The Joys of Parenting… with a Broken Limb

4

The Setup

If you’re between the ages of 22 and infinity, you are well aware that wedding season is in full effect. This particular wedding was a fabulous black tie affair at a DC country club in late September. The ceremony was tear-inducing (yet short), the cocktail hour was picturesque, the food was phenomenal, and the drinks were flowing… though I feel the need to emphasize that I had only had 2 glasses of wine at this point. I’m serious. The cake (carrot cake, I might add) had just been cut, and the band turned it up to 11. This is the point during weddings when my husband and I “kick off our shoes” and rock it out on the dance floor. Apparently, I should have literally kicked my shoes off because no less than two songs in to the post-cake cutting partay, I slipped doing some super-impressive twirly move… and fell… on my wrist. I promptly exited the dance floor, and this is where the story really begins. HMWedding

The Reaction

As I left the dance floor, my first thought was, “Wow, that was embarrassing!” And as the night progressed, my list of concerns continued to grow, in this order:

  1. I just want to dance! <said in the whiniest toddler voice possible>
  2. I’m missing wedding cake!  <Nurse friend: Honey, I’ll get you some ice. Hold your arm up like this, and find someone to drive you to the hospital.>
  3. I won’t be able to do yoga for a couple of weeks!  <ER Doctor: Your wrist is broken.>
  4. I won’t be able to do yoga for a couple of months!!!
  5. I won’t be able to DRIVE!!!!!
  6. <Light bulb goes offHoly crap, I have two kids.

This is the point at which I started to cry. Not an uncontrollable, wailing type of cry, just a slow, steady, silent weeping at the realization that I was about to have to be a mother to two very young children without the ability to use both arms. How could I cut their food into small pieces? How could I pick them both up when they needed to be held? When I was cleared to drive, how would I strap them into their car seats?

HMBrokenArm

The Perks (Yes, Perks)

Despite some obvious hindrances, such as the inability to get comfortable at night with an itchy cast, my husband having to shave my left armpit, and people constantly asking how many drinks I really had at the wedding, it really hasn’t been all that bad… and at times,  dare I say it, it’s been fun. Here are some perks of parenting with a broken limb:

1.  You “get” to take pain meds and sleep in (at least for the first few days). When was the last time you really got to be in a good, “facilitated” sleep? After you had a baby? No way. You have to be awake to feed the thing life’s miracle every few hours, no matter how many pain meds you’re on. After your last girl’s night out? Nope. Those precious miracles somehow know you have a hangover and will try to break down your door if you so much as think about sleeping in. But when you’ve broken a limb, everyone seems to understand and give you the space and support that you so desperately need. So enjoy it while you can.

2.  You get out of diaper and bath duty COMPLETELY. Have you ever tried to change a squirmy toddler’s poopy diaper with one arm? I mean, I’m sure there are some super-moms out there who have figured out how to do it with their feet, but for us normal folk, it’s just dangerous. I can barely keep her from flipping herself off the changing table with two hands, let alone one. As for bath time, the doctor ordered me not to get the cast wet, rendering me completely useless. Oh, well. I’ll survive. (Major props to my awesome husband, mom, and nanny, who are probably rolling their eyes at me right now. Love y’all!)

3.  You get to relive part of childhood that you missed out on. What do I mean by that, exactly? The CAST, people! What color? Hot pink, duh! Did I have people sign it? Oh, that’s the understatement of 2013. I threw myself a “cast signing party” and invited a bunch of 1-3 year-olds who were more than willing to add their personal touch. They also colored pictures of my x-rays because, well, why not?  I carry no less than three different colors of Sharpie around with me at any given time and have been signed by friends, a door man (who signed “door man”), a hair stylist (who drew scissors), and my pals at Avoca Coffee (who actually stamped their logo). Trust me, I am milking this for all it’s worth.

 mjcast

4. People go out of their way to help you. You know how people treat you when you’re pregnant? I’m not talking first trimester pregnant (when you actually need help and sympathy but can’t tell anyone). I’m talking end-of-third-trimester-they’re-afraid-your-water-will-break-on-their-shoes pregnant. They open doors for you, go out of their way to help you even if you don’t really need it, and speak to you like you’re the sweetest, most deserving person on the planet. Apparently, the difference between being treated as one of the masses and Mother Teresa is a hardened, hot pink bandage. I may save this puppy for anytime I need to move heavy objects or deal with difficult clients. Note to self.

5. Every day is your own, personal Olympics. Since I’ve become an adult a mom, long gone are the days where I try to turn every meaningless activity into a competition. You know the ones: tossing a bean bag into a corn hole, flipping a cup upside down and trying to get it to stick, bouncing a ping-pong ball into a red Solo cup… Well, now that I’m restricted physically (as opposed to soberly), the games are back! My favorites include left-handed writing (I will slap you hand away if you offer to write for me), figuring out how to clasp my bra, braiding my hair (the key is your teeth), and texting while driving. Totally kidding about that last one.

LeftieList

The Moral of the Story

So what’s the moral here? If you think I’m telling you to slam your hand in a car door so that you, too, can enjoy these perks, then SIMMER DOWN, WOMAN! I mean, if you really want to, whatever, I’m not the boss of you. But my moral of the story is: If you break an appendage (done that), or accidentally run over fresh yellow paint so that it looks like you constantly have a boot on your car (that too), or have a bad hair day (yep)… just own it and know that this, too, shall pass. And if you’re really deluded brave, try to stick your neck out and enjoy it because life’s too short to miss out on the little joys, in good times and in bad. For further reading, I chronicle the first days of my little accident on my personal blog both here and here. Just make note of the title of my blog, and react accordingly. 🙂

What comical stories do you have?

4 COMMENTS

  1. Too funny! No crazy wedding dancing for me. Seriously don’t know how my family would function without me being able to change diapers or drive my kiddos. 🙂

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