There is a difference between hurt and injured. I learned this playing Babe Ruth league baseball.

Playing right field one game, a teammate in center dove for a fly ball, missed it completely and landed flat on the plush grass. The miscue turned a one run lead into a one run deficit. My teammate stayed flat on the grass while myself, the team manager and few other fielders gathered around to check on his injury. The left fielder came over just to ask him why the fuck he dove for the ball but that kid was always kind of an asshole.

“Are you hurt or are you injured?” coach asked, not even bending down to actually check on his fallen player.

None of us had any idea what the hell he meant. The asshole in left field walked away because he didn’t care about the question or the pending answer.

“Injured. I think.” he responded, holding his crotch with his glove and his stomach with the other hand. “What’s the difference?”

Coach explained that injured meant an actual physical injury that would require medical attention. Hurt meant he was emotionally injured – embarrassed and eager to hide from the fact he might have just cost his team the game.

Turns out the kid was just hurt. He was eventually injured after the game, when the asshole left fielder punched him in the chest for costing us a win.

I hadn’t thought about the hurt or injured thing until recently, thanks to my 2-year-old kid. One always seems to follow the other – hurt and then injured.

Here’s how to goes down – he wants to do something that the Permanent Roommate (my name for my wife) and I don’t want him to do like climb the steps without one of us helping, scream his little balls off in the middle of Target or stick Matchbox cars up the cat’s ass. We tell him “no” and immediately his feelings are hurt because we’ve yelled at him. In reaction, he finds a nice open spot on the floor, the wall or any other unforgiving surface and smashes his head against it. Hard. Harder with each thrust. He goes from hurt, to injured, in a matter of seconds.

I’m not sure how to really deal with either hurt or injured in these situations. I’ve got to tell him to stop doing bad things so that’s not going to stop but I’ve got to keep him from injuring himself because he might do real damage or turn into a violent adult. At the very least he could become that asshole left fielder and no one wants that to happen.

Here is what I’ve tried so far:

– putting my hand in front of his forehead to keep it from hitting anything hard, which just angers him more

– picking him up off the ground, and away from all hard surfaces, which just leads to a couple head butts to my nose

– yelling even more for him to stop it, which never, ever helps any situation

– clapping in rhythm to head slams (I ran out of ideas)

None of it worked. It wasn’t until last week that I finally found a working solution.

It went down like this — the kid did something where I had to reprimand him. I don’t quite remember but I’ll assume it was the Matchbox thing because he is obsessed with the cat’s anus. Right after I sternly told him to knock it off, he dropped to his knees and bounced his head off the wood floor. I dropped to the floor next him and did the exact same thing. He went for a second shot but I got my head down before him and bounced my dome off the hard planks one more time. He stared at me.

“What daddy doing?”

“Daddy’s mad too. Isn’t this what we do when we’re mad?”

He looked at me like I was half a moron, got up off the floor and went back to playing with his cars.

I stood up and rubbed my head.

“Are you hurt or injured?” the Roommate asked.

“Neither,” I responded. “Just stupid.”

Chris Illuminati runs the parenting blog Message With a Bottle. thinks he is a writer. When he isn’t being a jerk on post-it notes he writes on this website. He’s also on Twitter.

Comments are love, or some bullshit like that. Either way, they make my heart happy. leaving a comment and SUBSCRIBE to my RSS feed or I will send my Chicago "friends" after you, yo.

9 Responses to It Puts The Guest Post On The Internet Or It Gets The Hose Again: Hurt And Injured

  • Cindy says:

    Huh, that worked? Where were you 2 years ago when my twins were in this stage? I never thought of copying them – guess I wanted to avoid my own injury. Great post, Chris. Thanks!

  • Niki says:

    I applaud you for noticing the negative attention only fuels the fire. I can still remember the first time my son threw a tantrum, he was 3, we were in Target. I was thinking WTF is this shit??? he had thrown himself on the hard nasty floor and was flailing and wailing like an injured animal. after a second, I regained my thoughts and laughed at the irony and began to walk away. He got up, head down in chagrin and confusion, and slowly caught up to me. He had tried a few other times to throw an all out fit, each with the same result but he quickly realized “This isn’t gonna work”. Too many times I see parents that feed into the negative attention their kids engage them in, it pains me, I wish I could pull them aside and say ‘you have to think like a kid’.

  • silvertrish says:

    My Mum used to make sure that when I was throwing a tantrum that there was nothing that I could hurt myself on, and took my sister and went to another room (nearby). She made sure that negative attention wasn’t an option. there was none when I misbehaved. Apparently it worked.

  • Triplezmom
    Twitter: triplezmom
    says:

    My middle kiddo was a head banger too – to the point where he always seemed to have a bruise in the middle of his forehead. Finally I started ignoring him during the banging and pointing out the bruise (and how he got it) every time I washed his face. About a week later he quit and now at 6 he doesn’t believe that he used to do it. Make sure to take photos.

  • Nicole says:

    Dude. Not only did this give me a much-needed laugh, it gave my kid the giggles — she didn’t know what I was laughing at, but if I was laughing that hard, something must be f-ing hilarious. So thank you. Now go ice your forehead, or you’ll have a mark.

  • Grace says:

    What IS it with kids and the back ends of animals? My toddler is CONSTANTLY smacking our cat in the balls! It’s like he’s trying to tell the cat “Way to go, Champ!”

  • Andie says:

    I will never forget the look of sheer incredulity my then-three-year-old gave me when he started banging his head on the floor of his playroom and I laughed. I can’t say he never did it again, but we never paid it any mind.

  • jeri says:

    Wow, you must have the most mellow cat in cat history. Any cat I’ve ever had would have cured your son of the anus habit right quick.

  • jessica says:

    When my niece was around 18 + months old she started pulling her hair out or hitting her head on anything but not because she was mad. She’d Just do it when ever she felt like it ( I think she enjoyed it). So I got a bicycle helmet and whenever she start doing this I’d put it on her. Let me tell you she hated it, but it was kinda funny watching her get pissed when she couldn’t hurt herself anymore.

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