Wednesday, October 10, 2012

We didn’t break Amelia

Phew.  Because on Friday, we thought we might have.

Amelia came home from school and refused to walk, stand, or put any weight at all on her left leg.  Two urgent care clinics and a pediatric orthopedic specialist later, we’ve seen some cool x-rays of our daughter’s hips, legs and knees, and we’ve learned some new vocabulary: Transient synovitis.

Did she hurt her hip
falling off this bike?
It’s not serious – basically a virus that settled in her hip joint, causing inflammation. Painful but temporary, and the cure is a few days of Advil.  She’s back at school today and mostly back to normal.  But all weekend until we had a firm diagnosis, we worried. And felt guilty.  For what, you ask? Everything. First of all, we didn’t believe her. How could she have been fine all day and then, with no injury, suddenly become immobilized? Clearly she just wanted to be carried, right?  We thought she was just being lazy, and told her so.  We tried to trick her into walking.  We waited two hours before going to urgent care, we were so sure this wasn’t real.  Oy, the guilt.

And then, on the advice of our pediatrician, we took her in for x-rays.  What? Checking for broken bones?  How could our precious baby have broken a bone without anybody noticing an injury?   More guilt.  She’s out of our sight in preschool.  Is there enough supervision there?  She fell on her bike a week ago – could she have had a fracture all week and we didn’t notice?  Oh, how stoic she must be and how guilty we must be! I considered homeschooling.

Not fun in urgent care
Fun in urgent care

Seriously, this is the stuff that goes through my head in the middle of the night.  While sitting in urgent care.

Well, no break.  No injury.  No reason for guilt.  No need to homeschool. A head cold a month ago settled in her joint and for a few days she had a bum hip and got to satisfy her inner princess by requesting that we fetch things and carry her around…all 52 pounds of her.

hard at work
Once the drama was over, we entertained ourselves with a few days of sitting still projects. You know, to fill the time left in between me obsessively asking Amelia whether her hip hurt every time she moved.  Filled with residual guilt and general overprotectiveness, I planned projects to fill our days together at home.  But the most fun we had? Totally driven by Princess Bum Hip.  While I ran around in an overcompensating frenzy, Amelia picked up a pair of scissors left on the table and an abandoned ad from our lawn care service. She started cutting.  And she asked for glue.  And yarn.  I offered help, and she declined.  I asked what she was making, and she wouldn't answer.  She intently cut and glued for about 15 minutes, and then proudly presented me with a collage, of a woman with long hair and yarn fingers reaching for a perfectly triangular slice of watermelon on a table.  She knew exactly what she was doing and how to do it.

In an instant, Amelia's recent insistence that "I can do it myself" was proven. I may need to carry her once in a while, but I don’t need to watch her every minute.  

I hope she won’t break if I don’t.

Woman reaching for a snack on a table. Do you see the watermelon in her hand?