Getting the boy dressed for school this morning, he wobbled walking across the dog’s bed and twisted his knee. Down he went. Got back up and went right back down.


Suddenly: worried, fawning parents.

Sick is one thing, an injury is quite another. Everybody gets sick. You take medicine and get better. But an injury? The child got damaged? And on my watch? I broke the baby!

Talked to the triage nurse on the phone, who seemed more concerned about our co-pay rather than my broken child. “Look,” I said, fed up, “My two year old who can’t walk is my primary concern, OK? Let’s schedule whatever is fastest.” Message delivered.

At noon my son got his first x-ray, which he found endlessly entertaining and fascinating — even when mommy had to hold him in a weird position for the lateral image. He smiled and waved at everyone and never complained, even when the doctor was prodding his hurt knee.

“Just a mild sprain or twist,” was the verdict. “He’ll be fine in a few days.” The doc also told us that toddlers are smart. If something hurts, they won’t use it, “unlike adults or teenagers who come in after walking on a sprained ankle for a week.”

“That’s because we’re stupid,” I offered. “Speaking for myself, anyway.”

So the boy had a nutritious dinner of Halloween chocolate and cold milk and reminded us of what we’re thankful for this year.


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