In January of this year, my daughter Fiona came screaming
into the world. And just like that, to
the utter surprise of no parent anywhere, everything changed. Suddenly the time I used to spend
contemplating just how much cheese I could consume before it stopped being a
snack and started being a concern was now spent staring at my sweet little
baby. I absolutely devoured that child
in the first months of her life. Unlike
with my erstwhile dairy-based love, it was mostly with my eyes, though I will
admit that a tiny toe would slip into my mouth from time to time and I’d think,
“Well since it’s already there, might as well gnaw on it a bit.”
“Oh look at that,” I’d whisper, “she’s got her daddy’s
ears.” Or, “Hello Eyeballs,” I’d coo
when she awoke and then glory in the fact that mirror images of my own eyes
gazed back at me out of her miniature face. These things, these particular traits she inherited from my husband
and me were no surprise. Her tiny
button nose was slightly more of a mystery. I mean, I’m not giving it back, that thing is adorable, but it certainly
is not something that originated on the face of either of her parents. My husband has a very Greek nose … or Roman
nose maybe? (Whichever one means really
big pointy nose.) And my nose could
probably launch a thousand ships, because the ships would use it as a dock. Yes, her nose was certainly a conundrum.
But the biggest enigma yet, came to play at Fiona’s 6-month
checkup when our doctor mentioned that, though not based an exact science,
extrapolating her current height, my little girl is going to be short. Like really short. Now I’m not exactly Cindy Crawford (we’ve
discussed my nose right?), but at 5-foot-8-ish I’m definitely well above the
national average height for women. And
Ryan, my husband, is no slouch himself when it comes to feet and inches. (Minds out of the gutter please.) Sure we both have loved ones on our respective
sides of the family that are on the shorter side of things, but I think we
envisioned long-limbed babies when imagining our future family.
Now, don’t get me wrong, short or tall, tow-headed or
red-headed, skinny or chubby (so far chubby — girlfriend’s got more rolls than
like a giant bag full of rolls) I will love this girl all the same. Heck she could have three arms and my only
concern (beside the three-arm medical concerns I mean) would be with finding an
appropriate bumper sticker. It would exclaim, “Proud
mother of a Tri Deltoid!"
All squishing and squealing aside, my mission in life is to make her a confident self-assured girl so hopefully the jabs will just roll off her back.
But I know that in this life, how tall you are does change
things. Not necessarily for better or
for worse. Just for different. So, just for fun, here is a brief list of how
I see the future for my daughter, the shorty-pants.
1. A "Little House on the Prairie" enthusiast, I’m
almost certainly going to call Fiona “Half-pint,” as I much prefer it to
something more modern like Short-Stuff or Mini-Me. (Plus she’s not a mini-me at all. She’s got this terrific nose. Have I
mentioned it?) The only trouble I
foresee with this is people thinking I’m calling my daughter after a portion of
a beer. And then knowing me, I’ll run
with it and nickname my next child, a leggy son let’s say, “Tall Boy.” And then I will gather them to me and murmur, “Oh Half-pint and Tall Boy, you are my favorite favorite things.” And everyone will judge.
2. My husband, who played volleyball in college, is
going to have to slightly alter the vision he has in which our girl is a
world-class ball-spiker (technical volleyball terms here, watch out) and gets a
college scholarship for athletics and then we don’t have to pay for her college
and can instead spend the money on remote control drones. Although I mentioned this to my husband
yesterday and apparently we aren’t to worry about this too much just yet as it
seems she can still play the position libero. Obviously. I knew all about that
position because of how I was a spectator at 10 million volleyball games in
high school and college. I didn’t even
have to google “volleyball lebarrow” to ascertain how to spell it just now.
3. People love miniatures and love to label tiny
girls with the words “adorable” and “precious” even when what they are trying
to be is fierce or daunting or someone that engenders respect. And then these people will cuddle and squish
Fiona and pat her on the head and squeal, “Oh you’re so cute, I just want to eat
you up.” And Fiona will have to learn how to deal with this. “Oh My God MOM,” she’ll say, “Get off of me,
I’ve got to get back to being the President of the United States of America.”
4. She’ll have trouble finding pants. But don’t we all?
5. Being that Fiona is very Irish and, for now at
least, a redhead, she’s bound to get some leprechaun jokes. All squishing and squealing aside, my mission
in life is to make her a confident self-assured girl so hopefully the jabs will
just roll off her back. I just don’t
relish having to have the “If I’m a leprechaun, then where is my pot of gold?”
conversation. “Oh honey,” I’ll have to
say apologetically, “Your daddy spent that on remote control drones.”
All joking aside, I’m beyond excited to raise this girl of
mine. And the really good news is that
she’s already excellent at listening to her mother. She seems to be listening after all when I
whisper, “Just stay small, sweet girl,” as I tuck her in each night.