Because I am not a competitive parent, I try not to talk about the fact that my children are smarter, cuter, kinder, and better behaved than everyone else’s. I don’t want to make the rest of you feel bad, just because your kids weren’t born at Lake Woebegone.
However, today we will make an exception, because we visited the pediatrician a few weeks ago. Zachary, it turns out, has had some sort of crazy growth spurt and is knocking his head against the 25th percentile for height, a zone he has never before encountered. It’s a good thing he’s bright, because basketball is probably not in his future.
His brother, at twenty-one months, is only an inch and a pound less than Zachary, who is two years older. He weighs in at the fiftieth percentile but has a head in the 90th. That means his head is bigger than 90% of the other kids his age, which comes as absolutely no surprise to those of us who have to try and yank a shirt over that thing each morning. And, he measures at the 97th percentile for height. Given that we’re Jewish, that puts him at taller than pretty much every other child of his ethnic background.
When he was born and we sent around an email with his name (which is not really Benjamin), a friend replied that we had chosen a name fit for either a pro linebacker or a don at Oxford. I am banking that, given his size, he is still in the running for both positions.
But, the part of the visit that showed just how extraordinary my kids are was the taking of the blood and the shots, when they screamed in the 99th percentile. And my heart swelled when Benjamin began shouting “BAD” and hitting the woman making his big brother cry.
Unfortunately, the blood tests revealed that perhaps my children are a bit below average in one way. Both boys are anemic. How, you may wonder, does a toddler who eats as much as Benjamin come up anemic? As far as I can tell, there are two possible explanations. Either his totally below-average mother keeps forgetting to serve meat or he eats so much damned produce that he flushes the iron right out of his system. I suspect there is only so much iron in watermelon and peas.