Let me tell you folks, summer this year has been tough!
The vision of sunny days, drinks in the garden, children running free like wild horses while Mum and Dad debate what to cremate on the BBQ was shattered at the start of August – and I am not talking about the weather forecast. Jocelyn managed to fracture her leg. For those with a medical curiosity I can confirm it was a buckle fracture. An innocent moment of bouncing on a trampoline at the local café with her brother while my wife met a friend for coffee ended in disaster….
Four weeks of handling a two year old with her leg in plaster is about as much fun as slamming your testicles in a car door. By the age of two you have reached a stage where your child does not have to be carried everywhere, their journey for independence has begun and frankly they don’t want Mum and Dad around when they are smearing the contents of their nappy across the lounge floor – you cramp their style. In short, be it because they suddenly have the weight of a baby elephant, your back has finally given out or they simply want to start going their own way you are not carrying them as much. In my household though, things had regressed as we carried our daughter every step!
The constant picking-up and carrying would probably have broken Schwarzenegger. The public ridicule and humiliation might have even cracked Trump. The simple trip to Sainsbury’s for the weekly food shop required the Samaritans on speed dial. I’m sure you can picture the scene; one cute two-year old riding in the trolley with the largest plaster cast fitting possible alongside a father who hasn’t shaved, looks harassed at trying to manage two children simultaneously and probably isn’t buying enough fruit and veg….it brings mixed emotions.
Typically it begins with a casual passer-by giving a look of loving concern as if a kitten had rolled out its basket for a moment. Jocelyn played her role beautifully….waving, giggling and clinging on to her favourite toy rabbit.
Then comes the casual look thrown at the parent. It is not pity in their eyes, just the nagging suggestion you must be the worst parent in the world and social services will be waiting at the checkout for you….as if! No one in Sainsbury’s offers to pack your bags nowadays let alone liberate you of the kids for a few hours!
Luckily, I am made of strong stuff and I made a point of stopping those who wanted to judge me to explain this happen on my wife’s watch – not mine! I find parenting is a team game, unless we are stood more than fifteen feet apart in which case blame does become an acceptable form of self-defense.
The only consolation from these four weeks is that Jocelyn has made a complete and full recovery, the osteopath says surgery will eventually ease mine and my wife’s back pain and we gained membership to the dark, shadowy world of parents who have experienced the same incident. Unfortunately, innocuous incidents on trampolines are all too common…but as my daughter is now demonstrating – they do bounce back!