failure to thrive

Middle was up first today, arriving in our room at 5:45 AM wrapped in is duvet.  When we inquired what he was doing awake at such an unholy hour, he replied, "I’m excited."  He is going on an adventure today: he’s skipping school, sporting a new uniform, going on a road trip with a busload of teammates.  All his favorite things.

I had to coax Oldest out of bed at 7.  I sat down on the edge of his bed and told him, "you have the
mulligrubs."
He blinked at me.  I may find all the other synonyms for
depression and make them my personal contribution to his collage.

Youngest woke last and came to me at 7:30, enveloped in his still-warm duvet, a huge smile on his face.  He, too, woke to his perfect morning.  No school, a hard rain drumming on our roof, his duvet and The Simpsons.

It’s not fair – two happy boys and one unhappy one.   A phrase floats to my mind: failure to thrive.   Oldest was premature and weighed four and a half pounds at birth.  In
my obsessive, first-baby-and-not-only-that-he’s-premature reading, I
first saw the phrase failure to thrive.

It is generally used to describe babies that do not gain weight, do not
grow, do not march the way they ought along the developmental curve. In the journal, American Family Physician, Krugman and Dubowitz baldly state, "Either extreme of parental attention (neglect or hypervigilance) can lead to failure to thrive."

It is the kind of phrase that can haunt a mother.

By his due date, Oldest weighed 9 pounds. He thrived from the get go.  But still, seventeen years later, I worry, on the knife edge between neglect and hypervigilence,  as if he were a tiny baby who might not.

 

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