I’m not being a drama queen when I say the last few days have been intense. Incredibly, stressfully, sometimes tear-jerkingly intense.
In fact, if it wasn’t for my parents whisking Frog and I off to their house for the week, I’m not sure how I would have coped. I imagine the (self-proclaimed) Northern Love Machine would have returned from work and found me rocking in a corner somewhere, my broken child crying even louder than her mother.
I expect no one would describe having a child in a cast as “fun”. Add being 25 weeks pregnant to the mix and you have a whole new level of physical challenge, carrying an almost-four year old around in a heavy leg cast while feeling particularly bulky yourself. And add the demands of work on top of that and you get a picture of where I’ve been at stress-wise the past few days.
I didn’t start this post to moan though. Well, kind of. But I mean, I know there are plenty more people far worse off than us and, ultimately, a broken leg will mend, so we are lucky.
One of the trickiest things I’ve found about looking after a child in cast is putting aside my sympathy for my poorly child and maintaining some sense of normal. On the way home from the hospital, we stopped at a supermarket and the NLM came out with two carrier bags laden down with Frog’s favourite treats.
We wrote Sunday off as a day to endure and allowed chocolate buttons, teddy bear crisps and plenty of ice-cream. Ironically, even these delicacies weren’t enough to tempt our broken girl into eating and she survived on mainly Calpol, water and the odd bit of toast for the 48 hours after the accident.
But now we are four days in and I’m noticing shades of my former child starting to reappear. She is loud, feisty as ever and – as always – demanding. What she lacks in speed she now makes up for in volume, attempting to bend us all to her will. On the one hand I’m torn between feeling sorry for her and knowing she’s frustrated, often in pain and tired. But on the other, it’s never acceptable to hit out at people or to call your grandparents “stinky and rubbish”.
They tug on your heartstrings though, kids. Especially when they’re your own. I can’t help but feel constantly guilty for the fact I didn’t take Frog to A&E until five hours after she hurt her leg, refusing to believe she was really in that much pain (this is the girl who screams bloody murder if a fly so much as looks at her). I cried when the X-Rays came back showing two breaks in her leg, disgusted at myself and ashamed that I hadn’t taken her into hospital straight away.
And guilt isn’t a particularly helpful emotion when parenting, in my experience.
Of course things won’t stay like this for much longer. Hopefully Frog will begin to be more mobile with the cast (she’s already begun to tentatively scoot around on her backside) and soon her temporary plaster will be removed and replaced with a new, more comfortable one. And, even if she doesn’t get used to it, it’ll only be on for a few more weeks (we hope).
In the meantime though, any advice you have on managing the whole behaviour of a child in cast thing is much appreciated. I’d love to hear how you got through the few weeks without ending up a quivering wreck in the corner.