Broken Bones and Teenage Boys
Mother Called the Doctor and the Doctor Said, “No More…” Well You Know The Rest!
As a mother of two teen boys I know a lot of things that I never in the world thought I’d know. For instance, I know that young athletes play 6 innings of baseball in Little League and I can recite the names of every Yankee player on the team including all the relief pitchers. I know that COD is not just a fish, but something that can unite a flock of adolescent boys and cause them stay up all night trying to “beat a level.” I also know that it is possible to wear the same pair of socks two weeks in a row and not die of a skin disease. In that same venue, I know (only after standing in my boys’ bathroom last week on cleaning day) that there is actually a place in the world that smells worse than a gas station bathroom. I have witnessed firsthand there are certain sounds that come out of a teenage boy’s body that can be so hysterically funny that a group of boys can laugh raucously about it for at least an hour, especially if one or more of them can imitate said noise. But the most important tidbit that EVERY mother of teen boys should know is the phone number of their local orthopedic surgeon … by heart.
Believe it or not study after study shows that girls on average break more bones than boys. But I’d like to talk to the scientists who conducted these studies because they certainly have never lived in my house or my friends’ homes who have boys. So many many stories I could tell. Where to begin? How about with this week’s break? I got a phone call from Gannan’s dad a few days ago asking me for the name of the orthopedic surgeon I usually take my sons to. I of course spewed off automatically his name, age, wife’s name, address, favorite color and gift he wants for Christmas…What?? Don’t judge… I see him more each year than I do some of my own family members! In the same conversation Gan’s dad told me that Gannan had a possible finger break and that if he needed a cast he was going to refuse it. When I asked why, he told me that it would prevent him from playing video games. I still have the wound on my tongue from biting it so hard.
Then there’s the infamous bike rodeo incident. I think Gannan was 4. I got a phone call at school from Gannan’s pre-school teacher. She sounded frantic and a cautious… you know the kind of voice? The one that says, “Please don’t sue us.” For this break, (it was an ankle) it seems that little Gannan was exuberantly riding his training wheels through the parking lot when one of his feet slipped and got pinned in between the bike and the pedals—getting stuck there… stuck enough that they had to call the fire department to get him out. When I arrived, the sight before me was akin to a scene out of some Denzel Washington movie. Four fire trucks, an ambulance, concerned looking preschool teachers holding back a corral of screaming 4 year olds and several uniformed fireman with large tools surrounding my son. Gannan was in full meltdown—snot hanging to his chin, crying… no no… wailing incoherently. I ran to him like Lassie’s owner when Lassie came home. Hair flying in the breeze, arms outstretched, moving piano music playing in the background—all, of course, in slow motion. I dropped to my knees and put my arms around my tiny son and said, “There, there sweetheart. Mommy is here. Tell me where it hurts!” Gannan immediately looked at me disgustedly (a look I have probably seen a million times since) and said, “I’m not crying ‘cause my leg hurts! I’m crying ‘cause they’re taking apart my bike.” Upon emphasizing the word “bike” Gannan started wailing again. This would be the first of many breaks for Gannan. Since then he’s broken a wrist, a collar bone, his ankle twice and an arm. Heck we’ve been to the emergency room so many times, the doctors and nurses now recognize him and say things like, “Hey! It’s the kid who loves to pogo stick!” I really think it is time I get some revenue from my local hospital.
However the worst break (or I should say BREAKS) we’ve had to deal with was the time that Aidan broke BOTH… I said BOTH of his arms. It was a typical scenario. I gave a direction. Aidan ignored it. Chaos ensued. (Moms of boys all over the world are nodding their head right now!) To make a long story short, we pulled in the driveway. He ran, skipped and squealed towards our front yard tree shouting, “I am going to climb that tree!” “DON’T YOU DARE!” I said firmly as I hauled in the groceries through the front door. I am a much wiser mom now and would therefore know that that phrase was not convincing enough. If it happened now, I would have added “Or you won’t see the light of a video game for weeks.” But live and learn! Anyhoo!! As I am sure you’ve figured out, Aidan climbed that tree and fell face first reaching out his hands to catch himself and breaking his right wrist and left elbow. Of course two casts ensued, the ones that don’t allow the arms to bend. When we returned home and for weeks later I found myself doing two things I never thought I’d do after Aidan’s second birthday. The first was harmless—a job that no mother would object to doing. Since my son could not feed himself, the task became mine. Oh sure I teased. Asked him what kind of baby food he liked best and other cheesy jokes like that, but meals became a wonderful way to spend time with my third grader. However, the second job I was forced to perform due to Aidan’s unbending arms was no laughing matter and one that neither of us enjoyed. Let’s just say that having to deal with a nine-year-old’s bathroom habits is NOT anywhere NEAR the pleasant experience a new mom has when changing her newborn’s diapers.
With all these bone breaks, hospital trips, casts on arms and legs, there is one piece of knowledge that all moms know from the moment that their children are born; that no matter the way the injury occurred, no matter the number of trips we take to our local orthopedic surgeon, nothing compares to the worry, sadness and helplessness we feel when our children are hurting.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Logan has lived in Glens Falls, NY all her life. By day, she is an educator with 20 years experience, a mom to Aidan and Gannan, her two teenage boys, a new mommy to a beautiful daughter, Ila, and wife to the love of her life, Jeffrey. By night, weekends and any spare time she can find, Logan writes. She loves memoir and also adores writing essays about the challenges of parenthood. This year she started a parenting blog called A Muddled Mother, an honest place where mothers aren’t afraid to speak of the complications and difficulties that we all inevitably experience. Logan has been published in various children’s and parenting magazines including Today’s Motherhood, Eye on Education, Faces, and Appleseed.