Of course I think Hannah is going to be a gorgeous, well-adjusted woman when she grows up. She is, after all, being parented
in spite of by me! And I think she'll be moderately tall (as in, taller than average) even if she's my height or an few inches shorter. And I realize it sounds ludicrous to worry that your daughter will be a tall, willowy blonde (although, I'm not entirely sure the blonde will hold).
What I am/was worried about is a time in her life that everyone worries about: adolescence. As a pre-teen and teenager I was as close to perfect as one gets: I was physically attractive (thin, athletic, tall, blonde, blue-eyed), I made phenomenal grades despite a rather below-par school system, I played every sport girls were allowed to play and complained loudly about the ones we weren't, I had the lead in one-act play for three years in a row, I was president of the honor society, my parents were happily married and ran a thriving (though sometimes stressful) business together, I had no siblings to steal my thunder (or keep me entertained), and I even lived in a two-story house, which, by my peers viewpoint qualified me as a "rich" girl. But none of that protected me from the full-on harshness of being a girl. In fact, it may have contributed.
From the fourth grade through seventh I was ridiculed so relentlessly that my parents eventually took my to a therapist (a step they did not take lightly). I faced each day with such dread that I cried for hours each night, spent more hours trying to make myself perfect in the morning in an effort to avoid more criticism, and eventually began losing large chunks of my memory in a psychological attempt at self-preservation.
My situation was worsened by the size of my school, which was small. By the time I graduated there were 76 of us in my class. I'd known nearly all of them since second grade. And when your options for "friends" are so small, it makes it nearly impossible to step outside your social circle to find something better.
Eventually, though, I did. I found a few brave souls who were tired of feeling equally picked upon and we "left" the others in a coup that was discussed in our school for years. And, of course, I feel whole and adult now and relatively unscathed.
But, I do remember how that felt. And I wish I hadn't had to endure it. And I know that not all girls have to. The fear and pain I felt during those years made me proclaim out loud on numerous occasions that I didn't want to have girls when I grew up because girls were so mean and I didn't know how to parent someone through that any better than my own parents had. Needless to say, that theory changed when I lost so many boys in a row. I decided it was best to get a child here and living, and leave the worrying about social pressures to later.
A big part of my reaction to the idea of Hannah being taller than normal comes from that place. It's a knee jerk reaction. My ill-fitting pants were no small source of derision for me for many, many years, and even though I know it won't guarantee a life without pain, I wish at least some bit of normalcy for Hannah.
That being said, I know she'll come through smelling like daisies no matter what. I'd probably better save my worrying for the days when boys recognize her long legs as a spectacular feature (once they get over their boob-fascination) and I have to tell her that being 15 and looking 19 isn't always a good thing.
As a side note, about menarche: I got my period just after my 12th birthday. It took years to become regular (actually, it never did - I took birth control pills from age 14 on to control it), and I think I grew more than two inches after. I'll have to ask my mom if she recalls. My personal feeling (augmented by a college biology professor) is that the relatively earlier age of onset (something which isn't completely documented) is pan-cultural, and therefore not likely brought on by dairy products with hormones.
I'll definitely take the doubling trick with a grain of salt. I do find it interesting that Hannah is so much taller than I was at that age, but beyond that, who the hell knows. This is only one of the many things we just won't know until it happens.
Thank you for the input though, and if anyone finds a cool way to add inches to pants... I'm all ears!