Thursday, July 05, 2007

Things One Can Do with a Cast

Lemonade Stands in AlaskaDid you hear? It was Lillian's birthday. If you didn't hear you're the only one in the neighborhood. While making my rounds through the house on that most celebratory of days I discovered her upstairs in her bedroom, standing on a chair at the open window yelling to a man going by:

"HEY! YOU MIGHT NOT HAVE HEARD--TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY!"

He was puzzled but those of us who know her understand completely. As for that other birthday mishap, she's getting close to finishing her time with a cast, evidently at this age a month is plenty of healing time while it would take half a year for a geezer like me to repair.

But there may be a touch of separation anxiety once she gets this thing off, there have proven to be a few advantages to having an arm encased in plaster. Shall I enumerate?

1. As a weapon. When you have two older brothers it helps to have a weapon about you at all times. The phrase "Armed and dangerous"? That would be Lillian. I've seen her mush mosquitoes with the cast and threaten to do the same to her brothers in a wicked Bruce Lee move that would make Mr. Miyagi proud. She rather reminds me of the Borg.

2. As intimidation. In fact she doesn't have to really do anything to get her way with that thing on.

Money from Alaskan Lemonade Stand3. To hide things. I have to do a pat-down every time we're heading to church to make sure she's not smuggling Fashion Pollys inside her sling. Though we did have a moment of panic at one point when she discovered she could carry her meager life's savings by sliding the coins down inside the plaster. Goes in easily, comes out . . . not so easily.

Evidently that can be a problem with small children, they stuff things in the cast and get them stuck and they can become embedded in the skin after so long a period of time. I don't know if Spencer's doctor was just joshing me but she knew a toddler who'd slipped a refrigerator magnet (the letter B I believe) into her cast where it stuck against her leg and when they took the plaster off there was the letter, a permanent monogram in her leg where the skin had grown around it. And her name didn't even begin with a B.

4. To avoid baths. When it takes such an effort to wrap the arm in plastic and carefully bathe the rest of her body Lillian knows she's got me over a barrel and that only under the dirtiest provocation will I force her into the bath tub. She's got to be good and filthy for me to go to all that work and I'm afraid she'll go days (I won't specify how many for fear of reprisals) without sitting in the tub. So sue me.

5. As a mosquito shield. She's covered in bites--for some reason she's been especially appealing to the bugs this year, a walking buffet--but the only place on her body that is itch-free is that arm. Maybe I should wrap my ankles in plaster, you should see how fat and swollen they were with bug bites after four days of camping last week. Not pretty.

6. As a way to avoid unappetizing food. I've never heard any anatomical evidence to support the theory that the human taste buds are connected to the left arm but Lillian's tried to assert that having a broken arm means she can't eat cabbage, asparagus or cheese (she doesn't like cheese, go figure). Once that cast comes off she hasn't got an excuse for avoiding stuff she doesn't like. Not that it's worked so far, but at least the issue will be put to rest.

7. To avoid chores. You've heard the phrase, "Busier than a one-armed paper hanger"? Well there's nothing slower than a one-armed rug shaker. Lillian's chores include shaking all the throw rugs, making her bed and setting the dinner table. You think she was slow before? Multiply that times ten and then by twenty--she claims she is unable to satisfactorily complete her duties due to her Extreme Medical Condition. I received a statement from her attorney educating me about the Americans with Disabilities Act and the seventeen ways in which her chores conflicted with the aforementioned legislation and that I was in jeopardy of civil action if I didn't stop all attempts at Chore Coercion while she is in her Weakened Condition. And that includes making her bed.

8. To get candy. When we go to her weekly orthopedic appointments she shows her arm to the receptionist and says, "See my broken arm?" and knows as well as Pavlov's dogs what comes next. Out comes the candy bowl and a "Would you like a piece of candy?" You think someone so smart would have been able to avoid the injury in the first place.

9. To allow personal graffiti. I have a problem with my kids writing on themselves. Don't like it, don't allow it should I catch them trying it. Funny I know but I worked so hard to produce those little bodies that I don't want them dirtied up with drawings and phone numbers and the day's doodles. BUT . . . with a cast all bets are off and she gets to draw on herself till the cows come home. She won't be able to do that once she's got skin again.

10. As a storybook. In fact her cast has become a permanent picture book on her arm with drawings and plot lines and cliff hanging suspense good for hours of entertainment, especially during those long stretches at church. Will Princess Lillian be forced to live in the cold dungeon, making beds and eating nothing but cold asparagus? Tune in tomorrow for another episode of "Casts around the Castle."

11. As a mosquito repellent. Anyone out there familiar with the aroma of a cast? How about a cast that's been buried in the sandbox, covered in Jello, smeared with chocolate and used to squash flies? The scent is truly unique and is perhaps the world's most effective mosquito repellent. Nothing wants to hang around that smell let me tell you. Including myself.

12. As a way to avoid wearing a coat. My little Eskimo child is always hot and hates wearing a coat. Lucky for her, her coat doesn't fit around that bulky arm of hers so she's not had to wear one for a month. Good thing she didn't break her leg, she'd try to use it as an excuse not to wear pants.

13. As revenue. On an especially hot day last week the kids set up a lemonade stand. I caught them trying to up sales by suggesting that they were earning money to help fix their poor little crippled sister's broken arm. It was working fabulously and they were reporting record profits until I heard the story. "You will NOT use your sister's broken arm to sell lemonade. DO YOU HEAR ME? DO YOU??"

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28 comments:

DMo said...

We have not had to deal with casts yet, although I am sure its in the future. All of our medical emergencies have been fixed by stitches or staples.

Natalie said...

#13 is so funny - I can see myself saying that to my children - especially my son.

Happy TT!

Gattina said...

He, he, that was realy funny !

Robin said...

Now why didn't I think of some of those when I had a cast on my arm!

Happy TT!

Gill said...

I had a good laugh at your post, my 17yo broke her hand at roughly the same time as your daughter did her arm and she is using it to her FULL advantage too!

My Ice Cream Diary said...

I love the "Casts Around The Castle". With your lovely description I'm sure I could imagine the smell of her cast, but I'm relly trying not to becuase I'm eating right now. Man, with all those benefits I just might try breaking my own arm...

MommyBa said...

#13 made me laugh. I hope her arm gets out of the cast soon.

Happy Thursday!

my4kids said...

Ah it brings me back to Izzak and his cast last November. At least Lilian isn't in school so you can hear from her teachers how she is incapable of doing ANY work due to her injury....Izzak tried that....even when they had other people writing for him since it was his right arm.
As for the smell? Try a 6 month old in a half body cast, in the summer (a particularly hot one), during that lovely stage where they poop out because they only go every 3 or so days.....we had to replace his cast 3 times in the 6 weeks Joshua had to be in it for his broken leg. Now that makes me shudder to remember...

Miscellaneous-Mum said...

I'm sorry, but you had me chuckling with the Borg metaphor ;)

Jeana said...

This sounds really weird, but I heard that taking Vitamin E helps ward off mosquitoes. One of my daughters is a mosquito magnet, so she started taking it and it has reduced how many bites she gets. I don't know why.

I'm going to have nightmares about the letter B.

Jeremy said...

How come I could never think of those things with a cast... Oh well. Happy TT

Lisa said...

I loved # 13.

Kelly said...

I agree. Number 13 is priceless. Brothers! (insert huge eye roll here)

Suprina said...

Love Number #13!
Happy Birthday!
Awesome TT!

Paige said...

Oh the joys! My 6 year old had a broken leg for her birthday. But she got to ride in a wheelchair and totally loved that. But it was a joy when she finally got that thing off.

Daisy said...

Using a broken leg as an excuse not to wear pants -- oh, I am laughing out loud! Let's hope she never has to even consider it.

Gina said...

A case of making lemonade when handed lemons? =) Smart smart little birthday girl. I wonder who she took after?
Funny T13!

mcewen said...

Last one does it for me! Whats the point of having siblings if you can't exploit them once in a while.
Cheers

JAM said...

I was in 5th grade with my first broken arm. I did use it as a weapon, but in my defense, I always felt bad about it later.

Ah, the aroma of a month old cast on a child. Worse than a football team's locker room any day.

Thanks for the memories.

Lisa said...

YOu mean its not perfectly normal to should out at strangers passing by that today is your birthday? Ooops. (heehee.)

Oh my gosh, this was SO FUNNY. She sounds like quite a lively little character. And you just gotta love that.

Joy T. said...

#13 LOLOLOL Too funny! Great list. Happy 100th TT Celebration!

Heffalump said...

That first comment was actually me, but I didn't realize that D was still signed in on this computer when I did the comment. Did I miss who won Saturday's giveaway?

Lori- Fairytales & Margaritas said...

That may be the funniest thing I've ever read! Thank goodness we've never had a broken bone, yet!

Corrie said...

L'eau de Cast - maybe you could market it? I think it's great that she turned it into a money-maker, you know she was just collecting 'disability'

I've heard two effective mosquito repellents are avoiding bananas and taking vitamin B complex.

crazy working mom said...

She sounds like a very witty child! :)

Jen said...

J was using his cast as effect. As in, "you may not totally understand what I am saying, but I will bang on the table while I'm saying it and you'll know I really mean it this time!" A little Kruschev, I swear.

Marcia (MeeAugraphie) said...

This was hysterical. Of course, if the leg becomes involved you could buy tearaway pants - but then she might enjoy tearing them away too much. She is a trip.

Catherine said...

You know, #5 surprises me. Not because I don't believe it shields the mosquitos, but that the cast arm is itch free. I have a blurry memory of someone growing up having a cast and getting driven crazy by the itching beneath that thing. Weird!

This was great fun to read, by the way. :)