Passionate About Boston
and the Moms Who Live Here

I Have a Very Big Kid

silhouettes of children, 1 taller than the rest

My son Aaron is incredibly delicious.

He is hilarious, snuggly, sweet, energetic, beautiful, and all boy. He has eyelashes people pay thousands for and a mop of thick, heavy hair. He wakes up ready to go, but he also loves to curl up and read or be read to. He loves exploring new places and being a doting big brother. He loves all animals and superheroes. He is very much a boy. My little boy.

Except he’s not so little.

Aaron was born a respectable 7 pounds, 1 ounce. He grew at a normal rate and always fit into age-appropriate clothing. But around his first birthday, the growth spurts started — and they haven’t stopped! Aaron began to tower over all of his friends. He grew taller and taller. All of his pants got too short. His shirts became belly shirts. We went shopping for more clothes. Again. And he keeps on growing. My husband and I aren’t exceptionally tall people, yet Aaron is off the charts for height and has been for years. At the age of 4.5,  he’s wearing clothes made for a 7-year-old.

firstdaycamp

There are no concerns from my doctor, thankfully — he’s just a big kid. But I’m starting to notice that Aaron sometimes can’t quite find his place. He loves his friends in his class and at camp. LOVES them. They are his peers and are socially and emotionally his equals. Except he is a full head taller than some of them!

It’s where Aaron isn’t an equal that things get a little tricky. For example, at the playground older kids will want to play with him because they think he is their age. Aaron can’t quite hang, though. They use words and expressions he doesn’t understand and play games with rules too complicated for him. A volunteer at the aquarium will approach him and attempt to explain things way beyond his comprehension. He doesn’t quite get it, but they assume he’s older — and therefore a little wiser.

Parents look at me with concern and questions in their eyes when Aaron can’t maneuver the bigger kids’ playground with as much ease as kids his size. I find myself defending him — “Well, he’s only 4.”

When adults speak to Aaron and he doesn’t respond the way an older child should, I get those looks. “He’s only 4 years old,” I say.

Those times he’s a bit confused by directions that are a little too advanced, I find myself saying, “Aaron, did you tell this nice lady how old you are?”

I don’t know why I care. He’s big — so what? To me, he’s just my little boy. My really tall little boy. One day the growth spurts will slow down, and he’ll be the same size as his friends. He’ll know where he fits in, and he won’t have to question whether he can or should play with certain kids, or which playground is a more appropriate fit. Until then, we’ll do our best to  make him comfortable in his own skin. He’s proud to be “really, really tall,” and we hope he continues knowing how special he is, no matter his size.

 

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31 Responses to I Have a Very Big Kid

  1. Erica August 6, 2015 at 11:48 am #

    My first 3 sons were always off the charts for height from age 1. They have experienced much of what you describe. People expect more from them since they are so tall and look older. It actually got trickier as they aged. My 14 yr old is 6’1″ and needs to shave so he is often mistaken for 16+. My 16 yr old finally stopped growing (we think) and many of his friends caught up so now he doesn’t stand out in a crowd as much

    • Boston Moms Blog
      Boston Moms Blog August 6, 2015 at 12:02 pm #

      I’m so glad others know what it’s like. There’s nothing you can do about it, and you hope it doesn’t bother them either!

  2. Katherine August 6, 2015 at 12:24 pm #

    One of my brothers was just huge (he was even born huge). People always thought he and I were twins because even though I was older, we were similar sizes when we were young. By seventh grade he was already 6’3″, my parents were worried he would become a height that would make his life harder than it had to be, but then he just stopped. He got all his height by 7th grade. Meanwhile my other brother who was always just average size is now the tallest brother.

    By the way, my daughter went to school with Aaron before you moved. He does absolutely have the most incredible eyelashes!

    • Boston Moms Blog
      Boston Moms Blog August 6, 2015 at 12:41 pm #

      Isn’t that crazy how it works out?

      Thank you! Who is your daughter?

      • Katherine August 6, 2015 at 12:48 pm #

        Rosemary

  3. Linda August 6, 2015 at 12:28 pm #

    We have a daughter that is off the charts. She is 2.5 and looks 4 or 5. What you are describing is 100% true. People think it’s weird that I’m buying 5 in girl’s clothes for my 2.5 year old and treat her like she is that age. She always ends up playing with older kids and doesn’t quite fit in. Luckily she is very social and smart, but there are times when I do feel for her. I know eventually it will change, but it is tough to be so big when you are little.

    • Boston Moms Blog
      Boston Moms Blog August 6, 2015 at 12:41 pm #

      it’s hard not to hurt for them, even though they don’t get it!

  4. Melissa Ryan August 6, 2015 at 12:44 pm #

    How tall is your son? My son just turned four in May and is 45 inches. He towers over most of his friends too. It was particularly bad at two when he was acting like a two year old but the size of a four year old.

    • Boston Moms Blog
      Boston Moms Blog August 6, 2015 at 12:45 pm #

      45 inches as well. He turns 5 in October. I get it!

  5. Bplusboston August 6, 2015 at 1:17 pm #

    Totally get it! My little guy is off the charts already and is only 1.5. Older kids at the playground always try to play with him and then wonder why he can’t talk (or just shouts “rock” and “truck” and nothing more). I always want to pipe up “he’s only 1.5!”

    The good/bad news is that my teacher friend has said that grown ups will always expect more from him because of his size. I think we often underestimate kids, so I’m hoping he continually rises to the occasion. Plus, when all else fails, I remind myself that most CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are 6 foot tall or higher 🙂

  6. Kelly August 6, 2015 at 1:50 pm #

    My best friend goes through this with her 2 year old. Even I sometimes have to remind myself he is only 2!

    • Boston Moms Blog
      Boston Moms Blog August 6, 2015 at 2:30 pm #

      I sometimes have to remind myself Aaron is only 4!

  7. Kate in Western MA August 6, 2015 at 2:19 pm #

    This is MY FOUR YEAR OLD!! I could have written this same blog post and I know I’ve complained about this exact “issue” to my friends. Teddy was born at 7 lbs. 14 oz (his lowest weight was 6 lbs. 6 oz) – today he stands a little more than 47-inches and 60-lbs. Sadly he also has a speech disorder; which just add to the looks. (He even has the super incredible eyelashes.) Reading this post made me smile and cry.

    • Boston Moms Blog
      Boston Moms Blog August 6, 2015 at 2:30 pm #

      I’m so glad you can relate! Boys and their eyelashes, right?

      Aaron’s got a bit of a speech problem too, so I’m right there with you!

  8. Emily Oman August 6, 2015 at 3:13 pm #

    My daughter was born 11 lbs 3 oz, 21.5 inches long. She is now a little past 2 years old and 37 inches tall, 34 lbs, wearing a size 5t+. She is not fat, just tall with chubby baby thighs. People always think she is older than she is and when I tell them she’s only 2, they make the “wow, big girl” and “she looks like she’s at least 4” comments. She also has a speech delay so I get weird looks when other people are around and think she’s mute or something. I worry for her self-esteem when she gets a little older. I don’t want her to develop any insecurities because of her size, but advertising and the media all say differently.

  9. Anita August 6, 2015 at 3:53 pm #

    My son turned 16 in March. He has always been tall. In January of this year, he became critically, near fatally ill with a staph infection that lead to septic shock and, ultimately, to open heart surgery and aortic valve replacement. And yet, he continues to grow! Currently, he is a breath away from 6’11” and has size 19 EEEE feet! Finding ANYTHING that fits (and very little does) is no easy task. I have written to professional basketball players and their managers – trying to just fine places for us to buy clothes, shoes and socks. Sadly, none have been very helpful. I’ve spent hours researching clothing online, only the come away frustrated and realize that Big & Tall means mostly BIG. I can find pants with a 60″ waist, but nothing longer than a 38″ inseam. “Big” size socks MIGHT go to size 17. It’s a never-ending challenge!

    • Boston Moms Blog
      Boston Moms Blog August 6, 2015 at 4:28 pm #

      I’m so glad to hear he came through all that healthy…and growing!

  10. Elizabeth August 6, 2015 at 4:25 pm #

    I could have written this 2 years ago about my daughter! She’s now 6 and stands almost to my shoulders at 52″. She just started first grade at public school and I worry about the older kids on the school bus, but so far she’s doing okay. She’s always been really eloquent, which almost made it harder because older kids couldn’t understand why she looked & talked like them but was too immature/inexperienced to play their games.

  11. S Jones August 6, 2015 at 7:18 pm #

    Totally understand this! My 3.5 yr old daughter has been wearing 5/6 clothes for months…things her 7yr old sister wore last year! She experiences many of the things you described. She also has a speech delay where her enunciation is not quite up to her peers, which many people think is worse than it is, just because they think she is older. I

    ts frustrating to hear people say, “Wow! What a BIG girl!”. She’s not big! She’s slender and trim…and tall.

  12. Cara August 6, 2015 at 10:27 pm #

    This is great, thanks for writing! My daughter is 2.3 and was 37″ at 2. She has a large vocabulary and is mistaken for 3-4. It doesn’t help that she’s cautious physically, so at playgrounds people get confused. I try to encourage her, but it’s hard. I’m 6’1 and was about 36″ at a year! My mom has a picture of me where I look 3 and it says 9 months. Needless to say, my childhood was challenging! In 4th grade, I was as tall as my teacher. Height seems to be more common, so at least finding clothes should be easier as our big kids get bigger!

  13. Sarah August 8, 2015 at 2:09 am #

    I can so relate! My little boy just turned 6 yesterday, and at his kindergarten physical he measured 51″ and 75lbs! Fortunately he is very gentle with smaller children and can also hang with older kids, but I worry about him standing out so much in school and people having higher expectations of him. He was 8lb 14oz and 21.5″ at birth, but measured within normal limits until after his first birthday. The growth spurts are never-ending! I just hope he feels comfortable in his own skin as well.

  14. Grace August 9, 2015 at 10:37 pm #

    All 3 of my kids are super tall and have been big since birth (my husband is 6’4″). The hardest part was with my middle child. She was a late talker and at age 2 had yet to have spoken more then a handful of words. She, however, could pass for a 3 1/2 year old easily. People would talk to her all the time and then look offended when she didn’t answer. I had to explain that she was only two and didn’t know how to talk yet.

  15. Beth JoJack August 10, 2015 at 11:44 am #

    We have a Facebook group called Parents of 90th+ Percentile Babies/Toddlers/Children. Mostly we just vent about having to buy new pants and the weird things strangers say to us. Please join.

  16. CC August 10, 2015 at 3:33 pm #

    this is my sweet boy as well! he’s 3.5 and i’m about to start breaking out the 6’s i have for him! i think he grew about 2 inches in the last 2 months. and like most of you, he has speech issues. slow to start with speech and also very cautious on playgrounds. older kids ask why he does this or that, and i just tell them, even though he is your size he is still 2-3 younger than you. i joke that he will be taller than me by the time he hits junior high and taller than his daddy (6’4″) by freshman year. i do not look forward to the days where i have to buy new clothes/shoes 2 months after just buying him the same thing. too the tall little ones out there!!!!!!

  17. Liz D August 11, 2015 at 12:21 pm #

    So glad I’m not the only one dealing with this! My son will turn 2 in just a couple weeks and has been wearing 4t pants since he was 15 months old! (And they’re starting to get a little tight on him) He has been tall ever since he was born and it hurts when I hear older kids at the playground refer to him as “the giant baby”. He’s still so little to me!

  18. Amanda August 11, 2015 at 2:24 pm #

    I totally get this! Our twin boys will also be 5 in October, and they have always been off the charts. J is bigger than L, so somehow L feels like a runt even though he is at the top of the growth chart. I have definitely experienced the struggle with people assuming they are older because they are bigger, but I have also run into problems with kids who are the same age but smaller. J is a little overly physical, and I worry that he will wrestle with smaller kids and hurt them. They are starting preschool in September, so that will be the first test. I’m sure everything will be fine, but moms worry! 🙂 Thanks for posting!

  19. Ashley August 12, 2015 at 2:14 pm #

    I have two polar opposites. My oldest boy is 3 1/2 and the size of a 6 year old. My youngest boy was a NICU/PICU baby and Failure to Thrive for the first 4 months of his life. He is 2 and barely fits in 18 month old clothes because they fall off of him. I find myself defending them both for different reasons. I dread the growth charts but am happy to know that both of my boys are healthy now and growing at their own pace!

  20. Je-nean September 24, 2015 at 3:06 pm #

    It’s nice to hear from people in the same situation – my whole family is very tall and both of our sons are off the charts….our oldest is 2 1/2 and looks like he’s 4/5….. the usual comment is “he’s a big boy, but then again you’re tall too” never in a negative way and he has a heart of gold so comes off to strangers as very sweet too…and our 16 month old is as big as your average 2-3 year old so the two of them together are quite a pair LOL!!

    I skim over a lot of these posts on Facebook but thought I’d comment on this one.

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