Around the middle of last month, things started getting…dicey with Danny. By dicey, of course, I mean totally concerning. He was starting to withdraw into himself more, getting quiet, avoiding playing with me, showing an even shorter attention span than usual, and – the thing that bugged me by far the most – taking to banging his head against the wall or floor.
I was, of course, totally beside myself over it. Where did this come from? What does it mean? Always one to take the leap, I started really starting to research all sorts of things, and phrases and terms were thrown all over on the Internet that scared me. (Have I mentioned that, as much as I love the Internet, I hate the Internet?) You’d think that, by now, I’d know better than to go to Google with things like this, but I’m a creature of habit and the 21st century.
One of his prime times for head banging was right after nap time. He’s taken pretty short naps since leaving daycare – I just couldn’t get him to stay asleep for more than an hour, compared to the 2-3 hours he was getting there. I figured it was a phase and got into stubborn mommy mode. He could nap in his bed, he was fully capable of taking long naps on his own, and so I decided he either would, or he didn’t need it. I would go in there, scoop him up from his head banging, put his CIs on, and work frantically to distract him, play with him, feed him, and keep him happy while he spent the next hour totally miserable. Putting him in his own bed made him jump back up, and he would nap in his bed, or he would not nap at all.
Then, one day, I was tired and just didn’t feel like the whole routine. When I heard him get up and close his door, I ran upstairs, picked him up after only one or two BAMs of his head on the wall, and took him down to the couch. I remembered a few weeks previous when, during our IFSP, I’d taken him downstairs and he’d cuddled in and fell back asleep; maybe he’d do it again?
Yep, he sure did. When he woke, he sat on my lap for a bit in a sort of daze, slowly waking up. Then, he looked me in the eye and smiled. Seriously, I swore this kid hadn’t looked me in the eye in a week. He slipped down, and when I picked up his CIs, he held out an arm for me to put them on instead of fighting me. We got a snack, played with Eric, and all carried on. The next day, I grabbed him when he woke up and settled on the couch, and though he didn’t fall asleep, he lay snuggled on my lap for about half an hour just sort of…being. Then, he smiled at me, slipped off my lap, and we carried on.
After a week or so of this, I noticed that he was much more engaged both at school and at home.
After a second week, I couldn’t remember the last time he’d banged his head on the wall or floor.
My God, he was just tired. (Well, not just… He’s still definitely got his issues, but they aren’t overrunning him.) He gets that extra down time or sleep and he’s like this totally different kid; he just needed the extra rest to help him pull himself together. He brings me toys and waits for me to start singing/playing. He mimics things I do, then stares at me like, ‘your turn now!’ He’s babbling again, and silly again, and my child again. All of that because I decided – I don’t even know why, it’s not like it’s my usual style – that he had to spend his entire nap in his bed come heck or high water.
Smooth move, Mom.
Nice play Shakespeare!!!! Ha ha ha, don’t you wish kids came with a instruction book???? But then that would be too easy, and what would there be for us to feel guilty about. It’s ok really, you figured it out and he is fine and your back on track. That’s all that matters is that you have your Danny boy back. Ya just hit a speed bump. Enjoy the day and your family, take care and we will chat soon. Love you to the moon and back. Mom(who by the way… still has guilt issues of her own,,,,meeeep! It never really ends.)