My son has recently developed an adorably worrisome habit. He assumes the crawl position, and then he bangs his forehead into his forearms. The first time I saw him do this, I thought his neck just slipped or something logical like that. After catching him do it a few more times, I realized he was doing it on purpose.
If you catch your child doing something similar, might I suggest that you do NOT Google "head banging in babies." Because then you will be accosted by multiple websites telling you that your child is definitely autistic. Or has Dengue fever. Or PMS. But probably autism.
Needless to say, it's been an unsettling morning.
What none of those chipper medical offerings note, however, is that head banging is contagious. Ever since my son started doing it, I haven't been able to stop. I don't think it's my fault, though, and I don't think I've developed late-onset autism. I blame the following external factors, listed in no particular order.
1. Michele Bachmann. This once and future Republican Presidential candidate and current Congresswoman from the State of Minnesota has gotten herself back in the headlines. I guess her history of successful campaigns on issues such as "curing" gay people and proving that Obama isn't actually an American citizen keeps her confident. And determined to expose the truth and bring the terrorists to justice and God Bless the United States of America.
Her new cause celebre is outing Hillary Clinton's top aide in the State Department as a jihadist bent on toppling our esteemed government. The woman in Ms. Bachmann's crosshairs is Huma Abedin, a Michigan-born woman who began working for Ms. Clinton in 1996 when the latter was First Lady. Ms. Abedin happens to be Muslim.
Say no more, right, Michele? In a bid to maximize the value of her time and the taxpayer-funded salary she draws, Ms. Bachmann drafted up a little missive to the attention of five federal agencies. The letter demanded that those agencies investigate a "conspiracy" to influence American foreign relations for the benefit of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist causes. The letter cited Ms. Abedin as an example of these infiltrators, what with all her advising to Ms. Clinton and her hob-nobbing with her own family members WHO ARE ALSO MUSLIM. You're welcome, America!
Or. Or, Michele, you need to find some other way back into America's scorn bucket. Start a crusade against broccoli for stealing the Chia pet's hair. Or against the Olympics for allowing athletes other than Americans to compete. Racism had its turn in this country's politics, and it wasn't fun. Let's move on. Also, Ms. Abedin is the wife of former NY Representative Anthony Weiner, the guy who had a little too much fun when he realized his phone had a camera that could snap pics of his manly bits. She's got enough crazy on her plate.
2. George Zimmerman. George gave his first interview about his shooting of Trayvon Martin to Sean Hannity of Fox News. Over the course of the interview, Zimmerman said he didn't regret anything about the night he killed the 17-year-old boy, and that it was "all God's plan."
And all this time I was alternating my frustrations among Zimmerman (a/k/a/ "the shooter"), the Sanford police, Stand Your Ground laws, and lax gun restrictions! Silly me! All this time it was God I should have been blaming. God, God. You call that a "plan"? That kind of decision-making leads me to suspect that you are also (a) the guy who came up with mortgage-backed securities trading; (b) Adam Sandler's agent; and (c) calories. Also, one or all of Dwight Howard, Donald Trump, and Michele Bachman.
3. Dunkin' Donuts. Today I decided to stop at DD's for my morning coffee and to buy my daughter a really well-rounded, nutritious breakfast. I have been repeatedly too lazy to go to the ATM to withdraw cash (all those buttons and typing and stuff), so I paid with credit card. When the friendly cashier handed me my receipt, I happened to glance at her name, which was printed at the top. Her name was: Aalyx. That's right: Aalyx.
4. Limes. Tonight we're hosting a cook-out at our house for some of my friends from high school. As with any type of reunion, I really want everything to be perfect so that all these blasts from the past can see how perfect I am and how perfect my life is. I will look perfect, as will my children and house. Of course. Also, of course the food I cook will look and taste perfect. It's a busy night for perfect. (So stay OUT OF IT, God. I don't need you messing things up for me.)
Anyway, last night I was making the chipotle mayo rub for the grilled corn on the cob we're serving. The recipe called for 1/2 cup of fresh squeezed lime juice. ON IT! I spent several minutes squeezing drops of lime elixir from stubborn limes, giving my thumbs arthritis and my patience a real run for its money. I was a whisper away from reaching the top of the 1/2 cup measuring cup when MY THUMBS SLIPPED AND THE LIME FELL OUT OF MY HANDS, KNOCKING OVER THE NEARLY FULL MEASURING CUP.
Lime juice all over the countertop and floor. Swears flying out of my mouth. Daughter looking at me in undisguised horror.
5. Cheerios. Back to my son. Who's totally sabotaging the house-perfect part of my master plan for tonight. He's now old enough to let Cheerios dissolve in the region of his slobbery chin. But his Cheerio-to-mouth ratio leaves a lot to be desired. Somehow, when he paws a handful of Cheerios, the majority end up behind his ear or in his diaper or between his toes. Or they land on the floor. I will soon bear the official title "Hunchback of Southern Maine," what with all the hunting and gathering of Cheerios from our kitchen floor I do.
Well, I missed a Cheerio during dinner-time clean-up last night. So when I came downstairs this morning, there was a pile -- yes, a pile -- of miniature Ants from Hell swarming that poor Cheerio.
Hopefully, head banging cannot be transmitted electronically. If you do develop symptoms, I'm sorry. But I also disclaim all legal liability. But I also am intrigued to hear what factors send you spiraling into an afternoon of head banging. But I also am against commenting while driving. So pull over and comment when you're not moving. And really, you shouldn't have even read all the way to the bottom of this post from behind the wheel. I appreciate the devotion, but really, shame on you.