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The resilience of toddlers November 25, 2007

Posted by emsgeiss in parenting & family, toddlers, writing/editing/blogging.
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My darling son seems intent on proving that the delightful moniker I was given when pregnant with him of “elderly prima gravida” is true. I’ve always been pretty speedy and agile. I can even boast to having stolen 21 bases at a H.S. girls softball game during my limited high school softball career. My husband, who ran track in high school, is also a pretty speedy dude. And while we’re both still relatively fit and healthy (despite gym avoidance), we are finding that our son seems to have inherited the gift…in spades. But chasing after him, I’m feeling quite, *ahem* elderly. Now, I know that the new gray hairs that have sprouted are directly related to his accident, but I’m ready to trade in the prenatal vitamins (which I still take for some reason) for Geritol.

You would think that a boy who only days ago fell down the stairs and broke his humerus and now has a cast on his left arm would be toddling gingerly, content to sit quietly, and avoid stairs at all costs or tentatively at best. Nope, not our little Mr. Eval Kneval. His spirits have been revived to staggering levels of determination. In fact, he just ran into the family room, where I’m sittting typing this, with a juice box that he appropriated from the diaper bag. The diaper bag is in the living room where he left his father, who was watching him.

***pause***

Back to our regularly-scheduled programming:

Here are some cases-in-point of his resilience and determination:

Within fewer than 24 hours of having his cast put on he has shown us that it will not thwart him. Like his mama, he loves soccer, and we have several soccer balls in various sizes, some intended for him, others are mine that he has claimed. When he was told that he’ll have to settle for kicking only, he tried to bend down to pick up the ball, to no avail. Without a fuss, he widened his stance, pulled the ball to him with his good (right) hand and rolled it up his legs until he could grasp it with the fingers of his left hand that peek through the cast. He then smiled at us and threw it.

Two days after having the cast on, he was up and about, feeling “back to normal” for the most part. He decide to go to the kitchen (or so I thought), so still an apprehensive mama, I followed him in, only to find that I was the only one in the kitchen. I checked the island, as tag-around-the-island is a favorite game of his. No boy. Check the family room. No boy. I call to my husband, “I think he’s heading back your way,” figuring that I must have somehow missed him. (Don’t ask me how, we don’t have a big house.) My husband looks and comes towards the kitchen. It turns out that I had indeed missed the boy, who had decided it was a great time to try and scale the bookshelf that abuts the wall between the kitchen and the living room. Thankfully, he was only on the first shelf.

Today, he decided that it was a good day to try dancing and spinning again, now that he was really feeling his oats.

And the stairs are no longer a threat to him. As soon as I opened the gate so that we could go upstairs to visit Papa (as he calls my husband) who was working-from-home this afternoon, he headed up the stairs like an Olympic champion. Of course, silently skittish as I am now, I was right on his heels.

It is even harder to keep up with a speedy child in a cast, especially when, because of the cast and the injury itself, my husband and I are being much more physically cautious with him. The tactics of “upside down boy,” grabbing him with a tickle and “airplanes” as part of redirecting behavior or literal redirection just aren’t quite as possible now. And the little stinker knows it. Running after him at full speed is not really an option out of the fear of knocking him down or causing him to stop short or fall on the arm. So, the little dude has us by the proverbials.

Were either my husband or I at our ages, even being relatively fit and healthy, to have his injury, we certainly would not be trying to samba in the kitchen, march and stomp to make splashes in the bathtub or scale anything. It’s probably a combination of common sense, wisdom and age…but whatever it is, I know that our resilience is nowhere near that of a toddler, especially not ours.

I do know one thing: This probably will not be his last cast, and my husband and I may just have to start “training” again to keep ahead of Eval-Speedy-Kneval-Gonzalez.

Copyright © 2007 Erika-Marie S. Geiss

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Comments

1. Virginia Lee - November 26, 2007

Heh. My mother has stories about my brother climbing on top of our fridge when he was @ 2, but he didn’t break an arm until he was 5 or so. (I didn’t until I was 7, and it was only my wrist.)

Back in 1962 my brother, who was 3 at the time, escaped from our house in full cowboy regalia in the middle of the night. Imagine the surprise of the local baker when he looked out at his front window to see a 3-year-old cowboy with his nose to the glass. Tempting him in with a cookie or donut, the baker called the police who came and took my brother home in a squad car.

You have so much to look forward to! 😀


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