I recently found out that if you break your child's leg and it needs a full cast, you'll not only get much better service at Starbucks, but also meet many more cute girls than if you are by yourself. It's like going to the park with a cute puppy and your newly born niece - TIMES TEN!
First, I give this disclaimer: I was NOT the designated Most Responsible Parent (MRP) the day of "the breakage". In fact, I was not even in the same part of town when it happened. I will, however, enjoy the benefits that it came with...Arriving home, my wife and youngest daughter were cuddled on the couch. It was a strange sight, not so much that they were cuddling, but that my daughter was actually sitting still long enough during the day to get (and give) a cuddle. That meant one thing: sickness.
"I think she sprained her ankle" I heard my wife say, with little LP punctuating it with an "OWIE ANKE", like only a two year old learning to talk can. For the next week it was a parents dream - we could put our two year old down - out of reach things - and for once she would just sit there, not wanting to move because of her ankle. No spilled water, broken cracker crumbs through the house or bits of toys hidden in our bed. It was almost like we didn't have any kids living with us again! After a week went by we had done a few visits to ER to get her ankle checked out because she still wouldn't put weight on it. On the third visit they finally X-Ray'd the entire leg to find out it was fractured, not at the ankle, but on the tibia. After bribery with M&M's, we finally got her into a little red, full leg, fiberglass cast. I was hoping for hot pink, but fire engine red was the closest they had. Going from her toes to the top of her thigh, it probably added 50% body weight to her so it took a good week before she could move with it, even if it was crawling and dragging it all around the house.
The next 4 weeks saw us walking to the park, pushing her in the jogging stroller through the mall, and having a break at Starbucks. Here are my observations of life with a 2 year old and a broken leg:
- Once you get sand inside a toddler's cast, trying to extricate the mess with a vacuum isn't the best way to do things. And trying to blow the dirt out with an air compressor also doesn't work...
- When a 2 year old swings her cast at you because she's not ready to leave the park, it really does hurt when contact is made on your shin. Likewise, a smart toddler will quickly learn how to use their cast as a weapon against older siblings that take their blankets and toys because they think they can't chase them.
- The Starbucks barista will offer free kids hot chocolate if a toddler can point to her leg and say with wide, doe like eyes "Owie!"
- When walking with a toddler, who is semi-dragging a leg in a full cast, cars will actually screech to a stop at the crosswalks. Too tired to push them with that heavy cast? Well, I also found out that getting on a bus with the University crowd with an injured toddler will dramatically increase your chances of the hot undergrads gravitating towards you to strike up a conversation. It must have been the bus that didn't come from the Engineering Students Society...
- A sleeping toddler, when flailing about in bed between two parents at 3am, can leave bruises on both parents the next morning.