Ten Weeks, Percentiles, and a Laughing Boy

Zach had a doctor’s appointment less than a week after he was born.  They weighed and measured him and came back with his percentile score:  4. 

4th percentile, hmm.  I never was much into science, but when Kris first told me she was pregnant, I thought there might be a chance the child could get some of my genes.  I thought back to my first day of school when I learned I was small.  Not just small, the smallest.  And I remained the smallest, all the way into my sophomore year in college.

4th percentile. My genes at work. 

So Kris stuffed him his first two months of life.  If he cried, he got milk.  If he whined, he got milk.  If he whimpered, he got milk.  If he sneezed, he got his diaper changed (my genes, remember).

Time hurried through two months of life and visitors and giving to the boy.

And the boy had his appointment.   I got off work just in time to football hold him for his shots.  He got some shots in each thigh and cried for a few seconds:  he got her pain tolerance genes.

And then the weigh-in.

Zach was born three weeks early.  His first weigh-in, and 4th percentile score, wasn’t fair because he was being compared to full term babies.  With each successive weigh-in, I expected him to be up to the size of normal babies. 

At least.

I come from a tall family.  6’1″ dad and 6 foot brothers.  My cousins are 6’7″, 6’4″, and 6’3″.  Two 6 foot aunts.  And a 5’2″ mom who was kind enough to donate my stature gene.

My runty genes were sure to skip a generation, so Zach was probably in the 60th percentile or so by now and would end up in the 75th by his six month appointment.

His clothes came off.  And onto the scale he went.

The weight came up in kilograms.  I did some quick math.  At four pounds a kilogram, my boy was probably pushing 20 pounds at just ten weeks old!  That was 80th or 90th percentile territory.

The nurse typed some numbers into her computer.

“What percentile is he?” I asked, excitedly.

She looked at me, looked down at her computer, and looked at me again.

“6,” she said.


“That’s it.  10 pounds 2 oz.  6th percentile.”

I looked at her and I looked at the boy.

I dressed him and took him home. 

“6th percentile,” I said, proud of him.  “Two more than last time!”

And the boy gave me a laugh with a future in it.

My genes. My boy.

About Jimmy

The stories herein are about a sentimental 80s child who cried at every showing of ET (the sad part where he was lying in the wash) and his families, then and now. His wife, son, parents, and siblings play their parts well. They have their exits and their entrances. Sometimes their exits are sad, but not as sad as ET.
This entry was posted in fatherhood, Life, Nostalgia and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Ten Weeks, Percentiles, and a Laughing Boy

  1. Dianna says:

    So cute! Love that photo. And the last line of your post: wonderful!
    My son was 5 weeks premature – I remember being so worried that he wasn’t gaining weight like he should. It was all good, though!

  2. adslazaro says:

    Nathaniel is significantly below the first percentile, and heading in to the hospital tomorrow morning to get a feeding tube placed to try to bulk him up. So long as Zach *stays* at the 6th (or 4th) percentile, he’ll be fine. It’s only really worrisome if he starts to cut across curves and drop percentiles.

    • Jimmy says:

      While this post is a bit flippant, I realize how fortunate we are for Zach’s health. I pray that the feeding tube takes and Nathaniel puts on weight. My best to you and Stephanie.

      • adslazaro says:

        Didn’t mean to bring the mood down or anything; I quite enjoy your style, as you know, Jimmy. Nathaniel is doing well even without the weight gain, we’re just trying to make sure it doesn’t catch up to him at some point in the future. 🙂

  3. Jamison says:

    Hey Jimmy, congratulations on a healthy baby boy man! I haven’t talked to you in a while. I hope all is well.

  4. kerry says:

    Ya, but I bet he makes up for it in head circumference(once again your contribution to the gene pool) and what other baby do you know can poop in the bath water 11 times in one day!! 😉 Great future!

  5. Pingback: Big Heads, Shirt Episiotomies, and Crawling Styles | Stories About My Life, 92% True

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