Gimme a Break

Violet broke her collarbone this weekend. Just thought I would get that little tidbit out of the way. No need to leave you in suspense. Not my finest moment as a parent. And I'm sure half of you are now saying "how could you?!" while the other half murmur sympathetically "it happens, don't worry". I've been switching my allegiance between both these camps. But the fact of the matter is, one moment Violet was whole, and the next she had broken more bones than either Matt or I ever have. So cross this one off the checklist.

Allow me to set the scene. It was Friday evening. After a long week at work, neither Matt nor I felt like cooking so we decided to go out to eat. We were uninspired as to where to go, so settled unenthusiastically on a nearby Mexican restaurant (which shall remain nameless) known (by us) for their mediocre food and lackluster service.

We look the first available table. Violet got a booster seat. It was the kind of seat that you place on top of the chair. No straps to keep it in place, no straps to keep your child contained. Just a molded piece of brown plastic resting atop a red vinyl chair cushion. So you see where I'm going here...

Of course, having sat in seats like this plenty of times, tonight didn't seem any different. The restaurant was its usual, mediocre self. We waited too long for our food, waited too long for our check. And it was during one of these moments in waiting, while Matt and I were both looking at something else in the room without really seeing it, that Violet somehow fell out of the chair and onto the tile floor.

It took me a second to register why my sweet girl was splayed out on the floor, booster seat clattering to rest under a nearby booth, screams of pain echoing over the crappy music. It probably took me a good three seconds to even react. When it was clear Violet wasn't calming down anytime soon, I took her out while Matt paid the bill.

She couldn't stop crying. Even promises of a popsicle did nothing to help. But at the same time, I couldn't find any evidence of injury. No blood, no bruises, no lump, nothing to even tell us where she was hurting. And (parenting confession number 254) part of us wondered if she was really hurt or just scared and embarrassed. A teeny hidden part of my brain was beginning to go to a dark and scary place involving permanent brain damage or revelation of bone cancer and such crazy thoughts (I've been reading way too many sad parenting blogs lately) but I told that part of my brain to shut it. So we gave her some pain medicine, turned on Word World, tucked her into our bed, and finally we all fell asleep. I figured, if she was still in pain the next day, it was probably legit.

Waiting for the doctor at urgent care. It was at this point I started to resign myself to our possible diagnosis.
The next morning, after a restless night punctuated with whimpers and tears, Violet could finally vocalize and locate her boo-boo for us. It seemed to be focused in that tender place between shoulder and neck - the collarbone. And as she still seemed in pain, we took her to our local Children's Healthcare of Atlanta urgent care center.

Totally broken.
They were wonderful. I can't say enough about the nurses and doctors who were working on a Saturday morning. They were gentle, good humored, helpful, calming, exactly what I would have hoped for. The doctor had us diagnosed within two minutes and into x-rays to verify. Sure enough, the verdict came in clear as could be. Collarbone: broken.

Nothing a little popsicle and Violet Baby can't fix.

Oh, the shame. The horror. Here we were, the parents who not only let their child suffer this injury but then waited until the next day to do anything about it! Fortunately, there was a total lack of judgement from the caring staff at Children's. (Seriously, we are so lucky to live nearby such an excellent urgent care facility.) The doctor was full of reassurances and stories of other (worse) parents who waiting a full two weeks before toting in their broken collarbone kids. Apparently since Violet's bones are still growing, her collarbone will fix itself nicely in no time. Three weeks in a sling and wrap and she should be fine. Violet was pretty brave through the whole ordeal and cheered up immensely when the nurses brought her a popsicle and three stickers for her fancy new bandage.

A little tv therapy to get us through the day.
Look ma, one hand!
Violet has adjusted remarkably well to only having the use of one hand. It hasn't seemed to slow her down at all! That afternoon she was climbing up the ladder to go down the playground slide and even insisted on painting a picture for her BFF Emma. Emma, in the meantime, sent Violet a get-well video that we delighted in playing over and over.

Of course, there are a few casualties. We had to cancel our family picture session. Which probably means you'll be getting Christmas cards with some random candids instead of a beautifully staged portrait. And Violet's cute Dorothy Halloween costume will be slightly less cute with a sling over it. But there's a potential for a huge haul of sympathy candy.

And speaking of sympathy, as soon as the news was out there, the sweet messages, calls and prayers began rolling in. Thanks, everyone! Hopefully healing will be a swift, easy process and I can file this entire incident away under "laugh about later".


  1. This could have happened to anybody! In fact, I was thinking about those unattached booster seats recently and how I'm surprised there aren't more accidents in them. No need to beat yourself up about it, one bit. I broke my collarbone when I was 7 and all is well. At least she can brag about how tough she was when she was 2!

  2. Poor Violet! Poor Mama! It was an accident and riding yourself with guilt won't help the situation. In fact, she is probably too young to even remember it 20 years from now! lol I hope the recuperation is easy for everyone.


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