My son, Dylan, (almost 10 months), wears a helmet. A blue, space themed patterned helmet, that attracks a lot of attention. Everywhere we go, I feel like a celebrity, because people stare and ask questions. Other kids are the funniest. One kid at the park gave up his swing, and remarked, "Since I gave him a turn on my swing, can I have a turn with the helmet?". At another park, a kid asked me "What can he do?". He thought he was a superhero! Another kid said, "Can I try this on?", as he was pulling the helmet and Dylan's head!
When Dylan was born his head was always tilted to the one side. We just figured babies necks are weak and it was normal. But, as time went on, I started thinking it wasn't normal, and I asked the pediatrician about it. She told us he was fine, and since she's the expert we believed her. For awhile. I had this nagging feeling something wasn't right, so I told Jim I wanted to switch pediatricians and also take him to see a neurologist. By that time he was four months old, and the neurologist diagnosed him with torticollis, which basically means his neck muscles on the one side are weak, causing his head to tilt. It can cause problems if not caught early and treated.
Thus began the wonderful assortment of doctor visits, therapy sessions, hospitals, xrays, waiting rooms, etc, etc. Dylan has taken it all in stride, even when he got the helmet at 7 months, to correct the plagiocephaly (head flattening) caused from always laying on the one side. So, for almost 3 months now, he has been wearing the helmet for 23 hours a day. We are supposed to take it off for only one hour a day, to clean it, and let the stinky head air out!
As nice as it is to see his head with the helmet off during that hour, I always dread it, because Dylan thinks he is a stuntman. He has no fear. None. If he is on the couch, he tries to dive off head first. If he is on the front deck he tries to dive down the stairs head first. If we let him play on the bed, he tries to dive off head first. Today I was carrying him face out and he decided he wanted down that very second, so he dove out of my arms (you guessed it) head first. He did it with such force that he was airborne for a second, before I caught him by his legs on the way down! Lately the hour without the helmet usually involves ice. He is cruising along all the furniture, but doesn't try to get down gracefully. He just flings himself down, which usually results in him bumping his head, and me getting the ice pack. Again. He has a beef with the pillows on the couch for some reason, and he is constantly pulling them off the couch and flinging them to the floor, where he dives on top of them, and wrestles them to submission, again resulting in him bumping his head.
What are we going to do when the helmet comes off for good? Either we live in padded rooms, (sometimes I am ready for that for other reasons), or I start carrying around ice packs in a holster.