Big Heads, Shirt Episiotomies, and Crawling Styles

I held my head up for the first time at eighteen and a half months and the doctors gawked at the strength of my neck.  My head accounted for two-thirds of my body weight.  My older brother Jeff made fun of me mercilessly, calling me witty things like ‘Big-head’ and ‘Giant-head.’ 

My head was a bit less wobbly by the time I got to elementary school.  The kids called me things like three-eyes on account of my eye-patch and bifocal glasses or alfalfa on account of me liking alfalfa sprouts. 

I still have no clue how those kids knew I liked alfalfa sprouts.

Overall though, aside from being the last one chosen for dodgeball, my head-size did not stir comments. 

And then, in 1985, the movie Mask came out.  Mask was about a kid named Rocky who had a skull deformity causing a huge head.  He also collected baseball cards.  Instantly, I went from four-eyes (I lost the patch after Kindergarten) to Rocky. 

Rocky from the movie Mask.

Me, not realizing there was a new movie out, figured the kids thought my math skills were somewhat akin to a boxing champion’s skills.  They’d yell, ‘Hey look, it’s Rocky from the movie’ from across the schoolyard and I’d smile and raise my hands in a muscle/victory pose.  Sometimes I’d even throw a punch or two.

Rocky IV also came out that year.

Zach tumbled into this world with his mom’s constitution and his dad’s cranium.  In nine months, his height/weight/head circumference percentile scores climbed from 4/3/20 to 18/14/116. 

I explained to the doctor that she probably didn’t understand percentiles if she gave Zach a score over 100.  She explained that I probably didn’t understand just how big Zach’s head was if I thought traditional percentile scores could do it justice.

Six month shirts still fit him, but we couldn’t get them over his head, so we gave them a snip at the neck.

His head size demands a unique crawling style.  Zach sees something far off that he wants. 

Wrapping paper from Christmas... his favorite toy!

He lays his head on the floor, skids his cheek against the carpet as he pushes forward with his toes, picks up his head to check his progress, and starts the process over again.

Almost there!

We taught him to alternate crawling cheeks to symmetrically rug burn each side of his face. 

He’s a smart boy.

It was a full year later when I saw Mask and learned that the kids were making fun of me the whole time.  Crestfallen, I decided to wear my baseball hats extra tight to shrink my head to a more normal size.

I was fifteen before I realized that I was just stretching the hats.

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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 2nd Grade, Elementary School and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Big Heads, Shirt Episiotomies, and Crawling Styles

  1. inkline says:

    I can’t wait to see how he learns to walk…it’ll be quite the balancing act!
    Poor little Jimmy. 😦 Mean kids. But, I guess if I read a few of your early stories on here, I won’t feel so bad for you…just a little.

  2. Adrienne says:

    well, my name is Adrienne…and I lived in phili when the Rocky movies came out…so I got a lot of ‘yo Adrienne’ … which was the nicest thing most kids had ever said to me. sigh. You hooked me at “shirt episiotomies” hahaha! As his dad before him, grow into his head he will!

    • Jimmy says:

      Kids are mean, yet many of us still have fond memories of elementary school. I thought I was finally through with the teasing when I joined the Air Force. My drill instructor gave me a nickname though… Airman Rock Head.

      Most of those onesies have buttons at the neck. Unfortunately, when I pull them over his head, the buttons leave read marks on his face because the shirts are so tight. I’ve taken to stretching the neck even further to keep the boy from crying.

      If he’s anything like his father, his body will catch up with his head size by the time he’s 25.

  3. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    Your boy is adorable! He will grow into that brain, don’t worry. And he will find shirts that fit him. No worries.

  4. Toni Mann says:

    Loved the comparisons. My son’s wife just gave birth to their first child,(a boy) and my son’s biggest worry was that the baby would inherit not only his big head, but his big ears! Sure enough, he got both, and I couldn’t be more pleased.

  5. Thanks for liking my first post! Thoroughly enjoyed yours.

  6. projectwhitespace says:

    Goodness, I remember Mask. I never thought of it being used in such a way. Love your writing! And thanks for stopping by!

  7. Dianna says:

    Yes, kids at school can be so mean. Sometimes I think it just makes us stronger!
    Zach is a cutie.
    your post made me laugh – they always do!

  8. Mom says:

    I love the 118 percentile. We were actually referred to a neurologist who said there was nothing wrong wilh you other than having an extra large head. Hope you’re exagerating about the teasing at school. Fine time for me to find out kids were mean to you.
    Love you…

  9. Maxi Malone says:

    Rocky in the movie Mask was made fun of, still he was loved by many … made me feel good to see the kindness of others.

    Zach is a beautiful boy, looks powerful; his body will come together.

    Blessings – Maxi

  10. Thanks for liking my post. I was drawn to this post, of all of yours, because of the title. I, too, had a monstrously large head, at least as an infant. My husband calls it a “fivehead” when he sees my baby pictures. Love the concept of your blog and especially love that your mom comments on your blog. My mom does, too, but she emails her comments to me on the sly. I’ll definitely be stopping back!

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