My youngest son didn’t look like a linebacker when he was born — just a squishy little 8-pounder — but apparently lurking inside his tiny body was the capacity to grow into a huge, hulking toddler. Before I knew it, people were asking if he and his brother, who’s three years older, were twins. The nurse at his pediatrician’s office took his measurements and said, “Wow! He’s a giant!” And I was buying diapers in size “time to move up to Depends” and fully anticipating harsh judgment from the cashier.
If you’re the parent of a humongous toddler, you most likely understand all those things. And probably these…
1. People expect them to do stuff they can’t.
Because your kid looks way older than his actual age, nobody realizes that he’s actually still a toddler — and therefore still doing toddler stuff, like talking with a very limited vocabulary, or an adorable speech impediment. So when someone tries to carry on a conversation with him, they’re either surprised or disappointed or just think he’s really, really behind.
2. People look at you odd when they’re “still” in a stroller.
Yes, his knees may be under his chin or his feet dragging the ground, but we promise we’re not just hauling around a lazy third-grader. Because no matter how big a toddler is, he’s still a slow, dawdling toddler, so a stroller is definitely a necessity. Besides, huge toddlers are used to being in cramped spaces, because …
3. There’s not much room in the car seat.
When they’re rear-facing, their legs are folded like a pretzel (this does not compromise their safety); when they face forward, their feet are pushing relentlessly into the seat in front of them. Which is just fantastic if you happen to be the one who has to sit in front of them. Just try to think of it as one of those massage chairs.
4. You have overly developed arms from lugging them around.
No matter how big they are, toddlers want to be held and carried and snuggled — and damn, they’re heavy! As a result, you end up with the upper body strength of a pro wrestler. Or, you know, a bad back.
5. They’re hard to carry when they’re asleep.
Those bulging biceps do come in handy sometimes — like when they fall asleep in their car seat or on the couch and you have to lug them to the bed like a sack of boulders. (Heaven forbid you wake them, because … toddlers.) When you’re done, you feel like you’ve just spent an hour doing CrossFit. Yay?
6. You can always spot your kid among his peers.
One perk to having a giant toddler is they’re easy to pick out in a crowd because they stand at least a head taller than the rest of the kids their age. But that can also mean…
7. They don’t know their own strength.
Toddlers love to play, but the big ones sometimes run into difficulties. They’re the ones who try to hug a friend and end up crushing the other kid’s face to their chest. They’re the ones holding one side of the teeter-totter down with their bulk, keeping their wee sprout of a teeter-tottering companion just … teetering. They have to learn to navigate their little world in ways that make up for their bigness.
8. They can reach stuff and open doors.
All toddlers, no matter their size, share one sharply honed skill: getting into stuff they’re not supposed to get into. But it becomes a bit more difficult to keep things out of reach when your huge kid can reach mostly everything. Even “out of the way” drawers and doors are no match for your vertically endowed child. And that goes double if they’re hefty enough to push furniture over to use as a step stool.
9. It’s hard to find clothes that actually fit.
The majority of toddler clothing is made for standard-sized toddlers, not toddlers with giraffe legs and ape arms. By the time you find pants long enough to not classify as capris, the waist is much too big. Sleeve coverage is an issue. And it’s so sad when all your baby wants is a character T-shirt from his favorite toddler TV show, but they don’t make them in “big kid” sizes. We won’t even discuss how quickly they outgrow things. Ugh.
10. Public meltdowns are extra embarrassing.
Dealing with a cranky toddler’s tantrum in public is hard enough. But when your particular kid happens to look like he belongs in an elementary school, you catch an unprecedented level of scathing side-eye from onlookers. It kinda makes you want to get a “Just A Big Toddler” T-shirt printed up.
Having a supersized small one may present a few unique challenges, but as parents of huge toddlers, we also get a bonus: more to love.
Oh, and biceps. Let’s not forget biceps.