Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Stuff That Really Makes You Feel Like a Parent

Sody got hurt last week. Not at all seriously, but it was out of the ordinary enough to warrant an emergency room trip at four a.m. FUN!! What she had was something called nursemaid's elbow, which I had never heard of before that night but is apparently pretty common in kids under five. Basically a little bone in the elbow gets dislocated and it hurts and the kid stops using his/her arm. (Side note: Don't yank on your kids' hands! Don't swing them around by the hands! Don't pull their little arms hard through sleeves! All of these can cause nursemaid's elbow. It's real!) Joe had been getting Sody ready for bed and held her hands to pull her up from the changing table. She usually pushes herself up onto her feet but this time resisted and Joe heard a little pop. And that was all it took: busted baby arm.

So she cried for a bit and while there was something obviously wrong with her arm (she just kept holding it at a ninety degree angle and close to her body), she wasn't in constant pain or anything. We gave her some baby Tylenol, tucked her in as usual, and spent a few hours wondering if we did the right thing. What we should have done. Stressing about how much an ER visit would cost. Looking up "nursemaid's elbow" on the internet. Feeling like crappy parents because we didn't take her straight to the doctor when everything on the internet about nursemaid's elbow says to take the kid straight to the doctor. Etc. It was an odd, confusing night. One where you realize this parenting stuff is so not clear cut at all.

She eventually woke up around 3:30, not able to sleep, still not able to use her arm. Seeing that little bent baby arm stuck in that position where she couldn't move it was just too sad - and that was when it finally got through to our thick heads to take her in and get her fixed up. Nothing else really mattered at that point. And it definitely ended up being the right move: the ER was dead at that time in the morning, our triage nurse was Swedish (!), and the fix for Sody's arm took about ten seconds - all the doctor did was a little rotating and flexing move and that elbow popped back in. It seemed to really hurt as the doctor was doing it, but literally seconds later Sody was fine and moving her arm and totally happy. It was an amazingly quick transformation. Plus she got a juice box, so her world totally rocked at that point. I was completely flooded with relief when I saw her high fiving with that arm again. And I am pretty sure Sody saw the whole thing as a total adventure - being up in the middle of the night, driving around in her pajamas, getting juice at the doctor's. We were so stinkin' happy it was a simple thing and that our kid was back to much so that we got donuts and hot chocolate on the way home and let her feast on sugar and cartoons at six in the morning for being such a good sport. I am pretty sure she is going to have a very positive attitude toward going to the doctor from here on out. Or expect treats every time. Oops.

before: ouchie arm

after: working arm (and juice)

way after: donuts at home

Friday, March 11, 2011

Time To Start Playing the Bikini Kill Records

In the spirit of International Women's Day this past week, I have to tell you: Isota seems to have some weird ideas about gender so far. We first noticed it whenever we would talk about school. Like, if we pass a school and talk about what school is and how she will go to one someday along with other kids, she consistently responds to the conversation with "Boy." Always, always just "Boy." And we try to clarify what she means, because it seems to be that she means boys go to school and girls don't. So of course we always tell her that girls go to school too, that girls do everything boys do. (We leave out the peeing-standing-up thing, because that whole ball of wax has got to be confusing to someone who hasn't even mastered the potty yet. Hell, it's sort of confusing to me, too.)

So the school thing was a little weird, but we figured maybe she just saw something on a cartoon where a boy goes to school (I am thinking Caillou, perhaps...Does anyone else watch that little Canadian cartoon? She is way into it) and now has it stuck in her head about that boy going to school. Who really knows what's going on in a 2 year old brain, eh? No biggie. But now I am noticing a new trend: at the park, when she tackles something a little out of her comfort zone like a tall ladder, she gets a little scared at the top and asks for me to help get her down. Then when she is safely back on the ground she says, "Boy." Sometimes it's, "No Sody. Boy." Like a boy can do that crazy ladder climbing, not her. Whhhaaaa? OF COURSE you can do it too, Sody!! This is not a good development. Where would she get this sort of idea? I would normally be able to explain it away with the thought that the older and bigger boys can climb up those ladders easy peasy, but we have seen plenty of girls her age and younger tackle them, too.

She is not shy and not afraid to try things, for which I am so grateful. So it makes these little "boy" episodes even weirder to me, and it gets me worked up. I know she is too young to be worried about inferiority complexes and things, but it's a tiny little glimmer of what may crop up down the line. And I want to end it right here. I want her to know that she is not inferior to anyone. I want her to know how strong, smart, and capable she is. I want her to know her worth. I want her to think for herself and tackle things and ideas and park ladders for the rest of her life.