A Duo of Headbangers

Mommy Prayers actually has not one but two entries dedicated to headbangers. Prayer for Head-banging Music Turned Up Loud should be pretty self-explanatory if you’ve ever insisted, at the end of a long day, that you and you alone (emphasis on alone) need to run to the store, whereupon you collapse into the driver’s seat, turn the key, and crank the stereo up to eleven.

The other headbanger, unfortunately, isn’t funny at all — at least not when it’s happening to you. True confession, Prayer for My Head-banging Toddler was written with a certain somebody in mind, a somebody now old enough to object to his name appearing in print. I will honor that wish, though, as far as I’m concerned, the kid deserves to be outed for what he put us through.

This darling child, in a particularly terrible phase of the Terrible Twos, used to smash his head to the ground in frustration when things weren’t working out his way — mostly, when he couldn’t make us understand what he was trying to say. Call it pre-verbal rage, just don’t call it down on my house ever again.

Oh, it was funny, a little, when, in a snit, he’d smack his forehead on the couch or the rug. Less funny on the hardwood floor, the stairs, the lawn. Alarming and insane-making on the asphalt of the driveway or the concrete of the sidewalk.  

I went so far as to take him to the doctor once, when he’d given himself such an egg that it’d swelled up his whole face and produced two purple eyes. Believe me, it’s no picnic when strangers  in the store eye you like a criminal with the air of people who have the Child Services number programmed into their their cell phones. I remember the nurse lamenting that it was too bad he was a “front banger” rather than a kid who hit the back of his head, otherwise we could have tried keeping a bicycle helmet on him till the phase passed.

Of course, it did pass, and the head-banger is now old enough, and articulate enough, to think the whole thing is a big joke. Me, I’m just grateful that particular stage lasted as short a time as it did (and yes, I’m well aware that, for some kids, especially ASD kids, it doesn’t end. To those moms I can only say, “O sisters, I feel your pain”).


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