Taking Reagan out into the world is always an interesting experience. She is five years old (and won't let me forget no matter how much I try to deny it) but she weighs a whopping 27 pounds and hasn't yet broken three feet tall. She is the size of a 3 year old, and a smallish one at that. She is delayed in most areas for a five year old, but quite advanced for the 3 year old she looks like. So people watching her get confused and thoroughly charmed by her uniquness. To make things even more humorous I tend toward oblivious about the gap between where Reagan is and the general expectations of a child her age. I have never been bothered by her delays so I forget that she is perceived differently by others who are used to expecting certain things from a certain sized kid. I have been there watching her learn how to walk, then run, then climb a tree and know that her view of her capabilities is on par with reality and with her age, but others see her attempting something that no 2-3 year old should be doing by herself. I can't tell you how many times I have been in conversation with someone while she plays and they lunge to make sure she doesn't fall off a chair she's climbing on only to have to explain that I really am a responsible mother...its just that she looks too small to be trusted but she really is five and knows what she's doing. We mothers tend towards sheltering kids from harm and it is a hard habit to break just because I say that your perception is skewed (so never worry if you have been the nervous one while I seemingly ignore the situation...I get it lol). See I have the advantage of five years experience, plenty of therapists training, and a kiddo who won't allow me to shelter her just because she's small and has challenges. And it is good for me, it makes me a better mother to learn not to be overprotective out of perceived insecurity. We all do it, especially with those we care about, but it isn't good for us. And it isn't good for our kids...they need to be able to stretch their wings and learn from experience. I can only imagine what Reagan wouldn't be able to do now if I held her back based on what it seemed like she was capable of. And she's teaching others this lesson every day too as they watch her. She's even broken all the wonderful caring ladies at church of the habit of taking her out of the tree every time she tries to climb it with the big kids ;) I will shelter her as best I can from things no child should have to face. And I will shelter her from anyone who tries to tear her down because of who she is. But I won't hold her back because she's small and different.