When I was 36 weeks pregnant with my daughter, an ultrasound revealed she had stopped growing at around 33 weeks’ gestation and I was immediately taken to the hospital to be induced. She came into the world weighing 4lbs 12oz and after an 18-day NICU stay, we carefully strapped our tiny girl into a car seat and brought her home.
Five years later, Eisley (or, Little Bird, as we all like to call her) is a healthy, athletic child… but still extremely petite. She wears a size 3T in most tops and dresses, 2T in shorts and pants. Truthfully, she still fits in some clothing that’s sized 18-24 months and is constantly trying to convince me to let her squeeze into some 12-month sized dresses, so she can wear them as shirts.
The girl eats well… she’s just little. So little, that I kept her in a rear-facing car seat until she started kindergarten due to her weight and height. So little, that when she broke her leg early in the summer this year, there were no crutches or knee scooters small enough for her. SO little that I worry about her riding the bus to school. SO LITTLE that when I brought her to the first day of her pre-team, invitation only, gymnastics class, the coach looked at me like I had lost my mind and asked to see proof of her age.
All that said, the core of this article has almost nothing to do with my daughter’s size. I only mention it because I need anyone reading to react with the appropriate amount of horror when absorbing the following sentence:
Last week, a boy at school punched my daughter in the face.
And yes, I have pictures. But no, I’m not going to share them because I guess I’m just not that mother. I’m not interested in shaming anyone or parading my 5-year old’s black eye all over the Internet.
Let’s just say that this child hit her hard enough that her eye was swollen by the time she got home. Hard enough that it was bruised and puffy the next day. Hard enough that I originally wanted to cover her black eye with makeup before sending her to school again but refrained because the LAST thing I want to teach her is that she should hide it when someone hurts her.
Unfortunately, it seems as though I may have been too late on that lesson.
The worst part of this for me is not that the boy punched her… and I’ll spare you my maybe sanctimonious comments on how I feel about that part of it because this child is 5-years-old and I have no idea who his parents are or what his home life is like. My judgment about that part of the situation isn’t getting anyone anywhere.
No, the worst part of the whole thing is that this boy punched my tiny daughter in the face and she wouldn’t tell me what happened.