Thursday, September 18, 2008

More bad parenting

Shouldn’t broken limbs be more obvious? These stories rarely make me feel better about my own bad parenting decisions but ever since yesterday – when I dragged my son to an audition (me, not him) then dumped him at my husband’s office so I could go run music at skating team practice all the while not recognizing that he HAD A BROKEN ARM I have heard tale after tale of parents telling their kids to “suck it up” only to find out later that the kid had a broken arm or leg or something.

My memory may be hazy or inaccurate but it seems that when I was a kid it was fairly obvious when someone had a broken appendage. “Jimmy fell off the monkey bars and his arm was twisted around and completely facing in the wrong direction, so of course I ran him right to the hospital.” It seems that broken limbs used to dangle helplessly at askew angles so it was obvious that they needed to be fixed. These days everything looks normal except your kid (who just might be trying to get some attention) claims that “something hurts.”

You’d think I would be smarter; this is not the first time this has happened to me. Same child, same arm. When he was 3 he and his sister were waiting for her school bus and playing their usual game of push-the-sibling-off-the-rock-into-the-pile-of-leaves. He came in crying and didn’t stop for a while but eventually calmed down, though he wouldn’t move the arm. I dragged the poor kid to a grocery store two towns away so I could buy dry ice for the 4th grade Halloween party before I realized that every time something even brushed his arm he turned deathly pale and looked like he was going to throw up. He ended up in a cast from shoulder to fingertips.

And yesterday, well, he let me gently squeeze the arm all the way up. I figured there was no WAY it could be broken; it was probably just very badly bruised. So I dumped him at his dad’s office and he walked around saying hi to everyone with his right arm bent and clutched against his torso.

Six hours later he came home from the hospital looking like this.

And I felt like this.


Claire Charlton said...

Hmmmm. Nothing like a bit of MOM GUILT to keep the week humming along. Makes you wonder how many broken limbs were overlooked when we were kids (obviously not the arm-dangling kind). Yeah, they'd heal and we--and our parents--were none the wiser. Live and learn, live and learn.

Only the Half of It said...

Had you been with me when I "broke" my foot a few years ago, there would be no doubt in your mind something was wrong. I was ready to pass out from pain after a tumble down the stairs. I realized then, having never broken or sprained anything before, that "broken" most often means fractured. I always thought when you broke your arm or leg, it was darn near snapped in two.
Don't feel bad. He'll be fine.