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Another ‘Leg’itimate Reason I Can’t Go Back to Work

One of our many family outings involving crutches.
One of our many family outings involving crutches.

My daughter just got her leg cast removed a couple of days ago. She had to wear the cast for a month after breaking her foot exactly one week after the first day of school. To most people this sounds like a rough way to start the school year but to of our friends and family betting over/unders on her next injury, that sounds just about right, because I have ‘that kid’.

In the past year, she has been on crutches three times, (this time we even upgraded to a knee scooter.) She has also had a broken arm and even decided to add some flair and go for an eye patch once after catching a basketball with her eye.*

Oh sure, the first time she broke her arm (by getting completely nailed by two boys racing on bikes,) I rushed her to the ER, paying upwards of a gazillion dollars to have them wrap her arm with a stick and a bandage only to inform me that she would have to go see an orthopedic specialist the next day (or within the week…whenever….why did I rush to the ER again?) Lesson learned.

With this last break I handed her a bag of frozen peas, two Advil and went about with making dinner.  The next morning we headed to the pediatrician to get an xray permission slip and drove across town to the xray specialist. There we had the pleasure of  sitting next to a foul mouthed elderly couple discussing their children’s problems with drugs and sluttiness full volume for over an hour.

Sure enough, the xrays showed that it was broken, and sure enough, the break was “very unusual.” Of course it was.

Of the 25 school days so far this year, she has missed the equivalent of five days of school, two due to the foot injury and three due to the plague going through our neighborhood. Fortunately, since I’m a SAHM, I have the flexibility to run to these appointments and stay home fulfilling her non-stop, weird food requests while she breaks the world record for hours of watching LabRats.

If I was employed, I am guessing my boss wouldn’t be thrilled with me missing work 20% of the past month. I know all mothers have to deal with these type of emergencies too, but I’m guessing their kids limit their bone breaking to once a year and their medicine cabinets do not look like this.

Just a few of this year's medical supplies. Yes, that is an eye patch.
Just a few of this year’s medical supplies. Yes, that is an eye patch.

So really, I’m doing the would-be employers out there a big service by just staying at home, so when the next caller ID from my daughter’s school shows up on my phone I don’t have to cancel any client meetings or miss a big presentation. Instead, my only broken commitment is not getting to the grocery store (woo hoo, excuse for take out!) and any frustration over being inconvenienced is soon replaced by an overwhelming gratitude that I’m in a position to be able to be on-call for those calls all moms get (some of us more than others.)

So, if we ever meet and become friends and I tell you to ‘text don’t call,’ I hope you’ll understand that it’s not that I don’t want to talk to you. It’s that I have developed a negative Pavlovian response to phones ringing, but instead of salivating, it makes me grab my insurance card and an iPad for the doctor’s waiting room.

*For all of you getting ready to call the CPS, all of the injuries except the most recent broken foot happened when I was not present. The broken foot, however, happened while she was climbing down from the bunkbed in her room after I sent her there for driving me batsh*t crazy, so yeah, that one’s kinda on me.


Geez, someone needs to lint-roll that kid's sling.
Geez, someone needs to lint-roll that kid’s sling.

I can’t be the only one with ‘that kid’. Help me know that I’m not alone and share your stories of other kids that should be spending their lives wrapped in bubble wrap.


Once upon a time, Susanne Kerns was a Senior Account Director at an advertising agency working for two of the top brands in the world. Nine years ago she traded in her corporate life for a life as a stay at home mom, raising two of the best kids in the world. She started her blog, The Dusty Parachute as a way to dust off her online advertising skills and begin her job search. Instead, she now uses it as a way to spend lots of time on the computer so her kids think that mommy has a job.

Susanne’s essays have been featured in Scary Mommy, BonBon Break and Redbook and she is also a contributor in the upcoming books, It’s Really 10 Months, Special Delivery and Martinis & Motherhood: Tales of Wonder, Woe & WTF?! You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


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5 thoughts to “Another ‘Leg’itimate Reason I Can’t Go Back to Work”

  1. I was (and still am, at 26) “that kid.” On the plus side, it taught me tons about being resilient and toughing things out, as well as when and how to ask for necessary help. And just think – your baby girl is getting hurt because she’s diving into life and going big rather than standing on the sidelines. All these traits will help her become a successful adult. And if all else fails, well, she’ll have some interesting conversation starters at parties.

    1. I completely agree – The day she got the okay from the doc she was back riding her bike to school and starts up karate again next week. We tell her we would much rather have her get some injuries while living life than playing it safe. That being said, could have done without the spill off the bunkbed stairs. 🙂

  2. I had not one but two of “those kids” – and no, they don’t outgrow it. My son started with two stitches in his forehead at two (why do they make those elevated fireplace hearths?) and most recently broke his shoulder at work (he’s 30). With my daughter, it was a bad ankle in junior high, with most recent being a compound fracture of her lower right leg that resulted in something called an “external fixator” that looks like a torture device built with an erector set. We’ve also had six knee surgeries (son 4, daughter and daughter-in-law one each), broken toes, and a pebble embedded in my son’s forehead. Most recent: three year old granddaughter fell and broke her nose first week of school. And as the SAHG (stay at home grandma) I got to do that emergency room run too!

  3. Ditto. I have “that kid” too. If I had gone back to work I would have been fired by now for all the doctor appointments, school pick ups and sick days.

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