One broken little leg

26 February, 2012

I looked up just in time to see her fall from the window ledge, straight as an arrow to land on her feet, to watch her crumble into a ball. I was close enough to scoop her up just in time to get the gale force scream of pain, to register how much more primal this scream sounded, how much more panicked her scrabbling feet against my stomach were. I was quick but not quite quick enough.

She was still crying after 20 minutes, I hoped she was just tired. After Ā a quick snooze she was still crying but this time it was obvious she didn’t want to stand up. We thought we had better take her to the A and E, just to be safe. It would of course be nothing, just tiredness, a bit of a shock. It had only been a small fall, half a metre, she’s always climbing, and always falling.

Goodness, this optimism of mine can get a bit ridiculous sometimes.

Even as I sit here writing, my girl fast asleep, her little broken leg in a tiny cast, my brain is still piping up “It is only a fracture, just a toddler break, they happen aallll the time” as if I’ve ever seen a tiny kid in plaster. As if broken toddler bones are as common as nits.

It was one climb too many after a tiring playful day, a window ledge too tempting a challenge, a bit of kids furniture too wonky, a fall too awkward, a tibia bone too supple. As I lay in bed last night after her midnight cast, grabbing at puffs of sleep that teased me with their coming and going my mind was on loop, replaying the child size electric piano lurch from under her feet, my heart lurching with it.

But it was only when the Doctor at the Fracture Clinic this morning said “six to eight weeks recovery” that a tear escaped. But this little one! This funny little one with her running! Her dancing! Her climbing!

She climbs all day. I’ll come in the room to find her on top of a chair, her hands in the air, face to the ceiling, as if worshipping the lightshade. She takes on the ladders in the playground with fierce determination. Tables, drawers, toys, gates, bins, walls; all are just challenges to ascend.

I’ve never hovered, always certain that she’ll be fine. They know their limits (and she will be limitless!) and they are robust little rascals (pity that tibia didn’t get the robust memo.)

Gosh, as she pats her cast and looks at me in anguish, I regret this attitude. I should have been hovering!!!! (Shouldn’t I?)

Not letting her climb, of all things, while helping her big cousins put on a Show. (It was going to be a Spectacular Show too, with jumpings and heroes and flying boys.)

To think I was there, a metre away. But not quite there enough.

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  • Summersday 26 February, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    Oh Luce I’m so so sorry to hear little Ramona hurt herself. Saddest blog post of them all. I know exactly what you mean about not being quick enough. Our little boy fell in the forest about 6 months ago and still has a dent in his forehead. Its likely to be there for life. But unlike you, I’ve always been the ‘hovering’ mum, and have only started hovering less over the last couple of months (our boy is 2.5 years now). My best friend has always told me to relax but I just never wanted to take the risk and not to ‘hover’. And yet, nevertheless, in the forest I was also a fraction of a second too late to catch him as he tripped over a rock and smashed his head into another sharp jutting rock. So I think some of these things are just meant to be. And your little girl sure sounds like she climbs amazingly well and just this once it wasn’t meant to be her usual perfect climb. She looks so chilled having a cast put on! Take good care of yourself-hope you manage to get some proper sleep after this ordeal x

  • Bek 26 February, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Don’t beat yourself up. You were unlucky. On Friday Kit fell down off the top of a ladder at the Science Museum, flat onto the floor, I was standing near the other exit! Thankfully he got back up and kept running. I’m just waiting for our first broken bone. You weren’t exactly letting her play on a railway line or anything! šŸ™‚

    Hope she is better soon. Big hug. x

  • Aly 26 February, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    You write so beautifully, even if it such heartbreaking stuff. I hope the wee pet recovers quickly and with very little frustration.

    • Aly 26 February, 2012 at 9:31 pm

      Predictive text* even about such heartbreaking stuff

  • lucy 26 February, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    oh you guys, so sorry to hear this has happened, it is just so unlucky, hope Ramona is not too uncomfortable, if there is anything that i can do just let me know, will be praying for a quick healing, poor little poppet xx

  • Maryanne Shearman 26 February, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    oh wow, that’s so crazy… our thoughts are with you! and Lucy, keep the beautiful stories coming…

  • livingitlittle 27 February, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Oh, that’s awful for you (and Ramona of course). I broke my wrist when I was about 18 months and my mum said she felt AWFUL in A&E, being questioned about how it happened etc… Hope Ramona’s coping ok and that you’re over the shock. x

  • san 27 February, 2012 at 7:54 am

    Oh poor little thing. kids do bounce back and she will find a canny way of doing things with cast in tow! Hugs to you as it is not nice dealing with their first ever real injury
    San x

  • Valerie 27 February, 2012 at 8:16 am

    Its probably because she is so little you are feeling guilty (for not hovering/preventing), but lets be honest, its all part of parenting. For example, I broke my right arm and left thumb, my sister split her chin, took the skin off both shins, my other sister fell off a horse with various injury’s, my brother accidentally swallowed a drawing pin and got a rubber stuck in his ear, and they are off the top of my head, the trips my poor Dad made to AE when we were all under 8. Some things are small (like my daughter licking the ice box and getting her tongue stuck) and some things are big (my son breaking his wrist playing basketball), but I remember how different it was when it was my children. The very first time my son skint his knee in my MIL’s garden, my MIL put him on the counter and gave me cotton wool and water to clean it and I knelt down and felt faint. My MIL was laughing her head off and said ‘Oh dear Mummy’s turned as white as a sheet, Granny had better clean you up’. Did I mention I was a nurse (I have packed deep wounds, drained abscesses and even helped in theater with a gall bladder removal) lol. I am slightly better dealing with it now since I am on my 3rd child, but only because I have had more practice. I hope your gorgeous little Ramona heals super fast, and don’t forget to find something to stick down her cast in a few weeks when it gets itchy šŸ˜‰

  • Liz Burton 27 February, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Oh bless her little heart.

    I hope it doesn’t dampen her adventurous spirit and I hope it doesn’t change your attitude. You can’t always be there, you can’t always be within reach.


  • Rachel 27 February, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Aww the poor little sweetheart. I did the same thing when I was her age, but it heals and she won’t even remember šŸ™‚

  • lulastic 27 February, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Thanks for the love and reassurance everyone. She is really being quite brave, the little trooper.

  • The Barefoot Crofter 28 February, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Oh sorry I missed this Lucy. i also missed J when he fell and broke his leg aged 2. I had turned my back for an instant to ladle out the soup, but I new by the cry he let out that something had gone…. shuddering at the memory.
    He remembers nothing at all now.
    Sending healing love

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