Linguist, lexicographer, writer, editor, broadcaster

The Bruiser: 17 pounds at Three Months, in the Weight Class of a Six-Month Old

The boy’s belly is a bit more proportional than it used to be, but he’s still a very big boy. Weigh-in at the new pediatrician’s office confirmed him at 17 pounds. He’s not gaining a pound a week anymore, but the doctor says he’s about as big as the average six-month-old.

His mental development is right down the middle of where a three-month-old should be, though, which is exciting. He’s very fond of tracking hands, watching mouths move, looking at passing people and things. He’s a very smiley boy who grins every time he looks at his mama and sometimes when he looks at his papa (who has a whole menagerie of entertaining animal noises to make up the difference). Guthrie is talkative—chatty, even—and far, far less likely to cry than he was even just a few weeks ago.

He’s very insistent, though, on what he likes and doesn’t. He likes to be carried up high, facing outward. He likes to sleep next to his mama. He likes company. He likes faces—especially big ones contorted goofily. He likes to stand up (with help, of course) on his little feet and when he’s tired of that he likes to sit up against pillows. He also likes to eat his own fist, his papa’s arm, his papa’s shoulder, anybody’s finger, anything. No teeth yet, but we’re on the lookout for good teething rings and we’re betting solid food is a sure thing in just a few weeks.

About the crying: We thought, well, that’s how babies are. They cry. So we rolled with it. Seemed easier than we expected really. But two weeks ago we were in Chicago for the biennial conference of the Dictionary Society of North America and Aunt Catherine (18), Uncle David (15), Aunt Mary (11), and Granma McDonald (?!) drove up from Iowa to watch the boy while we attended the presentations of our colleagues.

Granma McDonald ran up against one of his dislikes: he does not like to take a bottle, even one filled with mama’s milk. We tried. Perhaps not often enough or with enough patience, but we did try to get him used to a bottle. So he would not take one for Granma and cried until mama came home to breast-feed him. Granma was very nice when she said that, compared to her five children, he was the cryingest boy she knew. And we were thinking—”Wait a second. We could have had a baby that cried less? We thought he was just right.” Parents are blind to their children’s bad habits. We hope we notice if he’s ever on his way to being an axe murderer.

Anyway, what with a hard drive failure and a few other things, we lost some of the photos we took of the boy (including the ones we took when Grammy and Pop [Grant’s parents] were in town), but trust us: there’s no shortage. Here’s a gallery of some of the better phtogographs, plus, for being very patient, you get four videos. The last two were taken by Margaret MacDonald, Sarah’s friend. We’d call her Aunt Margaret, but Guthrie already has an Aunt Maggie (12), which might confuse things.

Aunt Maggie visited New York with her dad, Grandpa Parsons, just this week. The boy likes them very much. Grandpa is very tall and carries the boy around, face out, just the way he prefers it.

Grant writes: For some reason, in two of the videos I am talking about my boy’s balls. He has them. They are often visible. I frequently do a complete rundown of his body parts for him, from his hair to his toes, naming everything, and the balls get their mention in due course. It’s not that I have a particular nuttiness (ha!) about balls—his or anyone’s—it’s just that I was captured here—immortalized—talking about them. The videos could just have easily had me talking about his fat cheeks or sausage arms or his little drooly, grabby hands. Really.


Sarah and Grant

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Grant Barrett