Crowning

Leave a comment

December 15, 2012 by The Citron Review

by Robin Silbergleid
 

My daughter has a big head. When the baby was small and mostly bald, a friend said she resembled Sinead O’Connor, which, she clarified, she intended to be a compliment. Her skull was perfectly round, with a throbbing fontanel, the spot where the bones of the skull fuse. My daughter’s didn’t close until well after she turned two, and I wondered for a long time if there wasn’t enough bone to close the gap, wondered if I’d have to worry for the rest of her life about that mushy place where her brain lay just under the skin, like a bad spot on a cantaloupe left on the counter too long. It nauseated me just thinking about it.

My daughter’s head has been in the eightieth percentile or higher since her two-month checkup. This in itself is not significant. But, currently, she has a ninetieth percentile head on a twenty-fifth percentile body. In other words, she is a relatively short, skinny kid with a big head.

This has several consequences, notably:

1. The head makes her appear older than she is. Someone recently mistook her for an ill-behaved five-year-old, still sucking on a pink pacifier and sporting an Elmo diaper under her shorts.

2. The head makes those around her vulnerable to injury. Her skull has collided with my top lip more times than I can count, splitting it until it bleeds and swells. The last time, when she nearly cracked my tooth, I borrowed her Boo-Boo Kitty Ice Pack to soothe my face.

3. The head makes her vulnerable to injury. She whacks it on doors, on the floor, on the windowsill next to the bed.

4. The head makes dressing difficult. When she was one, she cried “big head! big head!” while I tried to pull a t-shirt down over her. It didn’t go. I pulled the shirt off, stretched it, tried a slightly different angle, and gave up, both of us close to tears. I thought about giving birth, the doctor making an incision to let her head pass through my body, unzipping my skin like the top of a shirt.

I labored for twenty-one hours. Cephalopelvic disproportion, my doctor said. My daughter was not large. Her head circumference was an average 13.5 inches at birth. Still, my body thought her head big enough that she never descended into my pelvis, the first step into the birth canal on the way into the world.

When my doctor checked my progress during labor, she said the baby kept moving back, like a child hiding behind her mother’s legs at a party. At the end of it, numbed from the chest down, I was wheeled into the operating room for a cesarean. All I remember of my daughter’s birth is a popsicle-colored voice asking, “What does she look like?”

Every day, when the crown of her head emerges, her eyes are bright, her brown curls wild and abundant.

 

Robin Silbergleid is author of the chapbook Pas de Deux: Prose and Other Poems. Her work has appeared in journals including Dislocate, The Prose-Poem Project, Crab Orchard Review, andΒ Cream City Review, for which she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She lives in East Lansing, Michigan, where she teaches at Michigan State University.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

πŸ‹10th Anniversary

Fall 2019 IssueSeptember 23rd, 2019
68 days to go.

πŸ‹ Instagram

We have some happy news to share! The Citron Review contributor Amye Archer has joined our Creative Nonfiction editorial team. Let's welcome her! Amye Archer - Author of Fat Girl, Skinny: A Memoir, and is the co-editor of If I Don't Make It, I Love You: Survivors in the Aftermath of School Shootings. (Skyhorse Publishing, Inc., 2019). She holds an MFA from Wilkes University. Amye's work has been published in Scary Mommy, Longreads, Feminine Collective, Brevity, Marie Claire, and more. Amye is mom to twin daughters and wife to Tim. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania. Follow her at @amyearcher https://citronreview.com/2019/03/20/one-week/ #briefliterature #cheerstotenyears #amreading #TheCitronReview #creativenonfiction
We're pleased to highlight creative nonfiction from Julie Watson. "Odds Are" is now available in our Summer Issue. https://citronreview.com/2019/06/21/odds-are/ #amreading #flashcnf #summerissue #cheersto10years
Anita Goveas, @raspberrybakewell, has fiction featured in our Summer Issue. https://citronreview.com/2019/06/21/coverings/ #amreading #flashfiction #summerissue #cheersto10years
New Flash Fiction from Mary Grimm, who has published a novel, Left to Themselves and a collection of stories, Stealing Time (which are both on Random House). She teaches fiction writing at Case Western Reserve University. https://citronreview.com/…/…/21/the-dream-of-her-long-dying/ #TheCitronReview #SummerIssue #Summer2019 #flashfiction #cheersto10years
Creative Nonfiction from our new Summer issue, "What About Me?" by Phyllis Reilly. https://citronreview.com/2019/06/21/what-about-me/ #TheCitronReview #SummerIssue #Summer2019 #flashcnf #cheersto10years
From our summer issue, "How Much Snow" by Erik Moellering. Erik Moellering teaches English at A-B Tech Community College in Asheville, NC, where he also performs in a variety of theatrical productions. https://citronreview.com/2019/06/21/how-much-snow/ #TheCitronReview #SummerIssue #CitronSix #Summer2019 #poetry #cheersto10years

Enter your email address to follow us and receive notifications of new issues by email.

%d bloggers like this: