Broken Bones


Somehow, Meridian managed to break her arm — in two places.  It’s been a few days now, and I hasten to add that Meridian is just fine.  Really, she’s a trooper.  Dawn and I occasionally blink and shake our heads at the wonder of it all:  one, that this happened in the first place, and two, that it’s not nearly as dramatic as it sounds. 

Meridian has been comfortable around the stairs for months.  She’s very careful and uses the banister.  In spite of that, she took a tumble down the last three stairs (we think) about a week ago and slammed her left arm into the baby gate at the bottom (ironic, huh?).  Though, of course, she cried, everything seemed fine after that.  We played like normal that afternoon; in fact, I would take her hands, at her request, and swing her around like an airplane — all the usual stuff.  Over the next few days, she would occasionally complain to Dawn of pain.  A handful of times, she would cry if one of us brushed against her arm at a certain spot.  On Thursday, Dawn took Meridian to the zoo, where she happened to trip.  She broke her fall with the same arm, and that was it:  the tears just wouldn’t quit.  Dawn took her to the doctor for an x-ray.  Sure enough, the radius and the ulna each have a small line through them — what I believe is called a hairline fracture.  She’ll be perfectly fine, but she does need a cast.  At the moment, her arm is in a splint.

A cast!

See, that’s when I blink and shake my head.  My cutie little curly-headed, baby-fat-armed, two-year-old kleine Bohne [little bean] is going to wear a cast!

With the splint, already, we’ve had some sweet moments.  When Dawn brought her home from the doctor’s, Meridian showed me her arm.  She’s calling the splint her “special glove,” but wanted to take it off.  I explained to her that she broke two of her bones, and that the glove was going to fix them.  Didn’t she want the glove to fix her bones?  She nodded and stopped pulling at the Ace bandage.  Suddenly her eyes got fervent.  Here, we need a quick note, by way of a tangent.

See, I’m the guy who fixes Meridian’s toys.  It’s a thing in our family.  Not that she breaks them — not at all — but some of them are … well, cheap, regardless how much they cost.  She has a plastic German telephone that teaches counting and sings.  A few weeks after Meridian received it, the toy started squeaking — and the squeak became an awful screeching plague.  Even so, Meridian loved that telephone and played with it often.  One afternoon, I finally reached my screeching limit.  I carefully unscrewed the bottom and started tinkering.  Meridian watched, interested.  I finally found the culprit — two gears rubbing each other the wrong way — so I used a bit of olive oil (didn’t even have WD40) and that solved everything.  “Papi hat dein Telefon repariert!” [“Papi repaired your telephone!”].  I also tape up torn books and glue broken corners, that sort of thing.  Meridian brings toys to me when something is amiss and struggles through the two rolling Rs in her plea that I fix whatever’s wrong.

In the van, as her eyes got fervent — and hopeful, and relieved — she exclaimed, “Papi repariert meine Knochen!” [“Papi fixes my bones!”].  I melted right there, flat out.

The next morning, she wandered into my office, as she usually does, all rosy-cheeked, warm, and winking off sleep.  She smiled at me and raised her arms — the one too big to fit into her pajama sleeve the night before (we laughed about how her arm was too fat) — and I asked her if she wanted to feel my bones.  I let her squeeze my own radius and ulna.  I showed her my ribs, and her own ribcage.  Then we searched for bones and skeletons on Google Images.  She loved it.

Her x-ray is pretty cool.  Given her age, none of the bones seem to be connected.  She has only a few small pebbles, seemingly free-floating, in the wrist area.  Even her fingers seem like impossible machines.  Dawn said Meridian was unsure at first of the x-ray machine, but Dawn reminded her of that Curious George book, the one where he eats a puzzle piece and they take a special picture of his belly.  That made it okay.  I plan to draw Curious George on her cast when I get back from Flashforward next week.

I love this kid.

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