The Internets have spoken— as have many friends, family, and people on Facebook— and the verdict is that “Little Elephant” is a terrible online nickname for my daughter. People worry about her feelings. People worry about her weight. People worry about self image. The truth is, so do I. I am sure many posts on body image and what girls and women are taught will be forth coming.
However, the truth of e matter is that Little Elephant will continue to be such until she creates her own nickname.
Now, lest you think I am just cruel, let me ask: how did Little Elephant get her nickname and when?
I got pregnant while living in Kazakhstan. This was not a country I wanted to give birth in. My Russian was not up to par nor was their bedside manner or ability to respond in an emergency. My job agreed and planned to send me home when I was 34 weeks pregnant.
I was pretty sure of my due date as I am pretty sure I know exactly when my daughter was conceived. The first ultrasound, at three weeks, confirms this. The second ultra sound, however, moved her due date up two entire weeks. The IRS ultrasound, shortly after, moved it up another week. At the point when, Little Elephant was the size of a grape, she seemed to be growing at an astronomical rate. Either that or the ultra-sound technicians were not to be trusted. While I believed the latter, it seemed more politically correct to simply say I was growing an Elephant inside of me. And thus you became Little Elephant, the child who could take on and love everyone else’s Little Peanuts.
The truth of the matter is that Little Elephant is quite a little skinny mini. She hovers just under 50th percentile for height and well untied 10th for weight. Like Dumbo, she is very loved by her mother. Like all kids, she will grow and be at her own pace.
I do have photos and art of elephants in her room. There is actually a whole jungle theme going on, a bit heavy on the elephants.
I do not call her Little Elephant to her face. I call her by her name or a small grouping of nicknames. When she hears Little Elephant, it is all love and no commentary on size.
Thanks for being concerned though. Now… If I could just control the rest of the weight-gender based socialization she is getting!