The packet of frozen peas landed on the boy’s swollen toe with a thud, followed by a scream. Not one of my best parenting moments. In my defence this Nursemaid malarkey doesn’t come naturally, I’ve had no formal training, and my care-giving skills have recently been stretched to the limit. Only one thang worse than all the sport in our lives is the resulting injuries. Of which we appear plagued. Though not me personally - for that I’d have to actually partake, which I can’t/won’t/don’t.
Back to the hospital this week with Teengirl’s crippled thumb, where parking stress appears as painful as whatever ailment takes us there. Almost a year after her original injury, we wait two hours for the latest consultant to conclude, ‘it’s not right’. As the lids might say ‘Der!’
Her GCSE’s are fast approaching. Coursework needs completing, requiring the use of both hands, so the offer of a cast was rejected. Back on the waiting list for an MRI scan we go, alongwith the gift of a splint to join our ever-growing collection. None of which keep the joint immobile. Because they are not worn. Despite the stuck record nature of my constant reminders the splint is found, lying sad and lonely, wherever she is not. I have driven the damn thang to school long after she is gone. The splint is taking on the personality of an extra-errant child: I constantly find it, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.
They say every death accompanies a birth: Teengirl’s retreat from Rugby sees the boy step up for his first Tournament. I put the following day’s moans of aches and pains down to his ‘outstanding performance’ on the field. When I take the time for a proper consultation I diagnose flu. This week he managed one day at school before retreating to the sofa with a largely swollen big toe. A quick trawl of t’net and am comforted to see I’ve followed an appropriate course with ice and painkillers. Hence the unfortunate incident with the flying peas. I daren’t show the boy the disgusting (yet strangely compelling) You Tube video of a drill through toe nail to relieve swelling. Not one to try at home me thinks!
I think I must take after my mother – herself a nurse whose sympathy had all been used up. We spent the Christmas hols nursing the boy’s dislocated knee, and half term with Teengirl’s thumb. This week the little-un thinks her legs have been worn out by her Athletics coach who, she says, ‘doesn’t understand my legs are little’.
I am not totally unsympathetic and am experiencing a building, nagging guilt. Should a toe, even a swollen one, lean quite so much to the left? I weigh up whether to spend today in A&E awaiting an x-ray. (Because I am so often reminded that I got it wrong with his first broken arm after sending him to school. Well, he could move all his fingers. What would you have done? Luckily faith in my nursemaidy skills were restored when I diagnosed the second break to the school nurse). On balance, because he’s not moaning that much, I think another 24 hours toe monitoring will do.
Still, as I am so keen to say, every cloud… sports laundry is at a minimum.