over 167cm tall (around 5ft 6in), wears size 10 shoes and shops for size 8 adult clothes.
Once upon a time I had a shoe obsession and saved all my favourite pairs for her. No dice, she grew out of them last year, far too early to progress to heels.
We are going to a party next week and I was fretting over what she should wear. So I dug around in an old bag of clothes from the days when I was editing Singapore CLEO magazine and found a satin peacock print skirt and top for her to wear. Fitted like a glove.
The eldest was born big – 4.3kg – and never slowed down. She’s always been off the blue book charts. We have no idea where it comes from: her grandparents are all tiny. I’m average height and her dad isn’t unusually tall at 5ft 11in.
But she doesn’t seem bothered by being an Amazon. One of her best friends is around half her size and they’re quite zen about the height difference.
Anyway, back to the Tall Daughter post.
It brought back so many memories.
1. You will experience a series of minor disappointments
You will outgrow your tricycle after only riding it once.
You won’t be able to go on kiddie rides at the amusement park.
Your gymnastics career will be short-lived.
That purple jacket you loved now ends a full three inches above your wrist.
No one will want to give you piggyback rides.
And I’ve looked for weeks, but those Dora the Explorer light-up sneakers you covet don’t come in your size. Sorry, hon.
Sorry for it all.
She is gutted that all her favourite clothes don’t fit her … and my back still hasn’t recovered from the attempted piggyback rides.
4. People will think you are older than you are
As you toddle around in your diaper, carry your stuffed animal everywhere and enjoy the occasional temper tantrum in a mall parking lot, you are unknowingly besieged with confused glances. “She’s, um, still wearing diapers?” people ask me pointedly. And when I clue them in that you are only 2 years old, their eyes widen and their jaws drop. “TWO?!!! I thought she was in kindergarten!” After my twentieth “she’s tall for her age,” people still look at me like I’m trying to sneak a ringer into a peewee game.
That was my daughter’s early childhood, filled with older kids and other parents expecting far too much from her. To be honest, even her own parents did. She was an early talker, so I’d find myself having full-on arguments with a two-year-old and only belatedly (and guiltily) realising how wrong that was.
Now she’s taller than me. And looks like she’s 14. And sleeps like she’s 16 (think 11.30am on weekends … see pic above). And reads like she’s 15.
At her parent-teacher interview her teacher agreed that she was more in the year nine category for The Premier’s Reading Challenge. She’s currently engrossed in The Restaurant At The End of the Universe.
I just put in her high school preference form. But I can’t say “Oh my god, I can’t believe my little girl is going to high school next year!”
Because she’s never been little and certainly isn’t now.
Still, the high school thing blows my mind.
Song of the day: No Doubt “I’m just a girl”