Beenie wears this apparatus, called a "cranial helmet," because he has a mild case of plagiocephaly, meaning the back of his head is a little bit flat. The helmet, basically a foam shell encased in plastic, will enable his noggin to attain a more symmetrical shape during this crucial, formative phase of cranial growth.
Last week was our transitional period, during which we had to leave the helmet on a little longer each day as the baby became accustomed to it. Now, he wears it twenty-three hours a day, which means he also sleeps in it overnight. He is doing pretty well with the whole thing, as are those of us who act as his coaches. All in all, it hasn't turned out to be the ordeal I was afraid it might.
And now, mark this down as a red-letter day for "Googie's Attic." New ground is about to be broken. Drum roll, please.
I am about to post a picture of Beenie in his helmet, breaking my own rule against pix in the blog. (This is because I have always challenged myself to make the words alone responsible for creating the pictures in the minds of my readers.) But this time, I am willing to compromise my self-imposed blogger code of ethics to show you what the helmet actually looks like. That way, you will be better able to envision what I have to say following the picture.
There. I did it. (My heart rate has accelerated only slightly, and I am only mildly dizzy.) You can see why I likened the helmet to football gear, and I am thinking a numbered jersey and a pair of plastic cleats ought to complete this year's Halloween costume quite nicely.
In the course of our days together, the conversation between Beenie and me is pretty well ongoing. Of course, I am the one who does most of the actual talking, but the thing is, I talk to him almost constantly. I did this with my own kids too, so I am not really surprised at hearing the sound of my own voice pretty much all day long.
But I am surprised to learn how often I apparently (and without really noticing it) lean down or over and kiss my babies on the head. This has been brought to my attention rather abruptly of late because, at least a hundred times a day, I find myself kissing a helmet.
No matter how many times I do this, it always takes me by surprise. Instead of warm, soft, fuzzy baby hair, I am greeted by a shell of unrelenting plastic that sticks its tongue out at me, thumbs its nose, and says something like, "You idiot. You did it again!" Once again, there is a flag on the play and I grudgingly accept the penalty.
As for Beenie, he will come through football season just fine, and by Superbowl Sunday he should be bobbing his newly rounded little head in front of the TV with the rest of us. My helmet-kissing days should be over, and we will be looking forward to that all-important first birthday party for one of our star players.