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?