Wrist Watch

I am seriously feeling like the worst mother in the history of mothers, y'all.

Worse than the time I accidentally taught my son a bad word for a certain part of the anatomy.

Worse than the time I snipped my toddler's ear while attempting a home haircut.

Worse than the time I dragged my children to a parade in freezing temperatures completely unprepared.

And, okay, just about the same as the time my kid had a rare, potentially life-threatening infection and I didn't know it.

Two days ago, Corbin - my 21-month-old - kept whining a little bit as I'd put his arm into a coat sleeve or pull it through his car seat strap. At first I brushed it off, thinking he was just whining to be whining, because that's pretty much what toddlers do best. Plus, it always happened at a time when I was trying to herd four children out the door or into the school or whatever, which isn't the best time for needs to get addressed, know what I'm sayin'?

Otherwise, he was acting normally. And so we went about our day.

But then that evening, when I took off his shirt to give him a bath and he whimpered, I was kinda horrified to note that his left arm looked like this:

My first thought was to take him to the emergency room. But Curtis wasn't home, which meant I'd have to arrange for my mom to stay with the kids ... and get Corbin out into the cold, right at bedtime, to wait in the E.R. for Lord knows how long. And he was using the arm normally - gripping, climbing, picking his nose, punching his brothers. So I gave him some ibuprofen, tried to ice it (but he wasn't having any of that), and put him to bed.

Yesterday morning when we woke up, the swelling had gone down some, but it still didn't look quite right so I took him to the doctor. I felt kinda dumb when we went in there, because when his pediatrician poked and prodded on his arm, Corbin did nothing: no whine, no "ouch," no whimper ... nada. I just knew that the doctor was secretly thinking I was one of "those moms" who drags their kid to the clinic every time he sneezes. But to my relief, she said, "Let's order an X-ray, just to be sure."

So that's what we did. And then they sent us home and said they'd call. I figured that surely meant there wasn't anything wrong other than maybe a sprain or something.

But then I got a surprisingly quick callback. "Mrs. Templeton? Your son's wrist is fractured, and we're going to need to cast it. Can you come back in right away?"

That's how we ended up here:

The poor guy had a "buckle fracture" of both bones in his wrist. And though I have wracked my brain, I cannot think of a single incident where it was obvious that he'd hurt himself. He's always jumping off the couch or rough-housing with his brothers, but I can't recall him falling and crying like he was hurt. So not only did the little dude walk around for at least a whole day with a broken wrist - which makes me feel bad enough - but I don't even know how he broke it.

He sure does look cute in his neon-green cast, though. And he's proud of it. At least for now.

So if you're having a day when you feel like a crappy parent, just refer to this post. (And, okay, several others on this blog. Geez.)

You're welcome.


  1. Oh little boy!! What a scary thing. So glad you are a great mom and noticed it!!

  2. He's such a tough little guy! Most people would have been screaming & crying, but he never said a word about it! I guess having three big brothers has made him pretty strong!

  3. A broken wrist for the baby and a guilt trip for the parents/grandparent! I'd say everybody loses, except Corbin doesn't seem to mind showing off that cast! I guess we'll all survive!

  4. Aw, poor kid! Don't feel too bad though. I let my then three year old walk around on a broken leg for a whole day before getting it checked out. Oops.

  5. My bro, age 3, at least a day, broken leg. Maybe it doesn't hurt as much since their bones are soft still?? Hopefully it's not a trend for your son, it was the first of many injuries for my brother, the most recent at age 26. I can't believe my mom has no gray hair.

  6. Been there done that. My son fractured his elbow and we didn't take him to the emergency room for a week. We didn't think he broke it, so all week long he was trying to play sports with a broken elbow. Since he kept telling me a week later he couldn't straighten his arm, I finally took him for an xray and sure enough.... WORST MOM EVER. I still feel horrible about it 2 years later.

  7. I have done this also. Not broken, but other things. So glad that i am not alone in this.

  8. This makes me feel so much better about dropping my phone on my nursing baby's face. My friend says all moms should get together and send in their worst stories to make a book for new moms. Just to reassure them that what ever bad thing you've done, twenty other moms have too; or they've done something worse.

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  10. I love that you waited till the next day, this just proves that you're a seasoned mom who thinks things through! My 2 year old once fractured/demolished his toe dropping my 10 lb weight on it. That was a multi-day event too :)

  11. My son, 17 months old, his arm. I thought he was just tired and extra-whiny. Next day I casually mentioned his fall to my mom, who is a nurse. She told me he probably broke it, so I took him in. He had a neon orange cast for a month. So glad I'm not the only one.


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