The Tough Cookie Crumbles

Momservation: It’s all fun and games until someone’s signing your cast.

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My son, Logan, rides motorcycles. He builds and goes off bike jumps in our driveway. He dives for any ball on the ground – football, baseball, soccer ball, basketball. He pogo sticks with no hands, does flips on the trampoline, rides a crazy contraption called a Rip Stick, and flings himself off playground equipment playing “Ninja.”

There have been four trips to the hospital.

Don't let the skirt fool you, this kid's tough

For my daughter, Whitney.

Granted, two of them came at the hands of her brother. After all, there will be collateral damage when you try to hang with Mr. Hey-I-Got-An-Idea! (We’re still working with him on first visualizing all possible outcomes before proceeding and recruiting hapless victims.)

Whitney, 9, as I like to point out, is my rough tough cream puff. Sweet as they come but tough as nails. Seventeen months younger than her play-at-all-costs brother, she’s literally been bounced off walls trying to keep up with him. One of her first nicknames was “Me Too” and one of her first sentences, “Not-a-nice Lolan,” was her first line of defense.

He rode a bike at 3. She rode a bike at 3. He roller skated at 4. She roller skated at 3. He was too scared to swim – she showed him how to dive to the deep end of the pool (at 3). He was afraid to go into a party alone. She took his hand and led the way. He skied down the mountain expertly – she went off the jumps.

Tough? Yes. Mean? No. (“We raise them tough, not mean,” is my husband’s new favorite line from Last American Cowboy). She’s the first to give you a smile, take your hand if you need it, be a friend to an outcast, snuggle with Mommy to laugh and watch AFV and give free massages to Daddy (okay, not free, but reduced rate – nobody’s perfect).

So the first hospital visit – a fluke. At 3, playing “Butterfly” with her brother, he accidentally dislocated her elbow with an overly excited capture in the “net.”

Second visit – two stitches in the chin at 4 because her brother decides to execute a teeter-totter vaulted dismount without realizing he would drop his sister to the ground like a blue ice surprise from a passing airplane. (Another lesson in the ongoing think-it-through education.)

The next two hospital visits Logan was thankfully uninvolved. Simple cases of being a kid. At age 8, Whitney broke her right wrist falling off playground equipment (which she tried to pin on Logan by pointing out it was at his baseball game). Walking up to me, worried face but no tears, still holding her Icee she said, “Mom, I think I broke my wrist.”

After quickly sizing up the situation I asked her to step aside so I could see her brother’s at-bat. He got beamed with a fastball in the wrist. While I fretted over his injury my daughter was nudging me saying, “Mom, can we get some ice or something? It really hurts.”

I’ve since learned when your kid eats galvanized nails for breakfast, tears may not necessarily be a sign of serious injury.

So when Whit went down this weekend during an indoor soccer game and didn’t immediately tuck and roll and pop back up after her usual flying Superman impression, I was worried. When she sat up, grabbed her wrist, tried to shake it off, started crying in pain, and had to be helped off the field, I knew – hospital visit #4.

Her cast is green this time. Left wrist – lucky not the right again. Turned down the doctor’s note to be excused from P.E. and wants to know if the soccer league will still let her play. She’s also trying to figure out if she can pin this on her brother for simply being present – the one with the fat lip sliced from taking an elbow during soccer.

Of course, no stitches for him.


  1. Chase McFadden says:

    Funny how a game called “butterfly” can turn in to a hospital visit. Dang, that girl is tough (and cute as heck).

    We may have our own Whitney. The Hellcat seems to be tracking on a similar path.

  2. kellimwheeler says:

    Yeah, Butterfly was played under Daddy’s watch too. Nothing like walking in the door to, “Umm, Honey, you might want to look at this.”

    Oh, I’ve seen your videos – Hellcat is right there with Whit (you gotta watch out for those cute ones). Does she have her own dirt bike too? Buy stock in Ace bandages and keep your health insurance current.

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