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Monday, June 29, 2009

The Headbanger.

The Babe is almost ten months old - his ten month birthday will be on July 4th. He does pretty much all the things that 9-10 month old babies should do: he sits, rolls, crawls, pulls to stand, climbs on stuff, and falls over. I swear, I will be shocked if he makes it to his first birthday without at least a minor concussion. Our toy box in the living room is just a big cardboard box, and he's figured out that if he tips it over and scoots it to the window, he can climb up on it and look out. This is problematic because each climb always ends in a fall, and no matter how much I try to stop him, I can't possibly be with him every second of the day. A woman - especially a pregnant one - has to pee sometimes, ya know.

And now he has a new trick, as though falling off things isn't enough. He has discovered the joys of headbanging. Except it's not like the headbanging we did in high school listening to Metallica. I don't recall ever whacking my head on things back then. But the head whacking is in fact the goal with The Babe's brand of headbanging.

I like to sit on the floor with the kids while they play or watch tv. The Babe will climb up on me, hold onto my shoulders, and beat his face into my chest. It feels like it should hurt him, but he thinks it's hysterical. And then he'll get down and go stand by the couch and bang his forehead into that, over and over, stopping every now and then to make sure we're all still watching him.
Then he'll crawl over to the wall - yes, the wall - and start beating his face on it. Over and over and over, accompanied by buckets of giggles. And then, as if all of that isn't enough, he'll get tired and lay on the floor and bang his head on it.

I'm not entirely sure why he does it. My girls never did that. And when your kid does something weird, you start thinking of all the weird possibilities. First I thought he had autism. But my stepdaughter's brother (who isn't my stepson) is severely autistic, and their mother (who was married to The Hub in the 90's, when I was still doing my own sort of headbanging) says he didn't start doing those behaviors till he was a toddler, and then he did it under stress, not to pass the time. Then I wondered if maybe he'd had some old juice that somehow fermented, but then, even if he did I don't think it would make him do that. If he found old juice - which is entirely possible in this house - I bet it would just make him throw up or sleep or both.

It's a mystery and it just brings me back to what I've been saying since I became a mom eight years ago: Kids are weird. Seriously.


Lisa said...

I've read about kids doing that when they're mad or as self-soothing thing at night, so I don't think it's totally abnormal. Sounds like he does it for attention. I guess as long as he's laughing and not crying you shouldn't worry about it too much. Autistic kids exhibit other signs like refusing to make eye contact and not meeting milestones (or regressing) and it doesn't sound like he's got problems there.

Anonymous said...

My daughter just started doing this - 8 months old - I think she thinks it's funny, though she also does something similar (more like headbang+burrow) when she's tired.