Sunday, September 11, 2011

41 1/2 inches

My son is small. His birth parents were 5' and 5'6" so he is genetically destined for shortness, and he isn't the biggest fan of eating which doesn't really help matters. The doctor insures us that he is growing normally despite the fact that he hangs off the bottom of the growth chart by his fingernails. When I first saw the little dots so dangerously close to the bottom I figured it was because the chart was designed for American children who are typically much taller than Asian children. I found an Asian growth chart, and he was near the bottom on that one too. The height thing doesn't seem to bother the boy very much. He enjoys being picked up by his friends and he never lets his size stop him from accomplishing something once he has set out to do it. Take the monkey bars for example. When we were on vacation this summer he decided that he was going to conquer them. Independently. And he did. Then the super proud moment came when he was told by another mom on the playground, "Oh honey, I don't think you are big enough to do that" and he proved her wrong. But there is one place where P is thwarted by his small stature: Amusement park rides. The magical number to ride on most rides at amusement parks and traveling carnivals is 42". Most children reach the height milestone when they are four years old; the boy is almost five and a half and only 41 1/2" tall. Earlier this summer I took him and a friend to a local carnival. His friend had no problem getting on the rides, but the sweaty teenage attendants looked Paul up and down and measured him with that wicked stick that denies my boy the privilege of spinning in endless circles aboard a rickety makeshift motorcycle. It really is quite heartbreaking to see him turned away from the obstacle course, a "ride" that does not appear to have any reason for having a height requirement other than the assumption that a child of 42" would have the agility to climb the rope net (something Paul could do at two years old) and the maturity to not freak out while navigating the giant hanging boulders. Next year buddy, we tell him over and over again. Hopefully next year his friends will not all be eyeing the larger rides and roller coasters, with their 48" requirements. Four feet seems a long way off for my young son.

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