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Schuyler's Monster (Brain, Child)
Elizabeth Roca
Brain, Child (Summer 2008)

When the instructor of the Lamaze class that Rummel-Hudson attended with his pregnant wife said, “So the first thing the nurse will do is hand the new baby to you, mommies, so you can count their little fingers and toes...” Rummel-Hudson added, “And heads!” Weisenheimer moments like this pepper this making-of-a-father memoir and help leaven what could be a true tale of woe. Rummel-Hudson’s daughter, Schuyler, was diagnosed at the age of three with polymicrogyria, a rare brain malformation that causes various developmental problems: the most frustrating, a lack of speech. Rummel-Hudson chronicles, with disarming frankness, the experience of parenting a child no one knows how to help. His own journey includes marital problems and fights with school administrators reluctant to work with Schuyler. His family’s trials haven’t extinguished Rummel-Hudson’s smartass side, but they’ve drawn forth a tenderness that is touching and utterly familiar: “This love was daunting to me. It was the rest of my life, this love... I was Schuyler’s prisoner now, and it was in that captivity that I had achieved my life’s joy.”