My child just turned three years old. He’s already over three-and-a-half feet tall and wears a size 12 shoe. He’s always been tall for his age, and it’s always presented some interesting situations. The current one I am dealing with has to do with his stroller, and how much it seems to offend people that I occasionally use it.
Like I said, he’s always been tall for his age. When he was about a year and a half, what looked to be a four-year-old child walked up to him and said, You want to play with me? My son wasn’t really talking at that point so he just looked at him and smiled. The kid goes, Ew! You’re drooling all over yourself! And runs away. I hate to laugh at the expense of my kid and all, but it was pretty hilarious.
When you have a tall kid, people just assume he is older – because he really looks it. He’s the same height if not taller than all the kids in his playgroup that are at least a year older than him. I’m five-foot-three, but he has the long legs of his father and grandfather. He’s gorgeous:
Now, certainly these legs are long and strong enough to take him wherever he needs to go – but he’s still three. Anyone with a spirited young child knows there are times when you just can not get him to walk. If I take him the seven blocks to the park without the stroller in tow, I may end up carrying him five blocks home if he’s not in the right mood.
Also, I have an infant. If she’s along for the ride, there is no way I can leave the house without the stroller. Imagine having a baby strapped to your chest and a toddler who’s more than half your height who refuses to walk. It’s not pretty.
I’m explaining all of this so that you can understand the wrath I felt when the other day a man who saw me pushing him the street said, He should be pushing YOU! Look how big he is! Kids need to walk! I fake smiled and kept it moving because since I moved to Florida I no longer mouth off to people in the street. Everyone is armed here.
But if I wasn’t afraid of being shot by a random stranger, I would have said this:
Oh, kids need to walk? Really? I didn’t know that! I was planning on keeping him in this thing until he went to college. Thanks for stopping me in the street to give me advice – you fucking dip-shit.
Here’s the thing: I really don’t need to explain why I’m pushing my kid in a stroller to anyone, but I did it here to gently point out that strangers on the street have no idea what someone’s situation is or why they make the choices they do. Silently judging is one thing – it’s what I used to do before I had kids and why I’m convinced I now have my karma child – but actually confronting someone about benign parenting choices that don’t affect you whatsoever? That’s just ridiculous.
(photo: Getty Images)