Archive for November, 2013

Waiting for Sparky


It’s quite possible that tonight is the most excited the kids have been. Tomorrow, they are expecting their shelf elf to appear. There is no doubt in their minds, as evidenced by the gifts they set up for him. The little knit thing on the right is a blanket the boy made for Sparky, while the lass made a pillow and took the time to wrap it up.

The boy wrote a quick letter explaining his gift:

Given the boy’s recent obvious doubt regarding the reality of Santa, I find this to be baffling. If you’re doubting things, you don’t go and make gifts for the thing you’re doubting. Therefore, I conclude that he has no doubts about the reality of Sparky the Shelf Elf. How he can harbor doubts about one while not the other means his logical processing unit is not completely online yet. That or his ability to extrapolate.

Be that as it may, they are ready for the yearly visit. Will he arrive as expected? Or will he delay to cause mischief? Will he like his gifts? Tune in tomorrow to find out!

Time Lapse Video of ISON


This came across my Twitter feed and I thought it was pretty cool:

ISON Lives!


For those of you not in the know, ISON is a comet that was recently discovered streaking towards our Sun.  Today, of all days, was to be its grand stage as it rendezvoued with the Sun, reaching its perihelion, or closest distance to the Sun.

I followed it on Twitter today and the journey was an incredibly confusing one.  Multiple times ISON’s nucleus was rumored to have disintegrated, only to have it reappear some time later.  Then, it finally began its journey around the Sun, leaving a tail several million miles long as it did:


At that point, it was believed to finally meet its fate as nothing viable reappeared after its trip around the Sun.

That is until about 30 minutes ago when astronomers began noting that something did indeed seem to emerge.  ISON is now believed to have survived its encounter with the Sun:

ISON Emerges

The Lass’ Christmas List


I posted the boy’s Christmas list a few days ago. Now the lass has finished hers:

Dear Santa,

Can I have please A Heartbreaker Bow, a Giant Stuffed cat that look like our cat D.C., Ipod, clay, potery-weel, Easel with paper, Star Theater in my room, Lite Brix, furby Boom, Pogeo stik, Tranpalyn, Target, Bow and airoes,

She finished it with a little picture of Santa at the bottom.

Oh, and Furby Boom.

The Boy Knows…


Way back during the Summer, the boy asked me if Santa and the Toothfairy and the Easter Bunny are all real. I’d have to paraphrase at this point, but he said it seemed like it was something that parents did for their kids. I remember answering “Do you really think we’d go through all that trouble just to make you guys believe in something like that?” He dropped it at that point.

But he obviously hasn’t stopped thinking about it.

The Wife told me he asked her about it a couple of times recently- Santa in particular. On both occasions, the lass was present so the Wife assured him that Santa was real.

Things that don’t help- the kids went to get their picture taken with Santa tonight. It was a different Santa from previous years, for one. For another, the lass mentioned our Shelf Elf to him and Santa didn’t know who she was talking about. The Wife inserted herself into the conversation at that point to help him out “I’m sure Santa has a tough time remember all his elves?” To Santa’s credit, he picked up on thing quickly. But still, those sorts of slip ups are certainly something the kids pick up on.

Be that as it may, it’s hard not to see the writing on the wall. I half suspect a shelf-elf experiment out of him- where he touches the shelf-elf without telling anyone and then confronts the Wife of myself after Sparky continues to flit about the house.

The only question at this point is whether he’ll spill the beans for the lass as well.

A Weekend of Movies


We don’t get to the theatre all that much anymore like, well, like most parents of younger kids these days. For one, it’s too damn expensive to go with any regularity. For two, there just aren’t that many movies to take them to nowadays as they’re a bit old for most of the “kid’s movies” that come out. For three, there are only so many of those type of movies I can take.

So this weekend, we watched Blue Rays of Man of Steel, Ironman 3 and How to Train Your Dragon, in that order. The short of it is all three are very watchable and entertaining. Man of Steel, particularly, is now the best Superman movie since the original with Christopher Reeve. Overall, How to Train Your Dragon is the best of the bunch. First, because anyone can watch it. I don’t think that can be said of the other two movies. Second, it’s just a good story.

I’d love to summarize the movies (and in fact started to) but then realized this had been done elsewhere and I’d be writing a very long post with duplicate info. So I think I’ll go with a more simple parental approach.

Man of Steel is on the border line of acceptable for a younger (sub 10) audience. While any adult would most certainly enjoy watching it (it’s very well done), there is a lot of bloodless violence- destroying buildings, Kryptonians getting hit with large heavy objects, some intimate death scenes (including a surprise one), large Terraforming machines tearing up the Earth. You know, the usual stuff. Some of these scenes are quite intense and could easily be viewed as a bit much for a young one. That said, if your kids saw The Avengers then they could probably watch this one as well. The very first scene in the movie is a birthing scene, which some out there might not want their kids viewing. You’ve been informed. Other than that, no swearing (at least that was memorable), lots of cool Superman stuff and a good story that ends well.

As for Ironman 3, I’d say the violence is stepped up a notch. When Gwyneth Paltro’s character turns around at the end of the climactic battle sequence and says “WOW! That was really violent!”, that’s a pretty good indicator. Overall, it’s not quite as good as Man of Steel, but it’s still very entertaining and well done enough to be worth the couple hours to sit and watch it. Tony Stark is as entertaining as ever.

As for HtTYD, well, I don’t need to say anything more about that other than, if it’s sitting in your cabinet and you haven’t watched it in awhile, you should really think about changing that status.

Working with the Boy


I ordered our newest load of cord wood back in September and it’s been sitting in our driveway ever since. I meant to start working on it in October, but I kept procrastinating. Then I meant to start at the beginning of November. Again, I procrastinated.

The boy has been asking me the entire time when I was going to start. He even was asking to help out. He was hoping to swing an axe this year. I had to put a damper on that one.

The cold hasn’t been remarkable, but it has been steady this Fall. As a result, our supply of ready cord wood has been dwindling steadily as well. We’re going to need to replenish it and the wood doesn’t cut itself. Or split itself or stack itself. Bummer, that.

So today was the day. Right after hockey practice.

I was on top of the wood pile, cutting up logs when the boy appeared down below. He wanted to help. He wanted to use the log splitter and asked if he could start it up. I told him what to do to get it started and also how he could run it. He eagerly set to it. After his first pull on the starter cord, though, it was apparent he’d need help.

I got him up and running and we spent the next couple of hours cutting, splitting and stacking. He ran the splitter including loading the wood. After I was done cutting the wood up, I set to work with the axe to split the other pieces and help the operation along. Nice thing about straight grained oak is it splits so easily.

The boy stuck it out through the whole operation, including stacking the wood up. The stacking was the most tedious part for him. At one point, he disappeared and I assumed he’d had enough. Instead, he reappeared a couple minutes later with some ice water. After his little break, he rejoined the work and we finished up. It was a far cry from the last time when his attempts to help were so short lived. The difference a year makes.

The Cast



Never did post a picture of the lass and her cast for posterity’s sake.  This is the picture the Wife texted me shortly after the deed was done.  Not much else to add now, 4 days later, other than that she is already sick and tired of it.  A totally predictable state of affairs.  It’s supposed to come off December 5th.  She can’t wait.

The Boy’s Christmas List


Back during the Summer, the boy briefly flirted with the notion that it’s all a ruse and there is no Santa or Tooth Fairy or Easter Bunny giving everyone gifts. He even fingered the most likely culprit for all those hijinks: Mom and Dad.

As the old saying goes, “there are no atheists in a fox hole.” Similarly, when its this close to Christmas, there are no doubts about the gravy train that is Santa Claus. The boy has already penned his letter (all grammar and syntax preserved, of course):

Dear Santa,

Can I have my own laptop please. These are the things I would like for christmas: An XBox360 because there are almost no Wii games, boy nerf bow, a python computer programming manual, Air Hogs Atmosphere, build your own plasma edge r-c car, Harry Potter wand, 70mm Refractor Telescope, Digital Medal detector, ultra student microscope, lite Brix, “Percy Jackson and The Lightening Thief” movie, “Percy Jackson and The Sea of Monsters” movie, zoomer.

Merry Christmas, the boy

He seems to be leaning heavy on the electronic gizmos this year. I had no idea what a “zoomer” was until I looked it up. It’s in keeping with the electronic wishes anyway.

Don’t Feed the Monster


The lass wasn’t happy with her dinner and she had no qualms letting me know about it. She didn’t say a single thing though. Her face and her actions spoke volumes.

I’d set dinner in front of her. It was a simple dinner consisting of pan seared pork chops and green beans. I made up the lass’ plate with no fanfare. To top things off, she had a nice glass of milk to wash it down with.

When I set it in front of her, she simply stared at it with a blank look. Then, still starting at is, she rested her head on her hands. I started eating the food on my plate and ignored her. The boy also noticed what was going on, but mercifully chose not to say anything.

I was a few bites into my own dinner when she finally picked up her fork and started poking at her green beans. She was avoiding the pork for the moment. It was at that point that I made my only comment to her. “Is there something wrong with the pork?” I asked. She mumbled no and her look became even more sour.

As the boy and I continued to work through our dinners, the lass continued to stare at hers. She finally started eating her green beans. Rather than use a fork, she picked each one up by pinching it between her thumb and index finger. She’d then stare at it for a moment, then slowly test each green bean like she was trying to figure out which was the bad one. I continued to keep my own comments to myself, doing my best to let her antics go unanswered.

The boy and I both finished out own helpings. I worked through a second helping and still the lass refused to touch the pork chop. She finished her final green bean and then made a show of pushing it to the side. The boy had cleaned up his own plate and put it in the dishwasher. By this point, I’d also finished up my dinner and began cleaning up as well.

Finally, at this point, when it was clear there was no backup plan and than I would not be humoring her antics, the lass frustratedly pulled her plate back in front of her and stabbed at the pork chop with her fork. She muttered something about not wanting any of the fat and then cut it off. She then hesitated and once again pushed the plate away, apparently deciding she would go hungry on principle, or something.

I was taking care of the dogs at that point. I didn’t look at her or say anything. Finally, her hunger won out. With a loud sigh she grabbed the plate and hurriedly consumed what was left of her dinner. She then complained that she was still hungry. I merely pointed at her untouched glass of milk and left it at that. She growled at me, but I’d already moved on to other things. She drank her milk quickly then pushed her plate and glass away. Normally, I’d expect her to put her stuff in the dishwasher, but since she’s gimpy for the time being I took care of it for her. The fat she’d cut off her food I placed in the dog’s bowl, where it was quickly consumed.

She then got herself setup on her crutches, a frown still etched into her face. I’m not sure if she was more furious at the dinner I’d served her, or at the fact that she’d actually eaten it. Personally, I was only concerned with the second part. Mostly, I was glad to have avoided shouting matches with an irrational 7 year old over food. Surprisingly, it turned out not be that difficult. All I did was nothing.

A New Show to Watch


I’ve known it was on for awhile now, but I only just started watching Person of Interest with more, well, interest this Fall. I’d watched a few episodes here and there over the past couple years and I never saw a bad episode, but it never really hooked me. I don’t watch much network television, but I think I’ll keep up with this show for a bit.

The Lass is Tired of the Crutches


It was inevitable from the moment she received her crutches that the day would arrive where she would tire of them and want them gone. Today is that day.

She was trying to do too much this morning while getting her lunch and breakfast ready and a crutch fell, twice, and hit her foot (the good one…). The second time brought tears, which were as much about frustration as pain. She almost slipped on the wet stairs this morning going out to the car and she wasn’t looking forward to sitting in the cafeteria before school started answering questions about her foot.

Part of her frustration is self-inflicted. Kids are restless and the lass is no different. As her foot has started healing and becoming less sore, she’s been getting bolder and less restrained in her moving around. The Wife and I both have been reminding her regularly the past couple of days to stay off the foot so she doesn’t have a setback. Contrast that with the first couple days after her injury when she refused to do anything with her foot and was content to sit on the couch quietly.

With any luck, relief will arrive for her since we’ll finally get to see an orthopod today. I’m guessing she’ll come home in a walking splint or boot or some such since the fracture hasn’t really been causing her any pain the past few days.

A Quiet Sunday


We had a little fire Cub Scout related fire storm develop this weekend. The Providence Bruins had a Scout Game today where they gave all Scout Troops and Packs half-price tickets. As Cubmaster, I arranged everything with the Bruins and purchased tickets for our Pack members that wanted to attend the game. The Pack had the funds to be able to pay for individual Scouts, while the family had to pay for any additional tickets. With the half-off price, it ends up being a pretty good deal.

The problem cropped up because I’d set up an online signup. I’ve found that using the web for signups is a huge convenience for everyone. The caveat here is that it has to work. To make a long story short, several families had signed up but my page wasn’t working and I wasn’t aware of it, so I never purchased tickets for them. I only found out about it last night, which was way to late to buy anymore tickets.

In the end, 2 of the families had to cancel and I gave up my own tickets so another family could attend. The boy was still able to go, but he went with a friend instead of with us.

So while he enjoyed a pretty good game this afternoon, the Bruins lost 4-3, the Wife, the lass and I hung out here at the house. I’d intended to make the most of it by getting my cord wood cutting job started but it rained this afternoon. So I watched a bit of football and the Wife and the lass watched Horton Hears a Hoo. With Horton as an elephant, it ranks as her favorite movie right now.

The boy got home around 7. By then, he’d eaten out with his friends and the the 3 of us had eaten as well. We spent the rest of the evening watching AFV, otherwise known as “The Funny Show.” From there, the kids went to bed and the Wife and I continued our quiet day.

We might as well enjoy it while we can get it because with the holidays fast approaching, things are going to get busy quickly. Christmas shopping, holiday parades, more hockey practice and vacation days all lie ahead which means there won’t be much leisure time in the schedule.

Something to Work On


I was sitting in our living room, browsing on my phone when the boy strode into the room in a huff. I’d been listening to him get ready for his hockey practice and argue with his sister. In truth, he’d done more arguing than getting ready. I had to remind him that he’d be late for practice if he didn’t start prioritizing his hockey gear.

Now, here he was with his skates and skate guards. Since we were going to be cutting it close getting to practice, he wanted to just wear his skates out of the house. In order to do that, he needed the guards on his skates to protect the blade edges.

The reason he was in a huff was because the guards wouldn’t stay on the blades. The guards are adjustable so they can be made to fit just about any length skate. In this case, they were a bit too long so they kept falling off. The boy had a method of testing the fit by putting the guard on the blade and then tapping the skate on the ground to mimic walking. The guard would pop-off if it wasn’t fit correctly to the skate.

And right then, every time he performed his test, the guard popped off. Every time it popped off, he got a bit more frustrated.

In my mind, there was really only one reason he’d suddenly appeared in the room with this problem: he wanted me to fix it for him. There was a time when I would have done that for him without batting an eyelash. But as he’s gotten older and more capable, I’ve left him to flounder more and more, trying to encourage the development of his problem-solving skill set.

Unfortunately, that skill-set still largely depends on “Dad can you…?”

I sat there quietly, just me and my phone, while the boy continued to get more and more agitated. Rather than be methodical with how he adjusted the guard, he’d move it in large, exaggerated increments in one direction and then the other, always missing the one that led to a proper fit. From my perspective, he was intentionally sabotaging himself.

I tried to make up my mind that I was going to let him figure it out. I tried to calm him down with simple words of encouragement, but he refused to listen and remained agitated.

I could feel my own agitation growing inside.

The infuriating thing of it is kids know how to get under their parents skin. They know what to do and how to do it because while you’ve been living and learning about them for their entire life, they’ve been doing something similar to you their entire life. They invariably know when the conditions are right for them to get what they want.

So it was with the boy. After several minutes of watching him repeatedly mess up the skate guards, I finally lost my patience and fixed one for him. Feeling that I was giving him what he wanted without extracting a proper price from him for it, I decided to give him more than he bargained for with a little speech designed intentionally to call him out on his antics.

“You know, you can’t sit there and methodically adjust the guard to figure out how to get it to fit. OHHHH NO. You’ve got to sit there and cry and carry on and be ridiculous about it so you can get me to do it for you. Don’t think I don’t know you’re doing this just to get me to, yet again, fix something for you that you are completely capable of doing on your own if you’d just calm down and think about for a minute. Instead, you made up your mind that you couldn’t do it and did your best to make it look like you were trying without really trying, all so you could get me to, once again, do it for you.”

While I was talking, I adjusted the guard. When I was done talking, I attached the guard to his skate and tossed it on the ground in front of him. He fixed the other guard, I tied his skates up for him because he can’t tie them tight enough himself (another source of irritation) and we left for practice.

It still bothers me that he manipulated me. As to how I “knew” he was manipulating me, well, I can’t say with 100% certainty he was. It just felt like it from the moment he stepped into the room. That said, that’s probably my problem- deciding when he’s manipulating me versus when he honestly needs my help. In general I hate to just do things for him- I want him to learn to problem solve. I recognize that he will still need my help though.

Did he really need my help this morning?

Obviously, I’d argue no, he didn’t. Skate guards aren’t terribly difficult to adjust and if he’d just calmed down a bit he could have figured it out himself quickly enough.

But maybe he did, in a way, need my help and my losing my original assumption about his motives blinded me to what he needed help with. Not the physical act of solving his problem, but the mental act of solving it. He’d lost his cool. In the process, he also caused me to lose mine. Perhaps what I needed to do was, rather than do it for him, was to just talk him through it and calm him down so he could fix it himself.

Instead, his antics got under my skin, aided by my own pre-conceived notions about what was going on. To make matters worse, I intentionally set about laying a guilt trip on him with my little speech.

So, perhaps, he and I have more in common than I originally thought.



The lass’ ankle saga continues. And it gets worse!

The Wife took her to the pediatrician on Tuesday, where they scheduled some x-rays to make sure nothing was being missed. I finally got a call today with the results and it turns out she has a fracture.

It’s not a break, where the bone is separated into two pieces. It’s a crack. The doctor explained there was no “displacement” but that she needed to keep her weight off of the ankle until we could get her in to see a orthopedic guy. That will be tomorrow’s doctor’s visit.

The thing that bothers me the most right now, is that on Saturday night when she was clearly hurting the most, there was a point where merely touching the swollen area of her ankle caused her to wince from the pain. At the time, I distinctly remember thinking “That’s weird for just a sprain, could it be a fracture?” But, from my perspective, there were none of the normal signs of a fracture: she could move her ankle around without pain and there wasn’t any serious swelling to be seen. So I just chalked it up to a certain amount of hysteria on her part over an injury that was something new to her.

Now, with the benefit of hindsight, I can see that the combination of the lack of swelling, the tenderness to the touch and the inability of her to put any weight on it without pain all fit this fracture scenario. It’s certainly something I’ll keep in mind going forward. Here’s hoping I never need to call upon it.

At this point, the question for me is: how badly do I beat myself up over this?

I think the answer is- some, but not too much.

Rushing her to the ER on Saturday night would have led to us discovering what was going on quicker, for certain. But then, it’s not like it was an actual emergency. Sure, she was in pain, but that’s being injured. Did the misdiagnosis cause her any problems? Not that I can see. If there had been displacement due to the fracture, we certainly would have dealt with it right away. But all of her visible signs gave no indication that something more was going on. Further, the fracture she has, at the risk of my minimizing an injury, isn’t the sort of thing that a lot can be done with. Even sending her to the orthopod tomorrow, the question is whether he’ll put a cast on her foot or merely splint it up. There are no bones to set and there will be no surgery.

But a lesson was learned, for certain. For one, I’ll trust the lass more when it comes to dealing with injuries. She did stay out on the ice for awhile after the initial injury, and she managed through a couple of pretty uncomfortable nights. In all, even though she couldn’t really explain how it happened, I’ll certainly be more careful when she describes a pain that doesn’t fit with my own knowledge base.

The more important lesson, though, is one in humility. I was certain it was a sprain- completely convinced in my powers of diagnosis in spite of the fact that I have no formal medical training. I was in pretty good company as well. The Wife, my parents (all of whom are no strangers to injury) and even the pediatrician were all convinced of the same thing. While I was part of a crowd, here I speak only for me regarding how certain I was in myself. Thankfully, my arrogance didn’t cost the lass anything. This is one of those experiences I’ll keep in mind so that it stays that way.

The Boy Signs a Contract


So the boy arrived home with a paper that we both had to sign. He didn’t give me any details on it, so I assumed it was a permission slip or some such. It actually turned out to be, essentially, a contract with the school whereby he promised to engage in good sportsmanship, not to be too rough and so forth and so on for games played on the field. If he violated any of these terms, he would be “banned” from participating in any of the field games for 1 week.

Frankly, I’m not really sure what to think about this. It seems harmless enough and the boy wasn’t being singled out- all students that want to participate in the games like football or soccer had to sign the same piece of paper as well as get a parent to sign it. And who wants to argue with good sportsmanship?

On the other hand, conflict is a part of life and kids have to learn how to resolve it somewhere along the way. If the school is constantly engineering things to avoid conflict, then aren’t they doing the kids a disservice? Life seems to managed now-a-days.

Injury Update


It’s hard to figure kids and healing sometimes. My assumption is they heal quick. But then, some injuries just take time regardless of age.

After a rough first night, the lass seemed to be in much better shape the following morning. She made it downstairs on her own and there wasn’t much discoloration or swelling in her ankle. The only thing wrinkle was she complained about it being tender to the touch.

We tried to get her to hobble on the ankle a bit for the rest of Sunday and most of yesterday. She was the proverbial poor patient though, and refused to try. She continued to navigate the house by bouncing around and it was with a bit of frustration that the Wife and I finally admitted that she wouldn’t be going to school today.

So the Wife got her a doctor’s appointment where they prescribed a set of crutches and also ordered a set of x-rays. They were similarly surprised that her ankle was still bothering her to the degree it was, especially after we explained the icing and compression and mostly-rest regimen she’d been on. Apparently, we were pretty good doctors in this case. Unfortunately, the patient’s healing timetable hasn’t cooperated.

The good news is the lass is much happier with the crutches. She’s comfortable getting around with them as well, even getting up to practice with them a number of times this evening. She’s a bit nervous about school tomorrow but we’re pretty sure she needn’t be. She’ll be a novelty for her classmates as she gets around with her crutches. She also has enough friends that I’m guessing at least one will be willing to help her out if she needs it tomorrow.

How Kids Think


“The TV goes off at 9,” the Wife informed the lass this morning.  The lass is still hobbled by her ankle.  She’s more afraid to walk on it than anything now, but the bottom line is she’s still pretty limited.  With the day off for Veteran’s Day, she’s taking full-advantage of the extra morning time and the lack of mobility by watching extra cartoons.

“What time is it now?” the lass asked.

“Quarter-to-nine,” the Wife answered.

“So there’s 25 minutes until 9 o’clock, because a quarter is 25 cents?” the lass tried to clarify.

I find stuff like that fascinating.  She hasn’t learned about fractions yet, or division, so she filled a gap in her understanding with a not-unreasonable guess.  At least, it is reasonable based on her current understanding of the world.

The Wife went on to explain what “a quarter” meant in this context and how it means dividing-by-four.  It is above her pay grade for now though, since she doesn’t understand division or fractions. 

Still, her world got a bit bigger this morning.

Manziel for Heisman


I’m late to the party here, but I got to witness Johnny Manziel play for the first time yesterday and I’ve got to say, I’m a fan now. Sure he had 3 interceptions to go with his 5 touchdowns and all those passing yards. More than anything though, he was just fun to watch.

My personal favorite was a second half play where he dropped back to pass, made a pass rusher miss and started running to his left. A second rusher came up to contain Manziel, who head faked back to the right, then spun completely around and continued running right. The poor pass rusher fell flat on his face trying to keep up. Manziel then continued towards the sideline and threw a 20-yard completion down the field.

That wasn’t the only fun play he made either. Overall, I got the impression that Manziel plays with a reckless abandon that is rare anymore. If he keeps going like this for the season, it’s hard to imagine there’s anyone else clearly better than he is for the Heisman trophy.

Injured Reserve


The lass twisted her ankle at hockey today. I missed the incident, but she didn’t end up coming off the ice for another 5 minutes or so. In fact, if it hadn’t been for one of the coaches coming and alerting me that something might be wrong, she may well have tried to tough it out through the whole practice.

She was weepy when she came over to the boards, as the coach had said she was. After taking her skate off, I could see some swelling starting which eliminated the possibility that it was one of those pseudo-injuries kids often experience. They land on something wrong, or they twist something a little too much and they start screaming bloody murder. Thirty seconds later and a quick check and they are out there running around like nothing ever happened. In this case through, she hadn’t just harmlessly tweaked her ankle, she’d sprained it.

So the rest, ice, compress elevate regimen was put into action.

For most of the afternoon, she was OK. She couldn’t walk on it and simply hopped around when she needed to get somewhere. I tried to get her to move her ankle around a bit to keep it from getting stiff, but she was leery of moving her foot much. Aside from that, it seemed like she was doing well.

Then, a little after dinner time she started getting weepy. She’d fidget a bit and settle down, then she’d get weepy again. She said it felt like “my skates are still on” which I realized meant that she was experiencing the swelling in her ankle. After that, things started going down hill.

It was a bit after her bedtime by this point so I took her upstairs so she could get ready for bed. I’d originally intended to let her stay up, but that seemed imprudent now. She needed to get some sleep and heal a bit. I wrapped her ankle up in an Ace bandage, helped her get in bed. She whined a little the entire time, and I stayed with her for a bit to help her settle down.

I went to check on her 15 minutes later and she was asleep, which I figured would be the last of it. But a few minutes after the boy finally went to bed, he called down to say that she was crying.

When she finally settled down, she revealed she’d fallen on her ankle trying to go the bathroom. She was crying hard now and her ankle was really bothering her. I could also see some of the puffiness seeping down into her toes below the Ace wrap. Her crying seemed to be escalating, which was I figured was due to a combination of the pain and, now, fatigue. The boy fled his room to go sleep on a couch downstairs.

Finally, she complained about her foot being elevated. I told I had it propped up to help it heal overnight. Unfortunately, she’s a moving sleeper and can’t stay still enough to be able to keep her foot on the pillows. She said it felt better when her foot was down on the bed, so I removed the pillows and she did her best to curl up and go to sleep. I’ve since checked her and she’s managed to calm down. Hopefully, she sleeps the rest of the night.

Having been involved in sports my whole life, I knew what she was going through. I also knew there was little to nothing I could do to comfort her. It wasn’t easy watching her hug and cry into her stuffed animals. The emotional side of me was trying to think of something to help give her a little relief. There was also a rational side of me saying I needed to let her work through this, that she wasn’t going to die from a sprained ankle and the best thing I could do for her was to remain calm and teach her a little bit about treating herself.

The worst part of the evening was when she muttered through the tears “I don’t want to play hockey anymore.” I’d knew what she meant, but decided to play dumb a bit, “You won’t be playing hockey tomorrow kiddo.” She wasn’t having any of it, “No, I mean I don’t want to play again. I don’t want to hurt like this.”

The rest of the season has the potential to be interesting.

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