In Which I Resist the Urge to Despair

I had hoped to have for you today an analysis of our highly distracted but well-intentioned uber-frugal February. But I have not had time to compile this analysis, as we spent half the day yesterday at the ER with Little Brother. He had a sledding accident, you see, and when he was still complaining of pain the next day, we thought perhaps he had a sprain of some kind.

It was an honest-to-God broken leg.

Fortunately, it’s a nondisplaced fracture (meaning the bone cracked through but the pieces stayed in place, and they did not have to set it). Still, they had to put on a temporary plaster cast from his toes all the way to his hip.

Little Brother contemplating what trouble he can cause within a two-foot radius.

Friends, I admit I nearly despaired. This kid can’t walk. He may not be able to walk for four to six weeks (we’ll know more when the permanent cast goes on Friday, but they said it will probably not be a walking cast–and it’s not like a two-year-old can use crutches). He is not supposed to crawl, stand, or put any weight on his left leg. He will need sponge baths. All the toddler skills we’ve been working on–going potty, cleaning up toys, taking his own dishes to the sink, dressing himself–they’re all on hold. He has to be carried everywhere like a giant heavy baby. No playing outside. No running around the house in his superhero cape. He can’t even wear underpants because of the risk of a potty accident; I had to put him in disposable training pants. And the timing is terrible: After a two-week delay, we are hoping to close on our house purchase on Friday the 13th. We’ll be trying to pack and unpack and move while keeping a two-year-old entertained in a stationary position. I am sad for him and frustrated for myself.
But, just like when I got a flat tire, I would rather think about all the ways my life does not suck right now:
  1. We are buying a house! Our boys will have their own rooms and a backyard for the first time ever.
  2. I can afford to pay the bill, unlike the last time I went to the ER and, as I mused about during my flat-tire debacle, I had to ask for three different payment plans. I even have a medical FSA; I only put in $400, which may not be enough, but it will keep me from having to shell out a giant wad of cash all at once.
  3. My kids are healthy enough to break legs sledding. No one is guaranteed even one healthy, typically developing child, and I have two. How great is that? This is one month of my life that I’ll laugh about later, not my long-term reality.
  4. We have easy access to top-notch medical care. We drove there in our totally functional car and got him X-rayed and fixed up. In much of the world, that’s not possible.
  5. Because of that prompt access to top-notch medical care, we can expect Little Brother to make a full, uncomplicated recovery.
  6. People love us. We got lots of Facebook well-wishes, plus calls and e-mails from our loved ones and presents from Grandma FP.

What are your first-word problems this week? What are you grateful for?


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About frugalparagon

I'm a part-time librarian and mom to two small boys. I blog about striving for the long-term goal of financial independence while running a tight ship at home.

14 responses to “In Which I Resist the Urge to Despair”

  1. kahlerklanKelly says :

    Thanks for reminding us to focus on what God has given us! : )

  2. Mrs PoP says :

    Glad it was a clean break and take heart that kids heal quickly and he’ll bounce back before you know it!
    In the meantime, the timing could definitely be better. It’s going to be tough having a little one more or less incapacitated while you’re moving. But perhaps look at the silver lining? If he can’t move around on his own, you have to worry less about him getting into trouble with all the packing materials and boxes (that are often filled with non toddler-safe items) that always seem to be around when moving. Right? Maybe? =) (Says the non-parent.)

    • frugalparagon says :

      LOL, you are not wrong–I admit I’ve already noticed that the chaos level in my house has gone down a notch now that Little Brother stays where you put him again. I miss the wrestling and chasing! But they are exhausting.

  3. Amy K says :

    Congratulations on the new house!

  4. David says :

    I hope everything goes well. One of my nephews broke a leg when he was about 18 months. Seeing little ones in huge casts is never easy.

  5. Chris says :

    Sorry to hear about this. Your little one will likely acquire quite a bit of motility shortly -who says one has to walk to move around? Kids are amazingly adaptable. As to your pants problem: did you consider a dress for him? Toddlers used to wear them (together with an apron and stockings) not so long ago, pants were for older boys.

    • frugalparagon says :

      That’s true! There’s a famous picture of Franklin Roosevelt as a toddler with long ringlets and a white dress–by modern standards, he looks like a little girl, but at the time, that was a gender-neutral outfit. Fortunately, I’ve been able to wiggle on his looser pants; I favor sweats and knits for little dudes anyway. My first choice is always to use what I have on hand :-). And yeah, he’s already wiggling around quite a bit!

  6. Tarynkay says :

    Keeping a two year old immobile? Sounds like a job for TV! Seriously, this is the exact right time to bend all of your screen time restrictions. My three year old just had minor surgery and we were like, “Thank you, thank you, creators of Thomas the Train!” I mean, look, we read him a lot of books as well, but TV was a nice break. And since he doesn’t normally get any, it was a huge treat as well.

    • frugalparagon says :

      LOL, I’m way ahead of you. Did you know the AAP says up to TWO HOURS a day is permissible? We have upped our norm quite a bit and are still well under that. Not that we are particularly succeeding in keeping him immobile–in fact, he cracked the plaster of his first temporary splint!

  7. Mrs. Frugalwoods says :

    Oh wow–that is not fun. Poor baby in a cast! I think your urge to despair is completely understandable. Thank you for the list of things to be grateful for–you’re so right that even our biggest challenges are still pretty first world. And, huge congrats on buying a house! Can’t wait to hear more about it!

    • frugalparagon says :

      Thanks! We’re really excited about having a yard. And a kitchen with more than one outlet (no more unplugging the toaster oven to plug in the mixer). Mr. FP and the boys are going to the new house today for a tutorial from the sellers on such matters as how to operate the “swamp cooler.”

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