Friday, April 12, 2024

Left arm...broken!

A few months ago I scored a push tricycle on the Buy Nothing Group. Phoebe had been putting up a fuss about riding in the stroller and I thought that perhaps a tricycle stroller would help make her fits less frequent. And I was correct! She is much happier about getting to bike around the block than she had been being pushed around the block. Eventually she'll walk around the block just fine—and she has walked around the block before—but sometimes we want to go faster than she travels on her two little legs.

So the push tricycle has been a fine solution.

I wouldn't say it's been a perfect solution, but it was free, right? And free is nice.

A few of this issues we've had with the push tricycle are:
  • She will drag her feet on the ground. This is a widely documented annoyance. We just remind her to put her feet on the pedals or to cross them over the wheel cover hasn't been a huge issue.
  • The parent handle was a little bit low. But it turns out that's adjustable, which is awesome! We made it taller and it works great. I wish that umbrella strollers had handlebars that were adjustable for height. So many umbrella strollers make me walk all hunched over. I don't even know how taller people can stand to push them (they can't! That's the thing! They have to hunch over, too!)
  • Phoebe thinks it's hilarious to grab the handlebars and yank them to one side or the other. 
How is that not a documented parental complaint? Like, all these people have kids who drag their feet on on the ground but who don't grab the handlebars and just...wrench them to one side? Who are these kids who sit complacently in their seats without doing that?

We've been trying to train Phoebe to not to, but she thinks it's hilarious. 

It's not. 

We'll be happily walking along and then all of a sudden—boom—we're turning circles. Like, the parent handlebar kind of controls the front handlebars, but we don't have the same torque that those front handlebars give. So when Phoebe yanks on them and it catches the pusher off-guard, well...that bike is just going places

The one surefire way to take away all her power (which was mentioned in the above-linked-to reddit thread) is to "pop a wheelie" and lift the front tire off the ground. That way she can't steer. The pusher also can't steer very effectively like that...but at least the baby loses more power.

That's our goal over here: to rip power out of the hands of very power-hungry babies. 

As I mentioned, we've been trying to train Phoebe not to steer so violently, to steer in the direction we're headed. No need to wobble all over the path. No need to crank the wheel and send us plowing across the neighbour's lawn. Like, just point that little wheel forward and go!

But, no! She thinks it's hilarious to throw us off course. 

Still, we're pretty great at squashing dreams over here, so week after week we've continued to reprimand her. Steering wildly is such a temptation for her that she came up with her own little plan to stop herself from indulging in this habit that we thought we'd communicated was a bad habit:

She stuffs her little fists into her cup holder.

"Why is she riding with her hands stuffed into her cup holder like that?" Rachel asked me one day when we were calmly walking along.

"So I don't go like this!" Phoebe said, taking her hands out, grabbing the handlebars and, uh...demonstrating.

"Yeah, thanks, Phoebe," I said. "The cupholder is a great spot for your hands. Let's go back to that!"

"Okay!" she said, and stuffed her hands back inside her cupholder while her two little legs pedaled away.


This afternoon, Rachel, Miriam, and I set out on a quick walk before dinner, with Phoebe in her push tricycle. Benjamin was left in charge of the little kids, who were painting rocks outside. 

We barely made it up to the corner when...

Well, you should know that I was pushing Phoebe in her tricycle. Rachel was on my left, Miriam was on my right. Phoebe had given a few wild pulls of her handlebars but wasn't being too frustrating. We're getting pretty good at jumping out of the way, anyway. 


We had just come upon a house with a fenced-in front yard. The fence is flush with the curb. And it's metal. And has spikes on top. 

You need to know all that information because Miriam was walking, kind of in the gutter portion of the road, between me and that fence...when suddenly...Phoebe grabbed her handlebars and yanked them hard to the right. 

Her bike immediately made a 90° turn into the curb and Miriam...well, Miriam had no where to go. Unable to stop in time to avoid colliding with Phoebe and her tricycle, Miriam went right over Phoebe, catching her fall with her hands out in front of her. 

Rachel pulled her up and Miriam lamented about the palms of her hands. And her knee. But seemed okay overall. Still, I suggested we end the walk early and just head home. 

By the time we got home, Miriam decided that more than her palms or her knee, it was her elbow that hurt. So we got her out of her sweater and...indeed...her elbow was rather swollen and, in fact, rapidly swelling. Like, we could see it getting more and more swollen as we watched it.

So...I took her to urgent care, where we were cheered when the nurse suggested it looked dislocated. That's easier to fix than a break, right? I honestly don't know. But it doesn't matter because the x-ray revealed not a dislocation but what the doctor suspects is a radial head fracture.

So now we get to try to find an appointment with pediatric orthopedics, like, tomorrow to make sure everything is okay before she leaves for Europe Tuesday morning.

The doctor we saw today seemed to feel Miriam would be fine to go to Europe, and was even confident that she'd be able to play—though probably not without some discomfort—at her piano competition at the beginning of May. For a radial head fracture, often no cast is needed—just a splint—with the patient being encouraged to slowly increase their range of motion. 

She's already feeling much better with a splint and a sling to keep her arm supported. Hopefully Miriam's recovery will be speedy!

Did I park in the parking garage at the mall rather than the tiny parking at the urgent care? Maybe

When I took Alexander to the urgent care last summer I parked across the street so we could walk across his favourite bridge...and so that I didn't have to get into the urgent care parking lot*—it's just not convenient! There's no light to help me turn when I want to leave. And you can only approach the parking lot from the southbound lane. And...walking is good for you, right? 

Especially when your arm is broken. Or you have swimmer's ear. Or whatever. 

Like if you're not ambulatory should you even be attempting the urgent care? Or should you just be heading to the ER at that point?

My point is, we had to do a little bit of walking to get to the Urgent Care and then as soon as we got there the clouds broke loose and it poured and poured and poured. But by the time we were leaving the clinic, the clouds had parted and the sun had even dried up all some of the rain. So we were able to walk back to our car just fine. 

That was a lovely little blessing. 

A huge thank you goes out to Rachel for holding down the fort at home and making dinner for all her little siblings while I took Miriam to the doctor. And another huge thank you goes out to Grandpa and Darla for picking up Benjamin, Zoë, and Alexander for a little movie night after dinner. 

When Andrew got home this evening he said he's almost afraid to go into campus next Thursday because I have texted him with catastrophic occurrences so many Thursdays this semester. It's like his one day to go into campus and I'm always like, "Oh, no! Zoë stepped on a nail!" and "Oh, no! Miriam maybe broke her arm or something?!" and all sorts of crazy things.

"Next Thursday is my last week going to campus this semester," he joked. "Can you handle it?"

Like I'm sitting over here calendaring crises!


Also, once all these medical bills come in I'm sure that "free push tricycle" will suddenly be feeling a little bit pricy...

* Or park in the parking garage, which I also don't like doing, but which I braved today because every little bump in the car was making Miriam wince.

No comments:

Post a Comment