My son "Busy" is almost 9 months old but he is not your average baby. I know what you're thinking: every mother believes her child is nothing less than extraordinary and rightly so. However, in this case, when I say that he's not your average baby I'm speaking strictly in terms of size.
Busy, aptly named for his full agenda which includes popping teeth, crawling, babbling, and just generally growing into a person at warp speed, weighs 23 lbs. and is over 30 in. long (tall?). Some two-year-olds and probably a few preschool children are not even that robust. If we stand him up next to me, he can touch my belly button. If we stand him up in his crib, he can hang onto the railing by his armpits. He wears clothing designed for an 18 month old--a busy boy twice his age.
At his birth, Busy weighed in at 10 lbs. 4 oz. and measured 22" long. Yes, he came to the world in the "usual way." At the hospital where he was born he was the biggest baby in the nursery. In fact, he equaled the combined weight of two of his roommates. The first words my son heard as he entered the world was Dr. Shapiro saying something like the Yiddish equivalent of "Mamma Mia." As if to prolong the joke, Busy's baby blue terrycloth hospital cap resembled more of a yarmulka than a winter hat.
Busy's size would not be an issue if Husband and I were likewise large people but we are not. I'm only 2 inches shorter than Madonna and Husband is only 2 inches taller than Tom Cruise--both celebrities reported to be much smaller in person than they appear to be on t.v. When I was pregnant with Busy I was very large and was often asked if I was having twins. People would declare in an exasperated tone "but you're huge!" and would then insist I was having twins and that the ultrasound only showed one fetus because the other was just shy and probably hiding.
As a result of his above average size, Busy has prematurely grown out of everything. Beginning with his birth when he busted out of his swaddle and wore almost skin-tight 3-6 month fleece pjs home. He never got to wear the 3 drawers full of 0-6 month layette that I had carefully washed and folded for him weeks before his birth. He outgrew his bassinet in 2 weeks (his older sister Pixie Pie had slept in it for 3 months). More recently I've lost the use of some really useful gear. The Baby Bjorn, the urban mother's staple, ceased to be a travel option for me and Busy--unless I planned to wear a weightlifter's belt around my waist and hiking boots with spikes to the grocery store it just wasn't happening. At the same time he marshmallowed out of the carrier, he also outgrew the mother of all convenient baby-gear items: the infant carrier/car seat.
So, for the past 3 months I have had to simply carry Busy everywhere on my hip. For me, this has resulted in the bittersweet combination of chronic sore back yet toned upper arms. For Busy, it has resulted in the discovery of a beautiful new, 360-degree world full of shiny things to grab, strangers to laugh or cry at, and mostly, what he appears to consider to be the deeply satisfying experience of throwing his head back and staring directly into overhead lighting. The brighter, the better. A lot of moms ask me how I do it. "He's so big, he looks like he's 2!" they always say. "He's still little to me" is my constant refrain; and it probably always will be.