Five-year-old Charlotte Garside isn’t even 27 inches tall — barely the size of a typical newborn infant — but she’s no baby, according to her mother.
“We’ve been told she looks like a porcelain doll, a baby in a pram and people still call her baby Charlotte, which riles me something chronic, because she’s not a baby, she’s five years old,” Emma Garside told Barcroft TV.
Charlotte, who lives in the English town of Withernsea, was born with a rare form of Primordial Dwarfism. She weighs nine pounds, the same as a large newborn baby.
At birth, she registered just two pounds and was extremely fragile.
“I have said she looked like a skinned rabbit, her mother said. “She had a little pink hat on and was wrapped in bubble wrap up till her neck.”
Despite barely being the height of the cereal boxes on her kitchen counter, Charlotte lives as normal a life as possible. She goes horseback riding with her family and attends school.
“She is very inquisitive and the school have already told us she has a learning age of a three-year-old, which is higher than we thought,” Emma Garside told the Daily Mail. “Of course, I was worried she could get hurt by the other children, but she has her own tutor look after her and she’s not as fragile as you’d think.”
Charlotte has been called the world’s smallest girl, but that title is unofficial. Guinness World Records doesn’t recognize that category, but the record keeping company has a sport for the world’s smallest teenager.
That title is currently unclaimed, according to a Guinness spokeswoman, since the last record holder, Jhoti Amge of India, is now an adult.
Standing 24.7 inches, Amge is shorter than Charlotte. The 5-year-old also towers over the world’s shortest man, Chandra Bahadur Dangi of Nepal, who measures 21.5 inches tall.
It’s unclear how big Charlotte will grow. Her mother just wants to do what’s best for her.
“There are a lot of unknowns but Charlotte has a way of surprising you when you least expect it. We didn’t know if she would live this long,” she said, according to HuffPost UK. “We didn’t know if she would be able to interact with people and there have been times when we thought we might lose her.
“But she keeps on thriving and I can’t wait to see what the next year brings.”