Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.

10.8.10

Scene Two.

FATHER is now standing over the crib. MOTHER is reading; the elephants have retired for the night. Silence reigns. FATHER gazes at the infant. He turns momentarily back to MOTHER.

FATHER: Sure is a big one. You must have a champion hammer-thrower in your family tree.

MOTHER: Not that I know of. Maybe a caber-tosser. But I thought it was you.

FATHER: Not us. We were distance athletes. Thin as rakes. Except for my grandfather. He used to laugh at us when we'd be madly lacing up our shoes to go out for a run, and tell us he'd never jogged a step in his life. He died a week short of 99.

MOTHER: That was the breathing he saved along the way. Actually, my grandmother's responsible. She was tiny, the size of a sparrow. One of my aunts was 10 pounds at birth. That was in Scotland in the 1930s. And born at home. Turned out to be an average sized adult, but she just got off to a good start.

FATHER: All that porridge and clootie dumpling during pregnancy I suppose.

MOTHER: And the black pudding, bannocks-and-cheese, stovies, crowdies and arbroath smokies.

FATHER: Why don't we eat like that?

MOTHER (NODS AT THE CRIB): She might have been 15 pounds then.

THE SOUND OF SMALL FEET IS HEARD OFF. A CHILD ENTERS THE SCENE AND STOPS.

THOMAS: I'm hungry.

FATHER: I was just thinking the same thing.

4 comments:

Janis Gore said...

My mother had big babies. All five of her boys were 10 pounds and up, born at home.

My sister was nine. I was thought pathetically skinny at eight.

kitchen hand said...

Well, they should have seen me at seven-something.

Janis Gore said...

Such a poor little mite.

Cereal, stat!

Dr. Alice said...

Aah, I love the weight-and-height debate. I think I was something under seven, but am not sure. I certainly made up for it later.