My perfect record as a parent ended quite some time ago but what really solidified the demise of my record was you breaking your leg. Not only did you break your leg, you did it while sitting on my lap. We were at the park and I was trying desperately to hold an adult conversation with a friend in between chasing you all over kingdom come. You’re a wanderer which makes outings extra exciting. As if pure luck was on my side, we decided to go to the park on a day that a nearby elementary school was hosting a field trip to commemorate the last day of school so there was roughly ten thousand children running around, screaming with last-day-of-school excitement like the little psychopaths they are. Couple this with overly anxious parents whose sole purpose is to keep track of their litter and make sure they don’t get in to trouble. I witnessed from afar one of these “watchers” walk up to you and remove a pouch of applesauce from your hands. You stood there in complete shock that an adult just took your snack away. I watched her walk away from you with a complete look of disgust on her face. Confused and downright angry, I rushed over to you and she quickly inquired whether you belonged to me? Um, yes psycho and what the hell are you doing taking my child’s snack away from him. She proceeded to tell me that you dropped your pouch on the ground and then you continued to put it back in your mouth. That, in her words, was ‘icky’. I practiced every single self-calming method at that exact moment to prevent me from bitch-slapping her. Who takes anything from a child? I understand if you spilled your milk on to the sidewalk and proceeded to lick it off the ground but this was a solid package that briefly touched earth. Besides that, where do people get off taking it upon themselves to parent someone else’s child – a child they don’t even know??
Anyways, I digress. After I talked myself off of a ledge after witnessing psycho mom interfere with your snack time, I attempted to continue with my conversation with a friend when I noticed you were being taunted by a group of three boys. These boys were trying to get you to follow them up a hillside to where the bigger slides are located. May I add that these boys were a part of the field trip who should have been watched by Miss Crazy Lady. You love other children and this especially rings true when they give you attention so of course you were following them. Unfortunately for you, you’re about three years away from attempting the slides they were trying to coerce you to. I ran after you several times, picked you up and returned you to the toddler play area. No no, that wasn’t good enough for you. Finally after spending a good two hours chasing you all over the playground, saving you from catastrophic disasters and crazy ladies, I decided to take you down the big slide with me. You were so excited and quickly jumped in to my lap. We went down the slide and I heard your enthusiastic “EEEEEEEEE” and then it happened . . . Somehow both feet and legs got twisted and one pulled in one direction under my leg and the other pulled in another direction.
Now, a Mother knows their child’s cry. As a stranger, you hear a child cry and it all sounds the same. You cry a lot and I know what the different cries mean. You have your fake cry, tired cry, get Olivia off me cry and then you have a rare cry – the cry of complete agony. Immediately, I knew something was wrong. You were trying to bring your leg up to your body and refused to bear any weight on it. You wouldn’t even let me touch it without you wincing and crying out in pain. You continued to cry and I kind of chalked it up to you being tired. It was a hot day, there was a lot of stimulation with the thousands of kids running around and maybe you just sprained your ankle really good. I attempted to run a quick errand where you refused to sit in the cart and screamed violently if I didn’t hold you. As long as I was holding you, you were fine. I normally wouldn’t mind but holding you while pushing the behemoth cart at Costco while Olivia belts out “The Lord is Good to Me” made me yearn for a nice glass of Valium Merlot.
I quickly brought you home to allow you to sleep it off. You passed right out and slept most of the afternoon. You awoke to your somewhat normal self. There was no discoloration on your leg nor was it swollen. You acted fine except for the fact you wouldn’t stand on your foot. You opted to crawl to where ever it is you wanted to go. This is not normal. When you have the option, you run and you usually run in the opposite direction of where I need you to go. I take you for x-rays and they can’t find a single fracture. A Mother knows her children – it’s one of my many talents. I knew something was wrong. A toddler doesn’t fake pain – I didn’t pull that until at least Kindergarten. Five days passed and you still wouldn’t put weight on your foot and you were growing tired of me squeezing your ankle asking, “does it still hurt”? I took you to an Orthopaedic who actually specializes in children and wow, that certainly makes a difference. One look at the x-ray and he could clearly see the fracture in your leg. In fact, I could see the fracture. Apparently a blind individual was reviewing x-rays the first day you went in. You were promptly fitted with the most adorable little pathetic cast I have ever seen.
Your Father finds great joy in telling people your cast is the result of my doing. I’m pretty sure he tells random strangers who aren’t even aware you’re wearing a cast. Thankfully you are adjusting to it well and are already running with it. The first few days were difficult when I had to carry you every where – the cast must add an extra ten pounds on just your left side. I would forget about the weight difference and lose my footing as I demonstrated in the parking lot at Target – I picked you up out of the shopping cart and forgetting about the extra weight, lost my footing and while maintaining my grip on you, fell in to a bush. It just so happens that several cars and pedestrians were passing by at that exact moment and all continued to stare at me with mouths wide open. I’m fairly certain they were judging me at that time.
So here we are. You have one week left with the cast and close quarters are already pretty unbearable due to the stench radiating from your foot. I’m pretty sure something is rotting in your cast. I will miss the pity/judgmental stares from strangers and most of all, I will miss the lovely gashes you give me as you stomp across my foot with your dead leg. I’m grateful you only have to wear the cast for three weeks because the smell alone could damage my olfactory system. As much fun as it is to listen to you scream violently while I wrap your cast in a plastic bag at bath time, I’ve pretty much determined that I’m going to be a crazy overprotective parent once this fiasco is over with to make sure this episode doesn’t happen again. The real problem is you’re not really milking this for what it’s worth. I need you to put everything you got in to this situation and start getting me pity freebies. Starbucks would be a great start. You have one week left, let’s make it count. I could beat myself up over this but I’m too tired from caring for a toddler in a cast. I feel horrible and I’m sure one day when I’m blessed with the gift of sleep and energy, I may look back on this and realize the magnitude of my wrong doing. I am incredibly sorry that you have to go through this and hopefully you don’t resent me too much for it and take out revenge on me when I’m old and trying to maneuver down a flight of stairs. At least I didn’t let you go when I fell in the bush – that’s got to be good for something.