The holidays are always a busy time of year for the Pattens, particularly Thanksgiving. Mommy and daddy have had the honor of hosting Thanksgiving since 2008. It's like our Super Bowl -- mommy and daddy gear up all year to plan the perfect menu and host family members who want to share that special day with us. It's a lot of work, but we enjoy opening up our home and our kitchen to family. It's a special time of year where we make the effort to catch up, drink wine (only when you're old enough!), and express the love we have for one another. We laugh, we cry, and we share.
We had a full house!
This Thanksgiving was a particularly memorable one for mommy and not in a good way. This was the Thanksgiving that mommy broke you. Let me explain... as you will probably have no memory of this (thank goodness!). It was the day after Thanksgiving. Half of the family was gone watching a football game (Duke vs. Miami). Mommy stayed at home with you to relax and prepare soup for that night's dinner. As the soup simmered, your Aunt Kristie, Aunt Meredith, cousin Emily, Grandma Joyce, and Uncle Josh's girlfriend, Carrie, came to our house to help out and wait for the boys to come home from the game.
All smiles before that uneventful evening
Your cousin Emily and I played with you outside to let you get some fresh air and kick around a soccer ball. As one last hurrah before taking you back inside for dinner, we each took one of your arms and began to swing you across the driveway, making our way to the front door. With each swing, you giggled -- until we reached the front of the house. With that last swing, you let out a scream and tears started to explode from your sweet little face. Instantly, I knew something was wrong and I thought, "Uh oh... Dislocation."
I rushed you into the house and took off your coat and began feeling your shoulders and elbows for anything unusual. Every time I touched your arms, you cried even harder. Your Aunt Kristie rushed to my side to help me evaluate your condition. She noticed that your left arm was limp -- the arm that mommy was holding when we were swinging you in the front yard. The only thought I could think was "I broke my baby."
I decided to take you to the emergency room. Your Aunt Kristie agreed to drive. On the way to the hospital, I had to call your daddy and tell him what happened. Upon hearing his voice, I started to cry, too. How could I tell him that I broke our baby? But your daddy knew it was an accident and made sure to make mommy feel better about the whole situation. Even your Aunt Kristie told me that accidents happen and that it's a part of being a mom. Her ER stories did make mommy feel a little better, in a weird way. She told me that she suspected you had a partial dislocation of the elbow.
Once we got to the emergency room, we waited patiently. You were quiet and fell asleep in my arms. (That's how I knew it was serious -- you never do that!) The wonderful people at Rex Hospital saw us right away. I don't think we waited longer than 20 minutes. A nurse brought us back to a waiting room where we sat and waited. A nurse practitioner came in, and I explained what happened to you. He told me that it was a common injury with children your age. He called it "nurse maid's elbow." It is when the elbow becomes partially dislocated (Aunt Kristie was right!). Once he gave me and Aunt Kristie the diagnosis, he gently tried to pull and twist your arm. You did not like this one bit! You began to wail and tears exploded from your eyes again. He made three attempts to fix your elbow. On the third try, you cried a long, slow wail and bent forward until your face almost touched your knees. Once your elbow popped back into place, you used your arm to push the nurse practitioner away. That action alone let me know that you were going to be okay. (Though you did give the nurse practitioner a look that seemed to say "A pox on you and your family," as Aunt Kristie suggested.)
Another nurse came in and taped a pulse monitor on your finger while we waited for the doctor to come and release us from the hospital. You DID NOT like that. As soon as she left, you ripped it off your hand. I didn't have the heart to put it back on your finger.
Once the doctor gave his approval, your Aunt Kristie and I scooped you up, and we headed straight to the McDonald's drive thru to get you a vanilla milkshake. You earned it, my dear.
Once back at home, you were your normal self, and no worse for the wear. Thank God.