“Common Sense, Dancing” Would be an Excellent Title for Something.

1. Insert rippling calendar pages here.

Twyla turned six months old last Thursday. A week ago. Still not ready to discuss it. Verklempt.

(Look! Where did that wee baby go?)


(This fat baby ATE HER.)

2. Your Only Friend is the Eel.

Twyla’s six month Well Baby Check (that title always seems either presumptuous or threatening, I can’t tell which) was yesterday. The child has a giant head. It doesn’t look alarming in pictures, with only the two dimensions, but in real life, it invites comment. When my mother is talking to someone about her newest granddaughter, I inevitably hear “Oh, and her head is just HUGE” within the first minute or so, along with a remark about Twyla’s other notable feature, the odd Muppet-yell/dinosaur noises she makes that are constantly alarming my mother when we talk on the phone, because it sounds very Wild Kingdom in the background over here. (Just this morning we were discussing Twyla’s head—for reasons that will become clear in a moment—and I mentioned that, well, MY head was very big as a baby, and my mother interrupted me with “No. Not like that. I have never seen such a big head on any baby, EVER.”) Twyla’s head has always been in the higher percentiles–at four months I think it was in the 80-somethingth, and this time, at six months, it was up in the high 90ths (I am too tired to go find the little sheet of baby statistics they gave me. I know she weighs 15 pounds, has big head). The doctor wasn’t worried per se, but said if things were continuing to trend upward at nine months she might be, and at that point the next step would be a brain ultrasound, only brain ultrasounds are easiest earlier, when the fontanelle is still big, like a creepy flesh-window into the skull, so it might be best to do it now. Twyla’s big-headedness has rather slowed her roll, so to speak–she was late with several milestones, not only rolling but pushing up on her arms and all the things you would expect to be difficult if you were essentially attempting to maneuver a billiard ball atop a gherkin. This kind of milestone lag is very common in the big-headed, and not worrisome in and of itself, and her pediatrician was of the opinion that (given the fact that Scott is unable to buy a hat big enough to fit him and that as a baby my own head did indeed look like that of a enormous-brained comic book villain) it was likely a case of genetic cephalomegaly, otherwise known as inherited big-headedness. Alas, we were unable to confirm this by looking at Simone’s records as her preemie status complicates everything (though there is that song Scott used to sing to her), and better safe than hydrocephalic, so to radiology we went.

And it turns out there is indeed some extra fluid in Twyla’s head. Luckily it is “benign extra axial fluid of infancy,” which is not associated with developmental problems in the absence of other risk factors, and doesn’t press upsettingly on vital brain bits or anything. Probably Twyla just likes making cerebral spinal fluid and is storing up extra in case there should be a shortage. She sprouted two teeth at four months, an age when no baby yet has any need for teeth, so I think she just likes to stockpile things.

Anyhow, now both of my girls have had head ultrasounds as babies, so Twyla can never pout that I didn’t shower her with sound waves like I did her sister.

3. Quotation

I opened up a document the other day and it had nothing in it but a quote I had copied down from somewhere, sometime. I have no memory of this at all, but I love this quote so much I want it embroidered on a pillow or something:

Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing.

–William James


  1. Tina says:

    My son’s head was huge too at this age. Not only that but at ten months old, he was the size of a 2 year old!!!

    He never crawled because he lacked the muscle mass to support his body and he just got up and walked at 15 months lol.
    He is absolutely normal and now at age 7, he is the size of a 11 year old!! My grandfather was 6′ 7″ so that has something to do with it (I am a measly 5′ 7″ lol but hubby is 6′ 1″).

    Yes his big size did delay milestones and the fact he didn’t crawl caused some issues with fine motor skills (since his palms never bore weight, his brain didn’t form that connection) but it was easily rectified.

    BTW my twins were also preemies (except Cody was HUGE for a preemie as I’ve said and didn’t even see the door of the NICU unlike his tiny twin brother lol).
    Twyla is adorable but we knew she would be because, you know… you are too and so is Simone!! :)

    Give the girls a big kiss all the way from Greece!!
    I am a big fan!!
    Merry Christmas!!

  2. Ariella says:

    I didn’t know we both had our babies on June 13th!! I know yours was a bit early, though – I remember being pregnant “with” you (as much as creepy blog stalker can be ;)) but I gave birth on my due date. Anyway, my daughter ALSO has a huge head – we call her a bobblehead. She’s really tiny – 8th percentile in weight, 13th in height…but 60th in head circumference. Her daddy has a giant head too, so nobody is surprised. I’m just glad I had a c-section so I didn’t have to push that giant head out!! She did some things early (rolled at 3 months, etc) but it was only in the last couple months or so that she was really able to support herself on her arms on her tummy. Her giant head was too heavy to lift!

  3. Heather says:

    Commonsense, Dancing would be my Native American name. But perhaps that only sounds plausible because I actually know one name Windsong, Dancing and it has the same cadence.

    And I so agree about the Well Baby Visit. You put into words (in parantheses no less) what has been bugging me for years. What was so wrong with having Check-Ups?

  4. Jane says:

    We are a singularly big-headed family as well. My niece went through the whole “Let’s get a better look at what’s inside that gigantic head” tests as an infant. My nephew has never been able to wear a t-shirt or sweater without adaptation (to the t-shirt, not the child). Be proud of your big-headedness!

  5. Amy says:

    Ike has hereditary giant-noggin-itis, too. We did the ultrasound at four months, and I made his father come with us to the six-month checkup, as illustration, because I was going to throw a fit if they said they needed to knock him out for an MRI. They didn’t find any extra fluid, but the diagnosis still cracks me up: ‘benign large head of infancy.’ Ya think? It’s nice that they are so thorough in checking up on potential items of concern, but jeeeeez. Ike just started rolling, too, though he did sit up on his own first. Those giant, extra-wrinkly brains are hard to maneuver! She is adorable…I totally get the verklempt-ness.

  6. Melanie says:

    Big-headedness runs in my family too… in fact both of my kiddos were born with heads in the 95% and I was THRILLED to have had c-sections when I saw them. I like to remark when people said something that they needed the extra room for all the smarts they had stored in them, but really eventually they grew into their heads like puppies grow into their feet. Glad Twyla got all checked out, but hey there is some fun to having one’s own infant/toddler-sized bobble head, not everyone gets to say that (we probably need to form a club complete with whining about how we have to buy shirts a whole size bigger than the child wears just to get it over the childs head without ripping ears off)! I absolutely love that quote, writing it down now.

  7. Rebecca S. says:

    First, let me say that Twyla is ADORABLE!!! And I honestly don’t say that about all babies because, well, some just aren’t.

    Second, let me say that my son also has a very large head, 99th percentile I think! His father and grandfather also have 99th percentile heads so we think it is genetic but we also had it checked out. We went to see a pediatric neurosurgeon which is not a Dr. I ever expected to have to see. Thankfully after an ultrasound it was determined that he has benign external hydrocephalus.

    Still, a big head definitely poses problems with clothing! He always complains when I struggle to get shirts over his massive head. Plus, he always seems to be bonking it on things! :+) I can’t help but think of the movie “So I Married an Axe Murderer”.

  8. Gray girl says:

    My otherwise tiny son (3rd percentile for length, 15th for weight at the time) also sports a head to rival satellites. (“He has a head like Sputnik,” in fake Scottish brogue; anyone?) I recall that when they handed me the sheet of baby stats at one visit, the doctor had simply drawn an arrow pointing skyward in the space for head circumference. He has consistently had a 98th or 99th percentile head. Hopefully he will grow into his billiard ball over time.

  9. Tara says:

    She’s beautiful. :) Also, I have a big headed baby who is now almost two. At her 18 month well-baby visit her head circumference was at the 96th percentile and her length at the 3rd percentile. There has been talk of head scanning and there was a chart review by a pediatric endocrinologist due ups in head circumference percentiles over time and drops in lenght percentiles over time–but mostly we’re just watching–her dad and grandfather are short with great big heads, so it seems likely she’s just built like them (and possibly even growing like them). I kind of keep expecting her to fall off of the charts in one direction or the other, but so far she hasn’t. :) Anyway, my actual point is that people are always falling all over themselves talking about how cute she is–seriously they go on and on. It seems like people can’t quite pinpoint why they think she’s sooooo cute, but I think at least part of her extreme adorability is related to her disproportionately large noggin. I adore her giant head, and now have a soft spot for the big headed babes of the world. :)

  10. KDA says:

    Interesting . . . my DH and I joke about our daughter’s big noggin’ and like Twyla, she also started sprouting teeth at 4 months. It must be a common trait of really cute kids.

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