By John Jericiau
On a good day I’m 5’10” tall and around 160 pounds. Not particularly big by any means. More of a runner’s build, with bigger legs like a cyclist and more of a chest like a swimmer. I guess that’s what 30 years of triathlon competition will do for you. Anyway I’ve done okay for what I’ve been given in life, although I was sized out of my first sport after high school graduation. While it seemed like nearly the entire football team sprouted over 6 feet tall in the course of our senior year, I was left in the under 6 feet crowd which made me search for another sport. Triathlon was it and I couldn’t be happier. No concussions in triathlons!
I ended up marrying a guy with identical measurements of height, weight, waist size, shoe size, etc. Convenient to say the least. Conventional wisdom might assume that as we grew our family, our offspring, particularly if they were boys, would be similar in stature to us. However, three boys later, and they’re turning out to be almost completely the opposite.
Okay, now Devin is adopted, so one wouldn’t have any expectations with him. And here he is turning 6 years old in a few days, and all signs put him significantly over 6 feet tall by age 18, which is so great, being that he really wants to be the next Kobe. I’d like to take some credit for his 6-pack abs that are taking shape, but unfortunately I can’t. He’s got great genes in the muscularity and looks department, but truth be told: they’re not our genes.
Dylan is a different story. Our big boy is barely over 5 years of age and is already tipping the scale at 70 pounds. He towers over most of his preschool classmates (and even a lot of Devin’s kindergarten class) by at least a foot. According to all the equations that allow you to predict adult height and weight by plugging in toddler height and weight, my son will be 6’5” when I watch him graduate from high school.
Whether I can take credit for his gigantic girth and humungous height is unknown, since Alen and I both threw our genes into the mix during the IVF procedure, which essentially randomized the XY chromosome and anonymously provided the DNA. Although some of Dylan’s other physical features might lead us to lean toward one of us over the other as the bio-dad, we both have some huge men in our genetic past, including my father as well as both brothers of Alen. Over the last five years, random people have made just as many comments about how much Dylan resembles me as they have about how much he looks like Alen.
Now it’s five years later and we are watching our third son develop.
“What is in the water in your house?” his doctor demands to know as she pokes and prods him at his 6-month appointment. “All three of your boys are large!” she gasps as she measures his head circumference (huge!), his length (long!), and his weight (above average). And again, due to our mutual donation of DNA, we have no idea which family tree to look at to predict the potential size of this apple that has fallen out of it.
While the riddle of the DNA has absolutely no effect on their upbringing, their size certainly does. And try as I might, sometimes I fail trying to keep up with their growth. First failure has to do with the groceries. I remember my Mom complaining to my brother and me all the time about how quickly the milk disappears, and years later here I am singing exactly the same tune. I buy many half gallons of nonfat milk at a time, but before I know it I’m nursing the last few drops of the last container into their cereal bowl because I just can’t make it to the grocery store every single day. Someone suggested trying a milk delivery system, but I haven’t had a chance to look into it.
Even worse than the milk problem is the clothes problem. They grow so fast that I cannot keep up with the increase in sizes. Baby Dustin flew out of the 0-3month bracket so fast that many of the cool outfits I had ready for him did not even make it on him. Dylan has shot to a size 10 pant literally overnight. It’s happened that I’ve squeezed him in pants and sent him happily on his way to preschool, only to find on his return home that he was unable to clasp them shut after a potty visit. And Devin always seems to be wearing shirts that show his bellybutton, while his waist has remained a size 4 for the last couple of years.
Organizing clothes and sifting through them to weed out the too-small items takes time. Time that I don’t have. So for now the dresser drawers are so stuffed with the old and the new that they can’t even close entirely. No child has ever died from stuffed dressers, so I let it go for now.
Most dire is the need for more space. Not so much the space in their room, although we are working right now to move them to a bigger room in our house. I’m talking about the room in their beds. For the past couple of months or more, neither Devin nor Dylan has been able to stretch out at night on their back. The size of the toddler bed necessitates that they if they want to sleep on their back they either have to sleep in a curved configuration or else crick their neck to one side or the other. I snapped this picture of Dylan the other night (even bright flash doesn’t wake them up) who I found getting some relief by pouring part of his body off the bed onto the floor.
Or maybe he was praying for that new bed. Or more milk.