Monday, February 2, 2009


Well, I have a new excuse for not posting here more often.

Smidgen; who is going to be 4 next weekend, is an extremely intelligent, joyful, and active little girl.  And she is also probably the most pig-headed of my 3 offspring (though Middle Child  was a close second...)  

So.  In spite of constant training; cautioning, remonstrating, and disciplining by every mode conceivable- on Friday she was being careless and silly on the stairs-  and lo and behold; she fell pretty much all the way down; and broke her right arm.

At first we thought it was just a really good sprained wrist.  But on Saturday it showed increasing swelling, so we zoomed in to the doctor.  Yup; both radius and ulna, just above the wrist.

At the moment she's in a half-cast; due to have a full hard cast put on tomorrow.

Meanwhile- it hurts, and she can't do many of her normal activities- so a few more hours a day are disappearing into a black hole somewhere.

Now; on day 4; the pain is decreasing, so she's getting more cheerful- and more...  active.

When Beelar broke his leg around age 12- sliding on his feet basically down a snowy cliff (I wasn't here) - I wrote "I told you so."  on his cast.  Very popular with the other kids in his class.

Smidgen has heard that story.  So in the mandatory interview with the cop to be sure this wasn't a case of child abuse, she told the cop with a big smile "My Daddy is going to write "I told you so" on my cast!"  Putting the surrounding doctors and nurses into paroxysms of smothered laughter, and puzzling the cop quite a bit.  (We passed the tests.)

We'll see.


One Dog said...

that bites. good luck.

Farmer's Daughter said...

Oh sorry for Smidgen!

My dad tells stories of sitting with a counselor who told him it was okay to tell her how it really happened when he broke his arm in the cow barn. He later broke both arms falling off the roof of the barn. Then broke legs, then more arms. Farm kids just play so hard they get hurt!

JessTrev said...

Oh, your poor little Smidgen! Hilarious ITYS tale, though, glad you captured it for her for posterity.

knutty knitter said...

My lot don't break bones but they sure do a good number on massive grazes, cuts, bruises and the odd sprain. Fortunately bone density runs very high in our family.

Hope she learned about stairs :) Trees will no doubt follow in due course.

viv in nz

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about the cast, but no doubt she will be zooming around in no time.

My son was a bit younger when he too broke his arm and I only thought it was bruised. Soft, young bones wrinkled rather than breaking thru the skin. My lesson, his pain.

Funny that you (parent of 3 children) think that "cautioning, remonstrating, and disciplining" is a useful way to avoid accidents. They are kids, accidents happen. Telling them "do this, do that" (obviously) doesn't work. Neither does saying I told you so. Ever had anyone say that to you?

What we can do is make their world as safe a place as possible, show good examples, demonstrate safe use of dangerous tools and situations and hope for the best. And make sure we have good first aid/nursing skills.


Anonymous said...

Oh, poor baby! She will be fine but it will be hard. Since my son has made it to 27 without more than a broken finger (snowboarding off trail) no doubt I have no other experience to compare... except now I have a 6 month old puppy who broke her leg from jumping up playing trying to catch a toy that 27 year old son was teasing her with. The hardest part (next to her crying when it happened) is keeping her still while she heals. They gave me sedatives to keep her quiet but I can't see keeping her drugged up. She stays in her kennel which helps. But a 4 year old you can't lock up (or keep drugged up)! And another thing, at lunch today someone said if my dog was a child the CYS would be at my door to investigate her breaking her leg while jumping. I though they were kidding. I didn't know they would investigate your child getting a broken bone. Don't' kids get to be kids and get hurt without "them" coming after you? Sorry for rambling....I hope Smidgen heals quickly and learned her lesson about the stairs. She will do fine I'm sure. Myra in Pittsburgh

jewishfarmer said...

My sympathies - Simon broke his jumping off the top bunk of his bunkbed, and I wish I'd thought to write "I told you so" on his cast.

My reaction was actually "ok, been a parent 8 years, four boys, first broken bone...doing pretty good!"


tansy said...

sometimes, kids just have to find out first hand why they shouldn't do something! the great thing about them is they heal quickly though!

hope she's feeling better soon.

WILDBLUESbysus said...

Smidgen is quite a girl! Apparently athletic, brave, etc, and now just a little more mature.
Must say that my hubby was quite irritated to hear the gov had to check out the family for abuse. We raised seven kids and now the fourteen grandkids. Stuff happens, bones break, families pull together. What place does the gov have in family business?

Greenpa said...

Knutty- oh, she's already working on the trees!

JR- each kid is different! With #1 and #2, the various pathways DID work. One of them being a swat on the behind; something we only do when life is threatened; which means the kids do understand "boy, the old folks are really SERIOUS about this".

#2 and #3 were pretty much completely swat resistant about the stairs though. #2 did respond to good lucid serious conversation. #3- just would not remember.

My basic approach as a parent is to try all the tools I have! Including the "I told you so!" which I use with a wry smile, and which the kids laugh about. Used that way, it can have a good effect. I use it as a way to open the lifelong discussion about "You can learn from MY mistakes; or yours... up to you!"

Everyone- thanks! :-)

Anonymous said...

> fell pretty much all the way down

To steal a joke I heard on NPR yesterday, warn this child away from escalators til she's more cautious. The fellow said he lost his balance on an escalator, and fell down the stairs for several hours ....