Archive for the 'morphometrics' Category

Returning to the Den of Horrors: The 15-Month Appointment

Friday, September 4th, 2009

Like most pediatricians, ours will lie dormant for weeks at a time, awakening only to feed.

We had no idea what to expect on this trip, especially since it was clear that we comprehended her true nature.  Would she be cautious, to try to lower our guard?  Or would she feel backed into a corner, and more likely to strike?

I packed the snub-nosed revolver with silver bullets, the 11th-century ceremonial silver dagger with protective runes etched into the blade, a brace of wolvesbane, and the trusty photo of Dr. Benjamin Spock.  We went over our drills, summoned our courage, and steeled ourselves for the worst.  Anxiety was high.

As it turned out, our normal pediatrician was away on leave — hibernating while rearing her unholy brood.  So we got a proxy.  Or maybe this was a deliberate ploy to lower our guard.  She looked human enough, but if you squinted and looked at her through the corner of your eye, only then would her true form be revealed.

She must have known that we were on to her, because she was on her best behavior.  She and her hunchbacked minion had Max measured.

For some morphometrics:

Height:  33.5″ (95+ percentile)

Noggin circumference:  49.5 cm (95+ percentile)

Weight:  23 pounds, 2 ounces (50th percentile)

We kept the pediatrician at bay, and she was cautious.  She only betrayed her true nature when she said, “You should really think about” — pausing to lick her lips with a warty yellow tongue that passed over and beyond her chin — “yes, you really should fatten him up, he’d make a nice plump little fellow.”  And this kept us distracted long enough for her hunchbacked minion to impale Max three times in the legs and inject him with foul solutions that, when spilled on the floor, would eat through the linoleum and leave a cloud of toxic fumes.

Then the two of them cackled, transformed into a large mound of spiders, and scurried away.

So did we.  Without the turning-into-spiders part.

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Morphometrics Update: 12 Months

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

Keeping the record complete, here are Max’s morphometrics at the 12-month mark:

Weight:  23# 5oz (50-75th %ile)

Length:  33″ (>95th %ile)

Cranial Circumference:  49.5cm (> 95th %ile)

(Really, I don’t know why they call it “length” instead of “height”.  It’s not like he’s a biped or anything.)

Morphometrics Update: 9 months

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

To keep things as complete as possible, here are Max’s official morphometrics as of nine months.

Weight:  18# 14oz (25th %ile)

Length:  30″ (90-95th %ile)

Cranial Circumference:  48cm (>95th %ile)

Morphometrics update: 6 months

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

For the sake of keeping a complete record:  a six months, Max’s official morphometrics are:

Weight:  17# 3oz (50th %ile)

Length:  27.73 in (90th %ile)

Cranial circumference:  46.5cm

Max’s Half-Birthday: You can pick your nose, and you can pick your son’s nose, but you can’t pick your son

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

Max is six months old today.  Hooray!

This is a noteworthy day in at least one (morbid) regard:  this is the point in which SIDS is no longer a realistic threat.

To celebrate his robust health, we took him for a walk through Ravenna Park.  He got to interact with lots of dogs, explore lots of plants, and stare rapturously at a babbling brook.  He even tolerated the embarrassing antics of his frolicking parents.

It was altogether a beautiful day, albeit cold.  Of course, an outdoor adventure on a briskly cold day isn’t complete without at least one au naturale diaper change.

For some quick (inaccurate) morphometrics:  we weighed him again, via displacement method, and he came in at around 17 pounds.  This means his his birthweight has been doubled-and-a-half.

Morphometrics Update: 4 months

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

Here are Max’s morphometrics for the four-month landmark:

Weight:  14# 15oz

Length:  26.5″

Cranial Circumference:  44cm

Perhaps we should make a betting pool for these numbers.

One-third of a year old!

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

So, it was one-third of a year ago when Max was surgically excised from Amalia’s belly and yanked into the fluorescent glow of the world.

Everything has been going well.  Amalia has returned to work half-time this week; we have a nanny (a.k.a. Kendra) holding down the fort while we’re away, and Max seems to be having a great time and heaps of joie de vivre regardless of who is taking care of him.

We took some all-new estimates — displacement style — of his morphometrics.

Length:  26″

Weight:  15 pounds

We’ll get these confirmed soon enough.  Nuff said.

Panic! No, wait …

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

So, the three of us visited the pediatrician today for the two-month visit. Hilarity did not ensue.

Allow me to preface this with some backstory.

I have an inherent belief — stemming from my traumatic childhood — that all pediatricians are evil. This isn’t a delusion, or a grudge, but a revelation: the feeling that I have looked behind the curtain and gotten a glimpse into the true, dark, horrible state of the world. This stems from having been the plaything of The Evil Dr. Frostad in my youth. He revealed to me the miserable cabal of torture and pain that is known in this world as the pediatric profession.

I fully acknowledge the possibility that The Evil Dr. Frostad may have done his field a disservice. While The Evil Dr. Frostad himself had clearly been trained by Dr. Mengele and his unholy minions somewhere beneath the seventh level of Hell, it is conceivable that others have not, and that somewhere out there, perhaps scattered across the far-flung corners of the Earth, there is an elite cadre of pediatricians who aim to subvert their demonic profession; perhaps they vow to inflict no unnecessary harm, and even strive to bring a generation of healthy children into this world, in spite of the ruinous motives demanded by the rest of their execrable colleagues.

Alas, I have yet to encounter any of these “good pediatricians”, if any even exist. I keep hoping that they’re out there.

So trips to the pediatrician are always a good time. We travel together, for safety. I always make sure to bring the crucifix, the wolvesbane, and the 9mm Glock loaded with silver hollow-points.

The previous visit was uneventful, perhaps even promising. This particular visit, however, lived up to my expectations.

First, the pediatrician’s stooped henchwoman took some all-new morphometrics:

Length: 24.5 inches
Weight: 11 pounds, 13 ounces (a reality check from our last displacement measurement)
Cranial circumference: 40.5 cm

Then the pediatrician gave us the bad news.

With an ominous gravitas, she said that Max had seriously degenerated since our last visit. His weight was now in the bottom fifth percentile — almost off the bottom end of the chart. His cranial circumference and length were similarly, precipitously meager, like he was withering away. “He looks thin to me.” Sure, he was eating, but maybe we were mistaken about the actual quantities that he was taking? This meant he was not developing properly. “I need to see him more often.” Emergency visits, to make sure he wasn’t getting worse, because maybe something serious was going on, like a gastrointestinal disorder, or tapeworms, or …

“Oh wait a moment … he was accidentally plotted at the four-month level. And wouldn’t you know … when you plot him against the two-month level, he’s at the 50th percentile. And hey, his length is even at the 75th percentile. He’s doing fine!” She licked her lips wetly, like a starving dog. “Why, he’s a nice, plump, tasty-looking –”

That was when I ran her through the heart, using my holy sacrificial knife of polished silver, its blade engraved with 12th century protective runes. With a flash of dark energy and a withering cry, her body crumpled, decomposing before us until it collapsed into a smoldering heap of ashes and writhing worms.

Soon enough, she’ll rise again from the dead. Pediatricians always do.

As we tried to make our escape, the stooped henchwoman burst through the door, clutching a brace of needles and other apparatus. Before I could intervene, she impaled Max three times in his legs, forced a hideous pink goo into his mouth, and cackled triumphantly with a hissing laugh, almost spasmodically, “Vak-shi-NAY-shuns!” I pulled out a photo of Dr. Benjamin Spock and held it up defensively. She clutched at her eyes, as if blinded by the sun, and emitted a feral cry of anguish. I shoved her aside, and we battled our way through the hellish horde in the lobby, and beyond, to the safety of the elevator.

But not without a reservation for a four-month appointment.

More family for Max to meet

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

Over the past few days, a few new visitors have come and gone, in name:  Irene (Max’s maternal grandmother), Tim (Max’s maternal uncle) and Amy (Tim’s fiancee).

It was a fun gathering, and Max was on reasonably good behavior.  Max, and his guests, got to visit the fish ladder in the Ballard locks, and the Redhook Brewery (he got through without being ID’d).

Another rough estimate of Max’s mass was measured, using the displacement ((Dad + Max ) – Dad = Max) method, which has him figured at around fourteen pounds, or roughly double his birthweight.

One month later …

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

It’s Max’s one-month birthday today. All is going well. For one thing, Max is definitely getting bigger. As in, visibly, especially in the way he’s packing on the pepperoni.

The next pediatrician appointment won’t be for another month, but we got curious anyway: we took a crude weight measurement of him on the scale, using the “max = ((mom+max) - mom)” approach. He came somewhere between 9.0 and 9.5 pounds.

We also measured his length a couple of days ago — which seems as random of a measure as anything, given how uncooperative he can be with those springy little chicken-legs — which was in the neighborhood of 22 inches long.

He seems to be kicking along just great. Of course, there have been some minor issues, but that’s par for the course. E.g., some occasional fussiness, a few late-night cluster feedings, and one case of levitating on his own and spinning around the room with eyes that blazed with fire and dead flies erupting from his diaper. Pedestrian matters, to be sure, at least when compared with colic, projectile diarrhea, and Harlequin-type ichthyosis. All in all we’re feeling lucky that he’s so (relatively) normal.