Tuesday, January 04, 2011


It was January 2nd. I was helping to fulfill one of my New Year's resolutions by buying dumbbells. Nothing fancy. 5 pounds. 8 pounds. I figure last year was the year of me scrutinizing our food choices and trying to make better ones, so this is the year I'm finally going to start moving a little more. Just walking, and a bit of yoga. And the weights, for my arms, because I've always liked using free weights.

Kaiya was with me when I bought the dumbbells, and she was fascinated with them. She kept wanting to hold them, to pick them up, to show me how strong she was.

When we got home, it was a mad rush of putting away the groceries and making some dinner. I was distracted, tired. I wasn't paying attention to Kaiya as she once again grasped the dumbbells, trying to show off her strength. That is, until the moment I turned around to see her drop the 5-pound one from the kitchen table right onto her right foot.

I can still see that moment in my eyes. The slow-motion falling of the blue dumbbell. My face frozen in shock.

I started crying before she did. About half a second before. It was her right foot, her little baby toe. She screamed in pain, her face turning red, then slightly purple. Jeff came flying down the stairs to see what had happened. I found out that I am NOT particularly good in emergencies. I ran around, grabbing her blanket and teddy to give to her for comfort, flying to the office to banish the evil dumbbells, flying back to the freezer to scoop out ice cubes for her little foot, and immediately spilling them all over the floor, dashing to the cupboard to fill ziploc bags with Goldfish crackers, crying the whole time, worried, scared, angry with myself for allowing such a STUPID thing to happen.

All the while, Jeff stood in the midst of my hurricane-frenzy, holding Kaiya, trying to calm her, and finally getting a good look at her foot.

"We're going to the hospital," he said.


I wish I had gotten the name of the nurse who was working at Prompt Care that night, registering patients. I would like to give her the "dealing with stubborn almost 3-year olds" award. She was gold.

Kaiya was calm by the time we got to the hospital. She was sweet and cuddly. But after a visit to emerg this past summer, I knew that that could all change quickly as soon as she met the nurse. It could quickly dissolve into a writhing/screaming/frothing-at-the-mouth match.

The nurse met us and spoke only to Kaiya. "What's your name?"
"How old are you, Kaiya?"
"No way.... are you sure?"
(Giggle, giggle)
"When's your birthday?"
"In January."
"Well, I've never met a two-year old who could tell me that her birthday is in January!"
(Pan over to beaming, dabbing-at-the-tears mom)
"Well it seems that not only are you long for your age, but you're also very smart!"
(More giggling, more beaming)
"Now, I wouldn't ask any ordinary two-year old to do this, but you're no ordinary two-year old. Could you stick this little thermometer under your tongue and close your lips around it?"

This nurse had us all. We were like melted buh-ddah. All ooey-gooey and gagga for her.

They ordered x-rays. Thinking it would take a long time, Jeff stepped out to get us some food. However, before we knew it, I was lugging "long" Kaiya up to the fifth floor, where a nice, but not nearly as kid-friendly nurse started to set us up.

The tide turned. Stubborn Kaiya made her sudden appearance. Taking off her sock? NO! Lying down? NO!! Putting on protective garb? NO!! NOOOOO! The nurse was getting insistent, and I was getting desperate. I said, "Kaiya, can we sing a song together?" Fully expecting another NO, I was taken aback by her sweet, "Okay."
"What song do you want to sing?"
"Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer."

And that sealed the deal. I held her hand. The nurse suited us up and took the three x-rays, while Kaiya and I locked eyes and sang the song together, twice. The nurse left, the room faded, and for a rare, precious moment in this multi-tasker's life, all that existed was Kaiya and I and this ridiculous song we were softly crooning to one another. That is the main image I am left with. Of us holding hands and locking eyes. And I thank God that it was only for a silly little bruised foot. Nothing more.


We're lucky. We're blessed. The doctor didn't find a fracture. He said that if the pain continued and she refused to walk for over a week, we should come back for another x-ray. But we knew better. Kaiya took her first steps as soon as we got home again.

For the most part, you wouldn't even know anything had happened. She's walking, she's running. Limping sometimes, but mostly not. And she loves to pull off her sock and show everyone her poor little purple foot. And when you ask her if it hurts, she smiles and says, "Naaahhhh!" Yes, the double whammy of Epp/Urbancok stubbornness is going to serve her well. That's our girl! (more beaming!!)


The story doesn't quite end there. The very next day, while Jeff was finishing up Kaiya's bath, I was doing my whirlwind routine in the kitchen, madly washing dishes and getting lunches prepared for the next day. I whipped out the cutting board to chop up some veggies, and promptly dropped it. The corner of it. On my right foot.

Yup, you read that right.

I howled in pain. I hobbled over to a chair, clutching at my leg, my foot, trying to make the throbbing go away. Jeff and Kaiya came rushing down. And yes, I actually, in the midst of my moaning and groaning, LAUGHED as I told them what had happened. WHAT are the CHANCES here, people?! Is my subconscious mind playing a trick on me? Am I getting myself back, in a not-so-subtle manner? How ridiculous!

I pulled off my sock to inspect my own bit of bruising and swelling. Mine came with a small gash too, thanks to the corner of the cutting board. Kaiya and Jeff got me a Little Mermaid bandaid, and Kaiya soothed me with "Aw, mom, cheer up!" And ultimately, we had a good laugh.

That's me and my girl. We share it all. Even our injuries, and our silly little limp. And we'll gladly pull our socks off to show you the bruising and swelling. But I think hers most definitely trumps mine.


Suzanne said...

That was an unbelievable story. You are such a good writer and you had me laughing, crying, and beaming with you. I will be sure to ask Kaiya about it the next time I see her. I love you both.

Barbara said...

Oh no, you guys are a bit accident prone over there lately :) I'm glad you are both okay. Jeff, watch out, you may be next!

I too love the way you write - such a pleasure to read (despite it being about misfortune!) ;P

Hugs from Singapore, B

by Mama B said...

Oh that looks painful. I'm cringing just reading your account. I think we've had that same lady in radiology. She wanted me to leave the room as she x-rayed Little Mister. When he was 18 months old. Um, no. Thanks.

Glad you had a nice nurse too. That can make all the difference. And I'm really glad that Kaiya is okay. Poor little sweetie.

Kaley said...

I agree with Sue. I was laughing and crying and thrilled with Kaiya's bravery. Thanks for sharing.

Michael said...

We feel sorry for for both of you girls but we enjoyed the story. Very well written.

Babi and Dedo