Friday, March 7, 2008


This one definitely takes me back to those early golden days of MTV and is guaranteed to Rock this Friday.

Sledgehammer,Peter Gabriel, So

Gee, that reminds me of that time back in '86 or '87, when Lovely Daughter was 3 or 4 years old....

We had had company that evening, so it must've been the weekend; perhaps a Friday? Our guests had just left; it was about 9 or 10 pm. This video came on and I started dancing around with LD. At one point I picked her up by an arm and a leg to swing her around* and something... happened.

She started screaming. I practically dropped her, trying to get her back down on the floor. She was holding her arm, screaming, obviously in pain. After a couple of minutes of trying to calm her down and see what was going on, we had to make the call: do we pump her full of Tylenol or go to the ER?

Shit. It's almost 10 pm and we have to go to the ER. Ugh.

And so it goes. After a l-o-n-g wait, we saw the doc. Parents, you know what happened next.
Doctor, leaning down to talk to LD: Hi, Sweetie. How did this happen?
Lovely Daughter, tearstained and pitiful: Mommy did it! She pulled my arm really hard. (whimper, sniff, sniff)

Sigh... The first time you realize that ER doc thinks you might be abusing your child is one of those watershed moments in the life of a young parent. I got so self-conscious about it that I'm sure I looked guilty as hell. And the smell of beer didn't help. The doc scowled at me, looked her arm briefly and banished us to the X-ray Dept. I'm sure he told the nurse to flag LD's record. "Keep an eye on that one!"

After a l-o-n-g wait, the tech set LD up at the table and arranged her arm, went out to take the shot, and came back to gently rotate her arm just so for the next shot. I braced myself for the screams. She gave a yelp, then... nothing. All of a sudden it was all better!


Relief, puzzlement, frustration. Can we go home now? Oh, but no. After another l-o-n-g wait, we met with the doc for the wrap-up portion of the program. He explained that it was "Nursemaid's Elbow", where the tendon can slip out of the little groove in the joint when the arm is yanked. It's is fairly common in young children (insert scowl at Mom here.) It can usually be fixed by rotating the arm just so.

It was almost 2am. We had been there almost 4 hours. Why, in the name of all that's fair and just in the universe, couldn't he have done that hours ago?!?

Lessons learned: Don't lift your child by the arm. Don't lift your child by the arm at 10pm after having some beers. And if you do, and the kid starts screaming, for chrissakes try rotating the arm just so before heading off to the ER.

Thanks, Peter Gabriel. Really.

* Hey, it seemed like a good idea at the time. What can I say?


  1. If I remember correctly she said "Mommy did it playing sledge hammer with me"

    I also think I remember the doctor saying words to the effect that "Oh yeah when ever this happens we just send em to xray they'll fixem...Happens all the time"


  2. That vid is still cool after all these years.

  3. Bestfriend, that's nothing compared to the time you stabbed her in the thigh with the knitting needle.

    Maybe your file at the ER was still flagged from that incident.



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