This couldn’t be happening. It just couldn’t be true! I went to my father and asked him to identify the child in the picture. He uttered the words I feared: “Carly, that’s you.” So, it had been confirmed. There was no escaping the truth. I was an obese baby.
And what about my doctor? Was he concerned? Were any special tests performed to rule out any obvious causes? Did he instruct my parents to put me on a special diet to keep the weight down? Did he suggest an exercise regimen, which would have included both cardio and weight-training activities? I remembered seeing my mom’s calisthenics book lying around the house when I was younger. Maybe it was intended for me all along, although I certainly couldn’t remember having worn a leotard as an infant.
And what about daily life? Did other babies make fun of me? Was I required to wear compression stockings to keep the blood flowing in my mammoth legs? Did my parents purposely make sure I was fully bundled during outings to keep me hidden from the cruel world? And what if gastric bypass had been around back then? Would they have considered it? I wondered if my parents had joined a support group for families of enormous babies. And what about my future? Were they worried I would have weight issues as I grew into adulthood?
I’ve spoken to my parents and they whole-heartedly dispute my claims of obesity. Their arguments were as follows:
1) “It was baby fat. Most babies are fat. You were just a little fatter than the rest.”
2) “It was in your genes to be a large baby. Your brother had been even bigger than you at that age (nickname: “The Michelin Man”) and he eventually shed the pounds after a few years.”
3) “You were a sedentary baby. Crawling was not your thing and you were perfectly content just sitting there.”
4) “We made sure you were well-bundled because we lived in one of the coldest climates in the world. Do you not remember that? What is wrong with you?”*
I couldn’t argue with any of the above, it was all true. Touché Mom and Dad, touché.
Surprisingly, I ended up being an extremely skinny child, as did my brother. There was nothing to worry about after all.
I still enjoy sitting and doing nothing. It’s my thinking time.
If you own a large baby, don’t worry, it’s natural.
*They didn’t actually say that. Also, the quotation marks used throughout this story do not indicate actual quotes. Sometimes you have to make your best estimate of what someone may or may not have said.