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The Skinny on Simon

My guy has always been a long, tall drink of water. Until recently, it wasn’t something I thought much about unless I was staring at a size chart and wishing I could read it on the diagonal. That’s all changed now; I’ve lately found myself reading tips on weight gain and monitoring Simon’s eating with no small measure of anxiety. And no, I’m not just channeling my inner Yenta.

About a month ago, Simon stepped on the scale when he wasn’t wearing jeans and a sweater and I realized that he didn’t weigh the 37 pounds we recorded at the doctor’s office; he weighed about 35.5 or 36. I didn’t think much about it. Then he shot up over an inch in five weeks and didn’t gain any weight to go with it. I didn’t  think much about that, either. Then he got more active with the end of winter and appeared to have lost a half pound. I wasn’t thrilled, but the alarms had not yet gone off.

Now he’s had a mild bug for two days, allergies for two months, hasn’t eaten well for ages, and came in at 34 pounds on our scale yesterday morning. That puts him in the 3rd percentile for boys his height and makes him officially, medically underweight. Even if I round to 34.5, it’s not enough to budge him into the healthy range. My best hope is that my scale is off a full pound (It’s never been off before), putting Simon right on the line for being the proper weight.

Matt tells me that watching this brings his entire childhood into focus. His earliest memories include adults discussing how skinny he was. And to be fair, when I first met him at 16 he was, no doubt about it, the skinniest person I knew. Meanwhile, I was a slim child myself. Still, I was no slimmer than many of my peers, whereas Simon is all edges and hard lines while his peers seem softer and more supple.  There’s nowhere I can rub him and not feel bones. He has an articulated rib cage, a cavern between pelvic bones, a foot that already measures as a slim size, and stick-like arms and legs.

So is this simple genetics or a nutrition issue? I don’t know. I mentioned my concern to a friend yesterday, and his measured response was “Someone has to be in the bottom 5% percent, and they don’t all have to be malnourished.”He has a good point.

Still, I’m going to throw away the low-fat dairy products the books tell you to switch to at age two, load up on full fat milk, yogurt, and cheese, ply Simon with some protein enriched smoothies, and see if I can put just a little meat on his slender bones.

2 Responses to “The Skinny on Simon”

  1. christine says:

    How tall is he now?

  2. Jessica says:

    Christine: Not exactly sure. He was 42″ at a check-up in late Feb/early March. Since then, pants and shirts have continued to creep up on him, so I’d guess he’s around 42 1/2 inches. I ran his BMI measurements at the verified 42″ height.

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