Since she hit about 18 months, the girl has been a drama queen. Everything is either the best thing ever or the worst thing ever, her favorite or “EWWW – I hate it!” Everyone she knows is her best friend or she doesn’t know them at all (you might have thought I was going to say her worst enemy, but no – she loves everyone, except maybe bigots and mean people, all of whom she will try to reform). So needless to say, when she claims to be sick or injured, I tend to take it with a grain of salt.
One of my big parenting fears is becoming one of “those parents.” You know the ones – they call the doctor over every little thing and when the doctor tells them everything is fine, they rush off to the ER or find another doctor (I personally know a set of parents like this and they are a constant, crazy reminder to calm the fuck down, mama). When it comes to illness, I can usually tell when it’s real or…well…not fake, but…I don’t know…dramatitized (That doesn’t seem to be a word, but some people coughwordswithfriendscough don’t think dementors is a word, either, so fuck it). When she is sick, she gets lethargic (something she has way to much energy to fake), and pale and sleepy. But injuries are a little harder to judge.
So when she was complaining of knee pain, I figured it was more theatrics. It was evening and there was no way I was taking her to the ER for long waits, and germs, and billing problems and nonsense. As the night went on, I started to become slightly more convinced that she was really hurting, though. I slept with her that night and she whimpered in pain in her sleep. And in the morning, before she fully awake, she did the same thing. So I took her into the doctor’s office to be seen. The doctor said that she had definitely done something to it, but she didn’t know what and that we needed to wait for the swelling to go down to really tell. SO in the meantime – crutches.
Now, I remember being a kid and thinking crutches were cool (until I had to hobble around on them for months, that is), and the girl was no exception – she was dying to go to school on crutches – oh the drama she’d squeeze out of that one – being on crutches in second grade is the absolute height of celebrity. But the doctor’s office didn’t have any in her peanut size. Neither did any of the local medical supply places (my kid is tiny). So the last option was Apria, who would deliver them to our house right away. I carried her to check out and was informed that Apria had suddenly amended “right away” to “first thing tomorrow.” OK – no big deal – I could handle carrying her for a little longer. But it was a big deal to her – she wanted to go to school and bask in her crutch-filled glory. She was NOT happy. But I told her that as soon as the crutches came I would take her to school.
Friday morning, the first thing out of her mouth was “Are my crutches here?” She was not amused by my answer of “no.” A few hours went by while she bemoaned the pain in her knee (by which she meant “the pain of not being able to be the Second Grade Queen of Crutches”). And then I got a call. A horrible, terrible, no good, very bad call. Apria was calling to get my credit card number (because I have a deductible and god forbid they bill me), and to let me know that the crutches were on their way – they’d be there…dun dunh DUNNNNNNHHHH…Saturday!
Oh, the horror!
Needless to say, I had an unhappy Drama Queen on my hands. I was pissed at Apria, because WTF? She was pissed at the entire world, because see: drama queen. I explained to her that she couldn’t go to school since I obviously couldn’t carry her around all day. Eventually, she got over it and a funny thing happened. She started being able to out weight on her knee. Don’t get me wrong – it was clearly still a little “off” and she was walking funny, but suddenly – since she wasn’t going to be able to be Second Grade Queen of Crutches – sitting around and waiting for me to carry her from place to place was slightly less appealing. By evening, she was walking pretty normally. By Saturday morning, she was running and jumping and dancing and leaping.
Clearly, she was completely recovered.
Until early Saturday afternoon when the crutches came and she suddenly was in pain and thought she should use the crutches to go to the birthday party she was invited to that afternoon. Forget it, kid. I’m onto you.