Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Kindergarten Body Issues

Our girls are fraternal, so they have always been different.  One has brown hair and green eyes; her sister has blond hair and blue eyes.  Until recently, they have always been pretty close in size. 

The brunette twin is starting to outpace her sister a bit.  She's in the 95% for height and the 90% for weight.  The blond twin sits at 90% for height and 70% for weight.  It's really obvious now that the brunette twin is bigger than her sister.

This is causing problems for them and me.  People have started referring to the brunette twin as "the bigger twin" or "the heavier sister."  It's always done nicely as a way to differentiate between them, but it's starting to be a problem.

Each time I hear something like this, I cringe and want to push back.  Sometimes I do push back because I don't want her to grow up thinking there is something wrong with her.  Let's face it, she'll end up with body issues on her own.  She doesn't need help from strangers, friends and family telling her she's bigger than her sister.

The reality is she's perfectly fine and normal.  In fact, the doctor told me both girls could gain a little weight.  She smiled and said, "You know I don't say that to too many parents these days." 

The brunette twin hears these things and she asks questions.  She doesn't like it that she's the bigger twin.  She is already worried about being fat.  She worries that other kids don't think she's pretty.  She worries because she is so much taller than most of her class.  She has new concerns every day. 

It just breaks my heart.  This child is so pretty.  She has long, brown hair down her back.  She has a charming smile and sweet personality.  Whenever there are a group of kids, the little boys always follow her.  When we went to a wedding last year, she had all three little boys waiting for a turn to dance with her -- and there were several other little girls, including her sister, at the reception.  Yet, she worries about all the issues I didn't think would be on her mind yet.

I always knew the girls would have their own body issues some day.  After all, what female doesn't?  I just wish I could put it off.  I want to maintain her innocence on these things just a while longer.  She'll have a lifetime to struggle with her body image.  I just wish it wouldn't start in kindergarten. 

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