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Head Injuries And Other Darkly Humorous Tales

During the course of the day yesterday I had the opportunity to observe James in a variety of odd behavior ranging from bumping into passerby while reciting bits of “Big Nate” loudly to himself, to finding him in his room sweeping the floor, naked (he was supposed to be getting into the shower). “What on earth are you doing?” I asked him. “I don’t know… getting ready for my shower?” “With a broom?” “Oh.”

“What are you doing James?” I called as I waited for him to return with his water to the dinner table. James shuffled out from the kitchen, my cell phone in his hand. “Where’s your water?” “Here, you need this,” he said. “Why, was it ringing?” “No.” “Where did you get this?” “In your purse.” “Where’s your water?” “Oh, right.” Five minutes later, he shuffled out with the glass, 1/3 full of milk.

Later that evening I found him standing in the middle of the bathroom, gazing blankly at the wall. “James, what are you doing?” “Getting ready for bed.” “Really?” “I’m going to the bathroom.” “Okay, go ahead.” “I’m too tired.” “Okay, well go lay down then.” “Okay.” And he shuffled back into his room where he absently, but peacefully, flipped through the pages of a comic book.

After everyone was tucked into bed I started my usual prep for the morning and emptied out James’s homework folder. My gaze fell on an official looking document from the City of New York Office of School Health. Your child may have injured his/her head today, it read. I remembered James’s para mentioning that he had hit his head during dance practice a couple of days earlier but was still surprised that it had warranted an official notice. The letter continued, Please observe your child for the symptoms listed below over the next 24 hours (already passed). These symptoms may indicate a serious head injury. Go to the emergency room if any of these symptoms develop.

Head Injury Symptoms (include): Loss of Muscle Coordination, Falling Down, Staggering, Drowsiness, Any Unusual Behavior, Confusion

If they had added “Making Nonsensical Loud Noises While Walking Down Broadway” to the list I would’ve been in that ER so fast…

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