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The ongoing, unfortunate torture of my daughter

August 27th, 2010  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  5 Comments

Yesterday’s trip home from preschool was a typical one. Not content to either sit on my lap on the F-train or stand calmly and hold the railing, Sasha goofed around, wrapping her legs about the central pole to let everyone know just what kind of child I was raising. At the same time, I was holding her hands as she dangled and swung, just to make sure she didn’t fall down as the train lurched Brooklyn-ward.

Then, suddenly, she stopped pole-dancing and slowly burst into tears. Her right arm, I noticed, was limp at her side. Ah, crap. I’d somehow dislocated her elbow joint and given her, for the second time in her short life, nursemaid’s elbow. I held her the rest of the way home as she whimpered. Once, she asked, “Hug?” Obviously, I hugged her.

Luckily, we had good timing on our side. Our pediatrician’s office is not far from home or the subway, and though it was just after 6pm, we found the doctor leading a birthing class and willing to help. A couple of quick, practiced jiggles of Sasha’s arm and she was soon holding a lollipop with the formerly limp limb. The day was saved! (Seriously, I love our doctor.) There’ll be a co-pay to deal with, but that’s better than the last time, when the emergency room cost $1,400 $1,200! (Insurance paid all but $100.)

Anyway, now I’m even more terrified about doing this again. I try and try not to pull Sasha by the arm, or to let her swing from my hands, but on the subway, what am I supposed to do? Let her crumple to the floor and writhe around like some filthy urchin? Or just carry her, no matter how much she screams and struggles to be let down? Is there a right answer here, or am I just in the hands of fate?


  1. Julian says:

    August 27th, 2010at 9:57 am(#)

    This has happened 3 or 4 times to my daughter… Luckily my wife figured out how to do the manipulation herself, so she fixes it every time

  2. beta dad says:

    August 27th, 2010at 6:53 pm(#)

    One word: monkeybackpackbabyleash

    We just got ours and the twins love ’em. Haven’t gone out in public yet, but I have prepared myself for censure.


  3. Andrew says:

    August 30th, 2010at 10:26 pm(#)

    I have just recently been following your blog (my wife recommended it to me from an issue of Parents magazine). With the flexibility in my work I am able to contribute more to the parenting than most dads, so I enjoy reading your reading your experiences (if for nothing else than to know I am not alone!)

    This post I read the other day and remembered the time I gave my daughter, two and a half at the time, nurse-maids elbow. Lo and behold, about 45 mins ago I was carrying her to her bath on my back, when I let her down by holding her hands over my head, and let one hand go at a time (bad move in retrospect) when I felt the pop and cringed as the crying followed. Luckily we live near a friend who is an orthopedist who helped us out (as he and his wife were on their way out to dinner).

    I couldn’t help but remember this post when we were on our way to the Dr.’s house and it made me feel a little bit better. Needless to say, I still feel like the big bad dad who has had to go to the Dr.’s twice because of giving his daughter nurse-maids elbow. At least I know I’m not alone!


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