I’ve always been small. Usually the smallest in my class until I was twelve, when for a brief period I even had an edge over a few classmates, even some boys.
But then I just stopped growing. And I wasn’t the kind of athletic small that would make me good at gymnastics or anything. Truth be told, I’ve never even completed a cartwheel. Upper body strength eluded me until my late twenties when I started doing yoga. And even now that I heft a 28-pound 27-month-old around, all the time, I still don’t have much to speak of in the way of shoulders.
I doubt my son will, either. His dad is average height — 5’11” to my 5’0″ — but is otherwise built like me: narrow top, substantial hips and legs. We always expected we’d have a pear for a child.
What I didn’t expect was that I’d be able to wear my son’s clothes so soon. Today we arrived back from a playdate and I tried to right the plastic basketball hoop before I wheeled the jogging stroller into the basement. Rainwater splashed down my left side, and I told EJ he’d just have to stay strapped in for a few minutes while I rinsed off the scum with my sweat.
There was one clean pair of my pants in the basement I could sport commando, but there were no clean shirts to speak of. I didn’t like the idea of putting back on the stinky jogging tank, and these days, it’s important to avoid frontal nudity around toddler paws. I knew if we went upstairs with me topless, the boy would just grab for the girls. Yesterday he looked down my shirt to my braless chest and chuckled before reaching in, “Mommy’s breast-es are so funny!”
So, fresh from the superfast shower, I fished out the backup t-shirt I’d packed for him — an Old Navy hand-me-down we got from an age-mate who’s already wearing 3T clothing. “Should Mama put on your shirt?” I asked. The glint in his eye could have lit up a teenage girl’s locker. Though the shirt wasn’t comfy enough to wear for pj’s, it pretty much fit, in a Britney Spears sort of way. Granted, it’s big on him (possibly moreso after I’d worn it for a few minutes), but it’s a little kooky that it fit me, too.
Other women roll their eyes at me, scoffing, “What are you? Like a size 2?” The number — actually too high — is an arrow that hisses as it whizzes by. I’m always annoyed at how tough it is for me to find clothes that fit. I didn’t choose to be tiny and to make other people — including my tenth percentile child — look big and lumpy next to me. I eat a lot of food. True, it’s mostly organic produce, nuts and meat, but it’s a whole lot more calories than a lot of other people take in. I just burn it up. Little is just the way my body has chosen to be.
Now I’m wondering if I should forego looking for 00P and XXSP clothing and go straight for the toddler section. If the fit is tight enough, maybe I’ll actually look like I have breast-es.