Tuesday 18 September 2018

Breaks and accidents

One of my current chores is dropping off and picking up the Boys - #1 & #2 - from school.  This is necessary because Boy #1 has a broken leg.  Boy #2 could walk, of course he could, but as any sensible parent of teens will tell you, if one of your children needs a lift somewhere there is No Way the other can countenance walking - even if Exercise Is A Good Thing, and that they would Really Benefit From A Little Fresh Air.

It's not so bad, really; after spending the summer holidays ferrying my older son around like a junior pasha, injured limb propped up on cushions across the back seat of the car, making the short trip to school twice a day doing the same thing does, in fact, seem like a bit of a break.  (Not an intentional use of that word, but it seems to fit so I'll stick with it...)

Ten days after the start of term, the boys threw open the car doors and climbed in, all mangled bags, crumpled blazers and monosyllabic grunts.  Boy #1, thankfully now not requiring the entire back seat, thumped onto the front next to me.


I glanced down to the floor, and saw that below the cast encasing his leg from knee to the ball of his foot, his big toe was wrapped in bandages.  Please, not again.

"Oh god.  What happened?  Is your leg alright?"

"My leg's fine.  I slipped, and cut the bottom of my toe."

"How on earth did you manage that?"

A long explanation followed.  Well - long for a fifteen year old, as I believe more than ten words were required.  He had been in the school gym going through the exercises set by his physio, and it had seemed like a good idea to remove the plastic sandal protecting the underside of his plaster cast.  When nature called,  rather than waste valuable time putting the sandal back on, he'd headed for the bathroom without it - and that was when the accident happened and he'd tripped and sliced a sizeable piece skin off the base of his toe.

There was quite a lot of blood, he assured me.  After asking whether the accident had hurt the healing broken leg - it hadn't - I moved on to my next question.

"Why on earth did you take the sandal off?"

"I don't know.  I just did."

"But you'd left the trainer on your other foot...?"  He nodded.  "Because - you just did, I suppose?"

He nodded again.

I took a deep breath.  "OK.  Well, I'm not going to say anything about that - although I'm sure you've worked out for yourself that walking around with one leg essentially longer than the other is likely to lead to tripping up."

The faint look of suprise suggested that perhaps he hadn't considered that as a cause for the incident, but he nodded seriously - mostly, I think, in the hope of shutting me up.  It didn't work.

"And - no, don't look at me like that, I hadn't finished - the only other thing I want to say is that whilst you've got this cast on, the next time you think of taking your sandal off away from home, can you consider where you are beforehand?  Because of all the indoor places to do that, the gym - where people sweat, wear dirty trainers etc, is probably the second worst place to do so."

He sighed heavily.  "OK Mum.  Where's the first worst place, then?"

"I'm glad you asked.  The worst place to be without proper footwear, for reasons I really hope I don't need to spell out, is where you were headed for - the school toilets."

Is it just boys, I wonder?  Answers in the comments box, please...