After what seems like many long weeks – Maddie’s headband has finally gone the way of the dinosaur. This is the day her parents have been looking forward to for some time, and obviously so has Maddie.
As the cranial technicians discussed the possibility of removing the band behind closed doors, Maddie’s anxiety and anticipation was off the charts. She demonstrated this by dousing me with three separate celebratory streams of spit up. Oh the fun of it all and the festivities were really just getting warmed up.
Free from the burden of the headband, the baby also banished any thought of sleep. She blew off nap after nap – after all, who can sleep at a time like this?
Finally I broke down and decided to take Maddie out for a walk. The first thing that jumped out at me was how much easier it is to change her clothes and put on a jacket without the massive headband in the way. This was a point of contention with Maddie ever since she first put the band on. It often led to fussy behavior and a little bit of pouting.
So Maddie took her first walk outside in a long time without the protection of the headband. This was when things really got interesting. Multiple people kept coming up to Maddie and trying to get her to smile. We got stopped by three different groups of people who wanted us to hang out so they could say hi to her.
Even with all the attention Maddie is getting, there is one distinct downside that we haven’t encountered yet. For months now, Maddie has been swinging various items around and knocking herself right in the head.
The protective band has blunted these blows to the head time and time again. Maddie’s parents cringe at the thought of her having to learn the hard way not to knock herself in the cabeza. For now all we can do is hope for the best and pray that Maddie learns very quickly.
We often refer to Maddie as the “Honey Badger” because of her rare brand of toughness. But this morning, the baby adopted the characteristics of the honey badger’s archenemy, the dreaded spitting cobra!
More and more, Maddie has taken to expressing her displeasure by sticking out her tongue and blowing spittle. You really can’t miss the noise or saliva splatter that carpets the area when little Maddie is acting out.
When Maddie directs this behavior towards her Dad, I cancel the transaction by placing my finger on her bottom lip. This type of behavior has recently started to ramp up during one of three activities:
- Diaper changes
- Wardrobe changes
- Headband adjustments
This spackle/spittle issue really didn’t cross my mind when the baby arrived at the craniologist’s office this morning. We had a simple appointment to get Maddie’s headband adjusted. Once the adjusting process began, it didn’t take long for Maddie’s fussiness meter to start pinging.
I warned the headband technician to beware of Maddie’s spittle. She told me not to worry just as Maddie tried to apply her first coat of spackle onto the poor woman. I gently touched the baby’s bottom lip to remind her that we don’t spray people with our saliva. Luckily, the spray missed its mark, but I cautioned the tech again to be on the lookout.
Just as Maddie was getting the back of her head examined, she fired a second round of liquid love that fell helplessly to the floor. Once again, I apologized for Maddie’s boisterous behavior and the tech assured me that I had nothing to worry about.
Well, we’ve all heard that the third time is the charm. No sooner had the tech relaxed when Maddie the cobra let loose a venomous splatter of biblical proportions. The generous spray caught the tech right in the face and in one of her eyes. The tech staggered back, struggling for composure while Maddie eyed her suspiciously and I spewed my vehement apologies.
I’ve always wondered what it would feel like to watch your child do something wildly inappropriate, I just never thought the first incident would occur so early. I suppose this was how little Maddie decided she would celebrate her 6-month birthday. We can only imagine what goodies she will cook up for us when she turns one-year-old.
Maddie and her PaPa didn’t get enough foul weather this weekend in the snow, so today we thought we would venture out into the rain. That wasn’t the actual plan, but as soon as we got outside, it started dumping. Luckily, we have a massive golf umbrella that is about the size of a circus big top!
We made our way to the local Starbucks where everyone was especially chatty today and the main topic of conversation was Maddie’s headband. First people would say, “Oh she’s so cute!” Then would come, “Why does she need the helmet?”
I didn’t answer at first and then the wild speculation began. “Does she crash her head into the crib?” “Does she fall down a lot?” “Is it some sort of athletic band?”
Maddie is a few days short of 6-months-old. As far as I know, she doesn’t fall down at all and has yet to pick up any full-contact sports. But I was enjoying this line of questioning so I helped where I could.
First I told them that once we took down the cushions around the crib, Maddie actually split the wood siding with a headbutt. We actually have the helmet to stop her from damaging the furniture. “Nuh uh, no way,” they protested.
“I know, it crazy, right? She’s some sort of commando baby,” I assured them.
They looked at me suspiciously, but I kept a straight face. Finally one of them said, “Oh yeah, I’ve heard about those things before.”
At this point, Maddie was rolling her eyes, obviously stunned at what she was hearing. But the Starbuck’s barista was onto me, “So let me get this straight, she wears the helmet to protect your furniture?”
“Well, it’s for the baby’s protection as well, but when you can break wood with your head, how much protection do you really need?”
I grabbed my coffee with a smile, Maddie gave them a quick wink and we disappeared into the rain and fog leaving them to ponder the power of Maddie’s little noggin.
Maddie’s magical headband continues to provide trials and tribulations for the entire family. Our most recent trip to the cranium tech came with a little added parental spice. Since the start of this process, we had insisted that the band was not fitting the baby’s head properly.
This was proven true the very first day when Maddie developed a nasty welt on her left cheekbone. In fairness, I suppose that a parent should have a pretty good idea of how well something fits on their baby from the start.
After a quick examination and acknowledgement of the obvious welt issue, the tech agreed that the band needed a little bit of work to fit better. Maddie was the model of decorum through the entire examination process.
So the headband got a little bit off the top and it was time to head home for the evening meltdown. I have to hand it to the cranium techs, they are true experts at keeping the baby entertained while they mess with head and neck. They accomplish this feat with an amazing arsenal of noise making toys.
Every time we are in the office, I’m reminded of the Batman movie in the late 80’s. Jack Nicholson, who plays the Joker, has just been befuddled by one of Batman’s space age gizmos and exclaims, “Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?”
I know he didn’t get them from Amazon, but I’m pretty sure we will be able to replicate some of those at home. If Maddie doesn’t enjoy them, I’m sure I will!
The DOC Headband has weighed heavily on our parental minds for weeks now. We knew the appointment was coming, but did our best to try and forget about it. Our greatest fear was that the band would be uncomfortable for the baby. However, it seems that the band is bothering the parents a great deal more than it’s troubling Maddie.
The fact that baby is not bothered is a great relief to us, but we know that could change. I actually like the look. When Maddie is wearing the band, she looks like one of the PowerPuff Girls, the black-haired one named Buttercup!
The band is designed to help shape the head in a certain way so the baby has no jaw problems when she gets older. Of course it is all but impossible to believe that there are any issues now. You can already tell by her pictures that Maddie is perfect.
So now comes the trial period where we check for sore spots on the baby’s head every three hours. This is to make sure that Maddie is not having any adverse reaction to the material against her scalp.
It’s certainly not designed to be an attractive piece of headgear, but Maddie makes it look good. And what’s up with the name, “the DOC Headband?” In most states, the D-O-C stands for the department of corrections. That’s right, jail, prison, the big house where society houses the bad guys. I guess we’re lucky that the doctor didn’t suggest that Maddie wear the orange correctional jumpsuit. Next thing you know, they will have her working on the chain gang with Cool Hand Luke.
So back to the headband – there will be no pictures of this little time period in our lives. Maddie may check out this blog in the future and lord only knows what the World Wide Web will be doing with photos 10 to 12 years from now. The band is only supposed to be on for about six weeks. So for now, we just follow the doctor’s orders and hope for the best.