Being short has its advantages, like being able to weave through crowded midtown streets easily and survey parties relatively undetected and the ability to wear the highest heels without feeling "too tall." Of course, it also makes most "life stuff" a struggle. Microwaves are installed uncomfortably high; I can barely reach the plates in my cabinets; I can’t reach the straphangers’ bar on the subway, unless I’m wearing platform heels. As a short person, I knew my kids were probably destined to be “vertically challenged" and, as they’ve grown (or, rather, not really grown), I've become extremely familiar with all the things parents of short kids are tired of hearing, as a result of their inevitably short stature.
At their check-ups, the pediatrician would point to a place on the growth chart and rattle off some percentile that sounded like the worst grade ever. The Type A in me had to get over it though, because they weren't "failing" at growth, they were thriving. They were just shorter than most kids their age and, at ages 8 and 5, I’m not going to worry that they’re still fitting into last year’s clothes. They’re still young and there’s time for them to "catch up." Most importantly, I’m not going to worry about their heights, ever, as long as they remain healthy. There is no one ideal size, just the one your body most comfortably is without risking your health. My kids don’t need to worry about their height, weight, or any other physical characteristic., which is why I so desperately wish other people wouldn’t comment on their bodies.
Alas, we're a predominantly shallow culture hell-bent on caring more about outward appearance than, you know, anything else. So, for the time being, at least, it seems like I will have to continue to grit my teeth and practice the art of the inner scream, while people make comments concerning my kid's height; comments that I would really and truly, love to never hear again.