The Texture Of Things

From the Vault – a Glimpse of the Tot at 9 Months

September 18th, 2006

This is part of an email I wrote to a friend back on February 20, 2005. This friend had her son the previous September and, like the tot, he was 5 weeks early. Unlike the tot, he weighed 5.5 lbs to her 3.5 lbs. When we saw them this past August, they were roughly the same size, finally.

I wrote,
“her fingers are stout little sausages, squared-off at the tips, and
her knuckles are dimples in the pudge. they are unquestionably her father’s
hands, and when i’m at my wit’s end in the middle of another day home
alone with her (and pissed at him for going to work again – how could
he? i’m so jealous!), i see his hands in hers and i am reminded of how
cool it truly is to take two people and put them into one.

“she’s getting the hang of her fingers lately. as soon as she could get
a hand in her mouth, she sucked her fist, but as she has begun to move
her fingers independently, she’s gone from sucking her thumb as it juts
out from her fist to sucking her thumb and curling her pointer finger up
by her nose. it’s terrifically adorable. just yesterday she hit
another milestone. she stuck her finger in her nostril. when i saw
her, i was stunned and, well, elated. i mean, i don’t want her to pick
her nose (though i know all kids do), but it means she’s working toward
the pincer grasp and eating little cheerios, and that is a cool age.
and she just sat there with a quizzical look on her face, as if
wondering, “i don’t think i’ve ever done this before. hmh.” since
then, i’ve seen her do it two more times. i’m so proud.

“she is going for her nine-month check up in a couple of weeks. i have
no idea what she weighs, and i wish i did. i know she’s growing, but
slowly. she’s still wearing size 3-6 months, and she will be for a bit
yet. it’s not because she’s not beefy. she’s heavy for her size, but
she’s short, so the 3-6 continue to fit her. my mom laughed the other
day and said, ‘no one ever gets this much use out of the first two sizes
of baby clothes, unless they have three kids!’ it’s true. carter’s
slogan used to be something like ‘if they just stayed little ’til their
carter’s wore out,’ and she is putting it to the test. good kid!”

The truth behind this email is that I was through the roof with glee at finding the tot picking her nose. Finally, she began to take on one of my traits instead of being a carbon copy of her father. (Not that that’s a bad thing. She is mighty cute.)

Another truth behind this email is what followed it. A couple of weeks later, we found ourselves in the waiting room of our Big City’s Hematology department, wondering what to make of the pediatrician’s urgency that we be seen for the tot’s newly caught anemia. Where her blood reading should have been between 10 and 12, hers was 6.4, low enough that she needed immediate help but not low enough to require a transfusion.

That week, I found myself crying and searching through pictures of her in reverse chronological order, trying to find when the visable symptoms started. The answer: right before 6 months. She was noticeably anemic for three months and the only thing her father and I thought during that time was, “Thank god the kid is finally sleeping.” We had been so exhausted. We had been so grateful that finally the baby who never slept more than 1 hour 45 minutes at a time unless held was content to sit and play, was starting to sleep like babies her age are alleged to.

Garcon? Could I get a side order of guilt with that guilt? That’d be great. Thanks.

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