When people look at our 4-year-old, they most likely do not see a typical 4-year-old.
She weighs more than our 10-year-old daughter.
She is taller than most 5-year-olds. Alas, she is 4.
Not only that, but she also has Expressive Speech Disorder.
So, you can imagine the looks we get out in public with her. Why?
Because her Thyroid Disease makes her appear much older than she is.
But her speech disorder makes her seem younger. It’s one of those times where size does not matter.
Size Does Not Matter
What do I mean by that? Well, take a recent situation at a local fast-food restaurant.
We decided to let the girls go into the play area since there were not many kids there.
In fact, by the time we finished our meal, there was only one other little girl in there.
She actually got up from her ice cream specifically to go play with our girls. So, she wanted to play with them.
And that is just what they did.
Now, the father of said girl spent the entire time we were there in the corner of the restaurant never even looking up from his phone.
I watched the girls play the entire time and even told the employee cleaning the tables that the man went to get ice cream so as not to throw his drinks away.
I just thought it would be a nice gesture.
In the meantime, our girls had gone back to play and his daughter took 2 bites of her ice cream and was off to be with our daughters.
They played a game of tag and laughed as they did.
At one point, the little girl, most likely 4 or 5 as well, began to climb on the outside of the play equipment. I watched diligently to make sure our girls did not follow suit.
But, our 4-year-old saw feet. Ohhhh… she has a thing for feet. She loves to tickle.
Now, I forgot to mention above that she also has Sensory Processing Disorder. Personal space means nothing to her.
She LOVES contact.
Apparently, this other little girl didn’t. Totally understandable.
So when our daughter reached up to tickle her feet, the little girl started screaming. Like she was dying.
The moment I noticed our daughter reaching for her foot, I sent Colby in since he was closest to the door.
Well, as soon as the little girl began screaming, her dad put his phone down and flew into the play place as well (as he should have).
Almost taking Colby out. Our daughter had no idea what was wrong.
But this man gave my daughter the worst look he possibly could have. You know, one of those “if looks could kill” types.
Not cool, Man. Not cool.
- My daughter is 4 years old. She may appear bigger than your daughter, but I assure you that her mind is not.
- My husband apologized for our daughter’s actions. She doesn’t understand that not everyone likes their feet tickled. You offered nothing back.
- We gathered our things to leave in order to explain to her why she couldn’t tickle her friends. You sat in the play area telling your daughter things that, by your staring glances, were probably not nice about our baby.
- We walked away quietly while you passed judgment on our daughter. You never accepted the apology. You would have known the innocence of what occurred had you been watching our girls play together as I had. Instead, you made no attempt to ask what happened or to explain to your little girl that ours meant no harm.
I can only guess that our daughter’s size led you to believe she would know better. Why this assumption?
We get it often. I see our daughter cast aside by her own peers.
Other children her age tend to shy away from her. Her size can be intimidating. I get that.
But it pains me to no end to see my baby cast aside. She has come to learn to entertain herself. She often has to.
It breaks my heart.
If you talk to her, you will understand how hard she works to communicate.
Her year and a half worth of speech therapy is really paying off and she has made tremendous strides.
Her recent illnesses and non-stop movement have helped her to slim down a bit. Her doctor has done tests on her bones and blood to check for growth abnormalities. Nothing.
She is just a big girl.
So, before you go judging someone by their outside appearance… realize one thing. Size does not matter. What does matter is the size of the heart inside that body.
And our daughter?
She has a pretty big one. We have taught her to love unconditionally and to call others “Friends” when she can. Too bad others cannot teach their children to do the same.