My fell! she called. My fell!
She didn't cry til Joe got to her, scooped her up, and hugged her. “Are you okay?” he asked.
My knee hurts! she cried, a dozen enormous tears suddenly rolling down her cheeks.
Thinking that she was crying because she was tired or hungry or wanting to go outside, I offered her a Halloween Oreo cookie with orange filling.
She stopped crying, and her face lit up. Yum, yum! she squealed.
“Okay. Come over and get it.”
She stood up, took a step, and fell down. This time, she was wailing before she hit the ground. My knee hurts!
Joe picked her up again and brought her over to the couch. She grabbed her Oreo, turned around, and fell to the floor again.
“What happened, Honey? Where did you fall?” I asked her.
Right there! she cried, pointing to the spot on the carpet.
Neither of us had seen the fall. There had been no crash, no screaming, no noise. Just My fell!
“Did you fall outside or inside?”
Yeah. My fell. My knee hurts.
I pulled her pant legs up, checking for bleeding or something. Nothing. Both legs looked totally normal.
But she couldn't walk. Not at all, not even one step.
“Joe, we have to go to the Emergency Room.”
He looked at me, his face totally blank.
I looked at the clock: 4:25. I dialed the pediatrician. The nurse listened, told me to give Grace some ibuprofen, and then go immediately to get x-rays.Ã‚ “Don't leave the radiology center,” she said. “Our on-call doctor will contact you as soon as she gets the report.”
The whole way to the radiology center, I prepped Grace. “The doctor is going to take some pictures of your leg so that she can fix your booboo. You'll have to lay very still so that she can take pictures.”
Okay, Mommy. My lay still for pictures.
But then, when the time came, she cried. Screamed. Wailed.
My scared! M'afraid! Mommy, hold me!
It wasn't as bad as the blood draw. Or maybe I'm just stronger.
Or maybe both.
After a long wait, the doctor phoned.
Broken fibula. It should be okay overnight but don't let her try to walk on it. Give her ibuprofen every six hours, and call the office when it opens for a referral to a pediatric orthopedist.
I explained to Grace that her leg was broken, and that it was very important that she not walk on it. I'm pretty sure that was a mistake.
My can't walk? My can't walk!
Her heart is more wounded than her leg.
Every time she thinks about it, her eyes get wide. My can't walk? My can't walk!
I don't know which is worse: feeling guilty because I don't know how she fell or wishing I could fix it or watching my baby's pure sadness.
I don't think that it matters. It's not about me.
Happily submitted to Friday Freewrite
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