So, I have this relatively new granddaughter–6 months last weekend–who is, frankly, huge. Gloriously, magnificently, giddily fat (no pix or names, because this is, after all, the internet…). Her thighs alone are things of glory. Her puffy hands and feet are both delicate and balloon-ish. She also seems to be manifesting a pretty seriously happy-Alpha-pup personality (if I weren’t afraid of going all gooshy-granny on you, I’d tell you the story about her use of Sophie-the-rubber-giraffe to whomp the bejeebers out of another toy that was not being cooperative) which makes it a very good thing, indeed, that her older brother is, by nature, pretty mellow. He’s going to need all the mellow he can get.
But the point is that I have spent the past 6 months using the word “fat” constantly, delightedly, and in glad praise. It’s one of the reasons I’ve been writing so much less here–between the non-joy of caring for my increasingly frail mother on the one end and trying to spend as much time as possible cuddling The Bundle, I haven’t had much energy for blogging.
The Bundle has a cousin whose mother was ecstatic when her daughter, at her 12-month check up had made it into the 30th percentile, weight-wise, at 18 pounds. This particular darling eats like a linebacker and is skinny as a rail. The Bundle has never had anything but breast milk (okay, maybe it’s cream in her case…) and weighs in literally off the chart at 21.9 pounds.
Here’s the thing: both of these baby women are perfectly, glowingly healthy. And they even share not a few genes. Both of them are happyhappyhappy humans, lovingly and carefully parented. And yet they are radically differently shaped/sized.
Now The Bundle may very well grow up to be skinny and The String Bean may grow up to be round. No way to know, although, in my personal experience, every fatfatfat baby I’ve ever known has grown up to be slender–it seems to be the European norm, too. And there is no decent evidence linking childhood plumpitude to adult amplitude, so that’s not even really the issue here. The issue is that both of these babies are healthy–both of their pediatricians are clear on this, so each of them is clearly her own Right Size. And they’re both beautiful and lively and full of character and joy.
Do I even need to say that there’s a lesson here?