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Tuesday, February 11, 2014


When Keke was born, he was only a little more than 4 pounds because he was three weeks early and I had HELLP syndrome. Luckily all his organs were fully developed at birth except that there was little to no fat on his body. Therefore he had a hard time keeping his body temperature.  The picture of Keke's stick figure laying naked inside a box under a heated lamp was still vivid in my mind. I was also instructed to be "skin to skin" with him frequently at the hospital. Basically to put his naked body on my bare chest so that he can learn to regulate his body temperature using mine. At discharge, the pediatrician required us to bring Keke in every week for the first month to make sure he was gaining weight steadily.  After much worries, feeding and God's blessings, the result paid off in spade. Keke's weight rapidly excel from 2%tile to 50%tile in 4 months. It's like blowing up a human balloon in front of my eyes. At Keke's last physical check up, unlike the first 3 years of age which the baby's size can double in the first 6 months, the pediatrician told us his growth will start to slow down tremendously from now on.  For some reason, this is a new idea to me, that people grow in a certain rate at certain time and 3 years old is one of the marks.

Human physiology and genetics fascinate me. Although Keke was born as a stick figure, his head was average in size because the body automatically preserved his brain at all cost. According to research, the human brain develops in a particular order at certain age. Specifically, the frontal lobe of the human brain is not fully connected to the rest of the brain until mid 20s, and this accounted for the lack of judgement and risk taking behavior in the adolescence years. To make matter worse, children and adolescent's brains are born to be easily excitable to the environment because that's how children learn in a rapid pace. The downside to that is they respond too quickly and without the capability of connecting their actions to the consequence. Believing Keke as the reincarnated dare devil with a mixture of curious George, I have already tasted a glimpse of his teenage years since he was mobil. With Keke's unpredictable adrenaline rush, creative ways to somehow get himself in trouble, and his motto "I do it!", it's my personal achievement if Keke is still in one piece when he turns 18. I can totally see him sky diving, jumping off the cliff wearing nothing but his underwear and will not be surprised if he is featured in those extreme sports channel one day. To prepare me for Keke's treacherous years to come, "What is he thinking?" is not the right question to ask. Instead, remember to work on "What is he NOT thinking?"

Summer's Footprint:

Can you find the judgement gland?

The Teen Brain: It's Just Not Grown Up Yet