If you ever have to put a cast on your 3 year old it would be prudent to remember that one day that cast is gonna have to come off. That day was today. Our conversation on the way to the doctor:
Me: Well honey you’re getting your cast off in a few minutes, isn’t that exciting?
3 Year old: No, I’m going to be so disappointed.
3 Year old: Because I won’t be able to show it to my friends anymore. Or strangers.
Here is what I learned:
1. It would have been a good idea to hire a babysitter so that I could have left my 15 month old at home. There was no reason to traumatize both of them.
2. Kids are positioned on their backs for cast removal. In order to comfort them you must awkwardly collapse your body on top of theirs while making sure your face can be seen by your baby. This is of course so that they will see you grinning like a psycho during the sawing and then possibly feel better about the fact that your mother is lying on your sister while a stranger goes at her with a saw.
4. Once the saw (which looked less scary than an amputation saw but more scary than an electric turkey carver) was in motion my heretofore independent child began howling, “Mama! Don’t leave me! Cuddle me mom! Right now! AAAAHHHHH! Mom mom mom mom mom! NOOOOOOO!” Tears poured down her face, and suddenly the novelty of the cast was over. My heart broke for her and all at once parenting didn’t feel quite so thankless.
5. When my child finally got the cast off the part of her body that was previously shrouded in Gore-Tex it stunk. I wanted to put my nose somewhere less foul. Like my own armpit. I didn’t do this of course but I really, really wanted to.
6. I saw the cuts the saw left on my daughter’s arm and felt an overwhelming urge to launch myself at the technician and bite them on the face. Instead I sang, “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” to my children until the urge passed.
7. Just because the cast is off the arm is not back to normal. She is still holding it up like a bird with a broken wing. “It’s stiff,” she tells me. “You’ll have to carry me. And lift me up to the table, and put me in my car seat. I can’t do it.” I wonder how long this phase will last….
The best part of the experience was that there were no ticks hiding inside the cast- only a lone pine needle happy to free once more.