Friday, July 11, 2014
Admitting You Have a Problem and Exploring Distant Worlds
Today we visited the Gastroenterologist. According to him, you are basically a normal 2 month old baby as is appropriate with your adjusted age of 2 months. Sadly there is one, heartbreaking exception.
You are an obese baby.
At 12 pounds, you are in the 70th percentile for babies of your adjusted age. In and of itself, that's not a big deal. HOWEVER, for babies of your age AND length, you are somewhere between the 99-97th percentile. In other words, only 1 to 3 percent of babies are fatter than you. It's not a huge problem now, but if you remain at this percentile in the coming months, it could, uhm, weigh down your developmental milestones. Even though you'll probably be much better at rolling down a hill than the average baby, all that extra weight would make it harder for you to crawl or sit up on your own.
The picture above from the physical therapist speaks volumes. That is, there are volumes of rolls spilling off of your body. Maybe its hard to notice with all of that clothing on, so for the sake of heaping double the humiliation on you, here is a second picture of you without clothing (for Science!!):
I posted it as an extra high resolution picture because if you zoom in close enough, you should be able to see small hints of the vast diversity of life forms peeking out from between your rolls. As a biologist, this has added an extra layer of excitement and intrigue to parenthood. Each time I give you a bath and I run a washcloth through those rolls, it feels like I'm exploring distant worlds for signs of life. All of those little canyons of flesh are like hospitable little pools of protoplasm amid the cracks and fissures of Titan or Europa. Not too hot. Not too cold. Not too wet. Not too dry. Just right. And just like a geologically active planet, new rolls are developing all the time, adding to the plethora of ecosystems.
I'm tempted to grab some petri dishes with agar and run an experiment. According to the Theory of Island Biogeography, the bigger rolls should harbor greater species diversity and richness, so if we don't give you a bath for a few days and then collect some samples from each of your rolls, we can put the theory to the test. I'd better do it soon, though, because your mother plans on putting you on a diet, in which case all of those little biological refugia will gradually dry up. Why she would want to extinguish a biodiversity hotspot and baby all rolled into one is beyond me. Maybe its for the same reason she won't let me keep a colony of fungus growing ants. Oh well. Mothers know best.