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.”