Wednesday, April 16, 2014

It's gotta be all that birthday cake...

On this, the 14th anniversary of Derek's birth, I pause for a moment to him and wonder: where the HECK did this giant kid come from? After all, this is the boy who started out his life weighing in at just under 6 pounds--having found it absolutely imperative to surprise us all by making his grand entrance into the world 3 weeks ahead of his due date. He arrived sporting a delightful...carrot-y color...which earned him extra-special attention from the pediatric nurses...who stopped by every few hours to poke him with a needle and test the bilirubin levels in his blood. If that wasn't enough excitement for a newborn and his clueless first-time mother, he also had trouble eating. (I know, right? Looking at the boy, you'd never me when I say that even now, he's still doing his darndest to make up for it...every single meal, every single day...)

Even when he was discharged, after an additional day of monitoring at the hospital, he came home with a spiffy contraption--basically a blue-light-emitting blanket that he needed to be wrapped in almost around the clock--to encourage his liver to flush the unwanted toxins out of his fragile new system. And then, for quite some time into his toddlerhood, his pediatrician remained quite concerned about his weight gain, encouraging us to pump calories into his body in any way possible. (Which might explain why he still harbors such an extreme love of butter, as a matter of fact...)

Fortunately, he turned out just fine, and these days Husband and I greatly enjoy exercising one of our most basic and solemn Parental him a hard time about what a little pain he was for a while as a baby. So, when I was flipping through the photo albums for a good shot of Derek's early months, I came across the Penn State photo--in which Husband was entirely too tickled by the fact that he was able to cradle his son like a football. I wanted to show the contrast between Then and Now...but jumping into his poor father's arms with a gleeful "pick me up!" was all Derek's idea. (Yeah, I had to shoot that one FAST...)

But wait, we haven't even gotten to the punchline yet. (I know, I know, "bated breath", yeah?) These days Derek has become quite the... scale-watcher...himself. Unlike the rest of us, though, he wants to see the numbers going UP, indicating that he's still growing at an acceptable rate. (Whatever that is, in his teenaged brain). Recently he was ever-so-pleased that he'd reached 130 pounds. (And what do you even say to that? Yay, son...good...appetite? Here, have a cookie?Better yet: why don't you sit down before you get hungry again...yeah, that's the one...) The real kicker is: I skimmed the growth report in his baby book, and since his 10-year-checkup...he's precisely DOUBLED his mass. Holy guacamole (with chips)! happy birthday, if you'll excuse me, I've gotta go (back) to the grocery store....

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