Think what you will about the Thompson family from Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, but my heart goes out to teen mom Anna right now. The eldest daughter of June Shannon and "Sugar Bear" made the couple grandparents with the birth of baby Kaitlyn. And now it's out that the baby has a birth defect -- she was born with an extra thumb on her right hand.
Yes, this is the same little girl who was dosed with a pacifier dipped in Mountain Dew recently, but the two things aren't related. The baby girl had the extra finger at birth. And from the way the family is talking, that thumb is there to stay.
Grandmother June told People that they've embraced the extra digit because "it makes Kaitlyn more special to us."
Well, that's one way to look at it. Hold on, I'm not criticizing this family.
I tend to think that if my child was born with an extra finger, I'd have it removed if only because it is so obvious. You can hide a third nipple under your shirt if it makes you uncomfortable. You can keep your six toes in a shoe until you begin to feel comfortable in flip flops. But there's no hiding your hands when you need to use them constantly.
I'd hate to think that my child was being picked on because of something that I could have had fixed.
But I can't fault Honey Boo Boo's sister if she decides that Kaitlyn's polydactyly (the official name for extra digits) is something she wants to just leave alone.
Until you're facing a baby with a birth defect face-to-face, it's easy to imagine what you would do. But when this is your reality, all those snap decisions tend to get lost in a sea of "what if"s.
What if you have surgery to remove an extra limb or digit and something goes wrong? The baby is seemingly healthy, so why put her life at risk? On the other hand, what if this extra thumb is going to turn her into the laughingstock of her classes in elementary school? Kids are cruel, and this could be what bullies choose to pick on to make her life a living hell.
Having all those thoughts running through her head can't be easy for Anna. Then add in the fuss over being on a TV show AND being a new mom? All I can think is that poor girl!
What would you do if your child was born with something "extra"? Would you embrace it or remove it?
Image via TLC