The challenge of little mum, big baby

When we took our delicate, little, six pounds 11 oz Harriet home from hospital back in October little did we realise that she would soon morph into ‘giant baby’. OK… so that’s an exaggeration, but nine months on she’s almost three times her birth weight and long… very long. She sits around the 75th percentile and sports those chunky rubber band wrists and arms that make old ladies coo and would make the Michelin man proud. Her Amazonian physique(!) is nothing unusual in itself, but a bit of a mystery when you see her mum and dad; neither side of the family has been blessed in the height department!

It was the holiday snap that really brought it home to me (not her best angle. She is a cutie, honestly)-  five foot nothing of me looking like I’m about to collapse under the weight of a small adult!

I really wanted to be one of those mums who can scoop their baby up delicately and comfortably, holding them under their arms or balanced on their hips in model-like fashion while simultaneously having an adult conversation – cool, calm and collected. In reality I’m the mum who looks like they’re wrestling with an alligator, red (more like purple) in the face and all the while having to concentrate just to get my words out and follow the flow of conversation. I shudder at the thought that it’s only going to get more of a struggle. Harriet is unlikely to be getting by on her own two feet any time soon and I’m never going to have a late growth spurt!

Last week when the woman taking the baby class announced that we were going to have ‘a sing and a dance with baby’ most mums were full of enthusism. I, on the other hand, was facing it like it was ‘Tough Mudder’ – an endurance exercise only for the brave (or foolhardy). The other mums were happily swinging and lifting their little ones, completely in the moment, while I was mentally, and physically, willing the song to end and go back to sitting her on my knee to watch some puppets do the hard work!

If anything, my ‘hearty Harri’ shows that babies are full of surprises from the moment they’re born. I was a tiny baby (partly because I was seven weeks early and always playing catch up) and I was expecting our little bundle to be on the smaller side too- not one who was in some 9-12 month clothes from six months old. But these surprises are what makes parenthood so special and I’m welcoming every little development. This week’s was noticing that Harriet’s probably going to be left-handed unlike me or her dad. I wonder what’s next..?


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