My child, the Smurf

7 02 2008

I had my 6 week postpartum checkup this week. (Sidenote: How in the world have 6 whole weeks gone by ALREADY since I gave birth? Was it not just yesterday I was complaining that I would “never have this kid!”?) I had been dreading it, but it was fine- all is good and I’ve been declared “normal” again. And as a bonus, the nurse who saw me before the doctor came in actually had to question me as to why I was there. “How old is he?” she asked of Oliver. I told her he’s 6 weeks, and with a suspicious furrow of her brow, she looked at me and asked why I was there. I told her, and she replied, “Ok, that’s what I thought, that’s what it says here. But… I thought there was some mistake or something, because you do NOT look like you just had a baby 6 weeks ago, Mama! And that baby- he’s so big! What’s he weigh?”

Oh, bless that woman. Even if she was lying through her teeth, even if she does this with all the new moms, just to give them a little self-confidence boost, BLESS HER. And she’s right- Oliver is pretty big (at 6 weeks old he’s weighing in at 12 pounds, which is not enormous, but definitely robust). The last two or three months of my pregnancy, I was constantly getting comments from strangers about the unfathomable hugosity of my belly, everywhere I went. Now, whenever I take Oliver out, instead of the constant belly comments, we’ve got strangers informing us that our baby is BIG. (Like the FedEx guy who came to our house last night, saw the baby in Jeff’s arms when he answered the door, and asked how old he was; Jeff said 6 weeks, and the guy goes, “I’ve got a three month old at home. (Pause) Your 6 week old is as big as my 3 month old!”) Gee, thanks, I’ve been too busy feeding him every two hours to notice that.

Part of the reason I’d brought Oliver to my check up with me was because I had a question to ask his doctor about, concerning his head (his pediatrician is my OB, which is nice, and not something I thought we’d be able to swing, given our military insurance and medical care). Right before we brought him to his two week check up, I noticed a nickel-sized blue bruise on the top of his head. I pointed it out to the doctor, and he said he didn’t think it was anything to worry about, since Oliver didn’t seem bothered by it when we touched it.

Then last week, I noticed that though that bruise had faded significantly, it had been replaced by a much bigger, much bluer bruise, and I was freaking out. I kept wracking my brain trying to figure out when he could have hit his head, or more accurately, when Jeff or I had hit his head, since obviously if he’s got an injury of any kind, we, the ones who are mobile, would be responsible for it, not the infant who can’t move by himself. I was so afraid that if anyone saw it, they’d be sure to conclude that I was beating my child, because how else would he have gotten such an awful bruise?

The first thing I said to my doctor when he came into the exam room was, “Remember that little bruise on Oliver’s head? Look at his head now! What’s wrong with him??” I had planned to sound calm and concerned when I said this, but instead I sounded slightly psychotic, and I was probably flailing my arms while I said it, I don’t really remember.

He leaned over, looked at Oliver’s head, and said, “Hmm.” Looked some more. Then touches it. Then he says: “It doesn’t look like a bruise. It looks more like…” At this point he scratches it. “Yeah, it’s something on his skin.” He scratches some more and the big blue bruise I was worried about starts coming off.

Cheeks ablaze with embarrassment, the first thing I said was, “Thank God he isn’t hurt.” The second thing I said was, “I bathe my kids, I swear! I wash their hair, really.” The third thing: “What the heck?”

“You have another kid, right?” he said. “I bet it was his older brother. When in doubt, blame the older brother.” He was kidding, of course, but did that stop me when I got home from asking Ethan if he had painted Oliver’s head? Uh uh. (Ethan says he didn’t, by the way.)

Perhaps I should question Debbie?



One response

7 02 2008

Ok, that is hysterical!!!!

You need to start a running list of all the things Ethan does to Oliver!!

My baby was only 13 lbs at her 6-month check up. lol

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