an impromptu graduation


For six months, I have barely seen the hair on my child’s head. My kisses to his forehead have been blocked. Snuggles to his cheek have been interrupted by cold, hard plastic. And, I have been head butted… a lot.

But, last week, we said goodbye to all of that. Goodbye to the melon. Goodbye to the DOC band. Six months gone and done. Everett is helmet free. Hallelujah!


We pushed through the thousand-degree days in August… and September, and our trip to the beach where that helmet couldn’t get wet. We battled many sleepless nights in the beginning. We bit the bullet and paid for a second helmet completely out of pocket. We celebrated Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and birthdays in the helmet. For six months, that little boy wore a helmet 23 hours a day.

But, it’s all over, and what a beautiful head he has.

The first day free of head gear, I kissed his sweet head at least a thousand times. I rubbed my face against his. I covered him in kisses, and I ran my fingers through his soft, silky hair over and over. How I’ve missed these last six months.

It’s taken about a week for Everett to adapt without his extra protection. The slightest bump of the head sent him wailing into meltdown mode, and that first day, there were lots of tears. Dramatic, much? Now, when Austin decides to smack him over the head with a toy or he face plants into the floor, you usually hear me gasping as opposed to him screaming. I think he’s back to being fearless.

What a journey it has been, and I’m thankful to bring this chapter to a close. Here’s to no more helmet head butts and smothering my sweet boy in uninterrupted smooches.

the rolling pin

rolling pin

Everett is a roller. He doesn’t crawl. He doesn’t scoot. He rolls face first across the floor over and over again, sweeping up our hardwoods with every tumble. He covers an impressive amount of ground in a short period of time. The kid is fast.

I really don’t think he will ever crawl. He successfully raises himself on hand and knees, but refuses to actually take that first movement forward… or, backward. Instead, he flops to his belly and rolls and rolls. Or, he straightens his legs out in a yoga-inspired form, attempting to free stand. It doesn’t work out well.

The first time we shot video of his nimbleness, family and friends gasped at the sight. Here was our infant spiraling face first against the hard ground. Ouch. But, he was giggling.

I blame the helmet for his extreme confidence in rolling. Who else has a kid that repeatedly crashes his head into the hard floor with no regrets at all? Does not faze him. It’s the helmet. Take it off, and he is wailing within five seconds. We have a big problem when he graduates from that helmet.

He has roughly two months, give or take, before graduation day. It’s time to work on coordination, son. Better get crawling, or, walking.

We should probably just buy him a bike helmet.

seeing double

E riding horse

When Everett received his helmet, we were given a list of strict instructions. One of which was that he needed to wear it 23 hours a day. The one-hour reprieve was reserved for bath time and cleaning the helmet. Basically, one hour to scrub the stench out.

On occasion, kids need a second helmet. The explanation from one of the technicians was parents tend to get “sloppy” about having their child wear it 23 hours a day, leaving extra time for their head to grow outside the perimeters of the helmet.

Insurance covered Everett’s helmet the first time – hallelujah! – and we didn’t want to take our chances a second time. So, we were a smidge obsessive compulsive about him wearing it.

Despite no sleep the first two and a half weeks in it, he still wore it. With the fussiness and discomfort, he wore it. When we spent a week at the beach, we made that hour off work as best we could, and he wore it. Even though that helmet made his head smell like a high school locker room, he wore it.

Most days, Everett doesn’t even have it off for the full hour. We were going all in, and we wanted it to work.

And, it has. His head looks phenomenal compared to what it was eight weeks ago. It definitely looks less alien and more Gerber baby. The initial plan was for him to wear it for four plus months. At his appointment on Monday, we were told he has three weeks.

Before you release the confetti and balloons in celebration, she didn’t mean his treatment was over in three weeks. He will have outgrown his helmet in three weeks. We found this out the same day I received Everett’s adorable watermelon costume for Halloween in the mail. We may have to rethink that one.

On a rare occasion, kids need a second helmet because their heads grow faster than expected, even when there is extreme diligence in wearing it. Not completely surprising since both my boys are in the lower percentiles for weight and height, but take the top percentiles for their head size. Big heads… Wonder who they get that from…

Insurance is not quite so kind this time around, as we basically maxed out our allowance in the helmet previously. Now, we are left with a decision to make, Round two or call it quits. And, we also have to question whether a second helmet will make a substantial difference in the treatable time he has left. I could really use a crystal ball right about now.

Little boy, I’m afraid you may have spent your entire college tuition this first year of life 😉

a “designer” accessory

With E being in the hospital with multiple medical problems for a month straight, as well as struggling from severe reflux, we knew at four months our baby had quite the flat spot on his head. Thus, began two months of physical therapy, which helped to an extent, but couldn’t cure the severe plagiocephaly. So, the verdict was announced at six months. E would benefit from a band, or helmet.

With this in mind, first stop was insurance, hoping and praying they would cover it. Prayers were answered and they did! Second stop, let’s make this band AWESOME 🙂 A special thanks to Hornet Signs in Waco for making this happen.

Introducing, the “melon”:


I suppose the silver lining is added protection from big brother.