“I have a broken toe, not a broken spirit” ~Samatha to Carrie in Sex and the City

Grace with her toe soaking in iodine to clean it.

Grace with her toe soaking in iodine to clean it.

Gracie broke the third toe on her right foot (the one that has roast beef).  She was sitting at the end of the treadmill, barefoot, while Max walked on it slowly.  Her toe got swallowed by the part where the belt goes back under the platform.  I pulled the emergency stop plug, she pulled the toe out and we went straight to the Emergency Room.  They found it to be badly cut and slightly fractured.  Hopefully her toe nail will survive.  She’s doing quite well now and today was given the go-ahead to resume most activities.

I think this accident might have been avoidable, in a couple of ways.  First, kids on a treadmill can end in a number of painful ways, especially when no one is wearing shoes.  We could have insisted they not play on the treadmill, or at least worn shoes (I take credit for that mistake).

Second, we could have avoided challenging the devil of good parenting.  The night before the broken toe, Dan and I agreed, as we were winding down for the week, that we needed to put a serious kibosh on whining in our house.  We talked to GSBM about it first thing Saturday morning, to inform her that there would be consequences for all whining.  10 minutes later a toe was broken.  The crying and whining floodgates were opened, rightfully so.

I am actually thankful that we were intentional about whining before this little incident.  My tendencies are to want to wrap my kids up in softness and warmth, especially, especially, if they seem to be struggling or in some sort of pain.  This is mostly ok except that it can lead to me being too soft and them being slightly monsterish, and everyone is exhausted.

This time, even with real pain, we stuck to our guns and the little broken piggy gave us an opportunity to talk about digging deep, being strong, doing things that feel uncomfortable and awkward and being bummed.

Perhaps this was the parenting gods smiling down on us and giving us an accidental situation (no one was saying – it is bedtime, no more snacks, please clean up your room) in which we could frame our whining kibosh.  There was still warmth and love and empathy (and movies, popcorn, gummy bears and snuggles while the doctors orders were for taking it easy).  I have to figure out how to stick to my guns for the long haul.

The whining habit is slowly being broken, the toe is healing; our spirits are good!