Too old to play

January 7, 2008

by Jen Bakken

A little over a week ago, it was obvious I needed to play with my children. They had been home with a babysitter while school was out and were rather hyper.

They were silly and full of energy since they had been cooped up in the house all day.

After taking the babysitter home I decided to play with the kids. I thought that I could tire them out and maybe get the “sillys” out of their systems.

I started chasing them and if I caught them I’d tickle them. We ran throughout the house laughing and it was a lot of fun.

But all the fun came to an abrupt end when I made one poor decision.

While chasing my daughter she jumped on the couch and hid under a blanket. I told her she was cornered and I’d surely catch her this time.

I informed her there was no escaping the tickle monster and she shrieked with glee.

From across the living room I ran towards the couch. I leapt into the air as if I were attempting to fly. I intended to land on my stomach right next to her.

She was still under the blanket and I thought I’d scare her because she couldn’t see me.

I was right and wrong. I was right that I was about to scare her but I was wrong about how I would land.

I was very wrong.

As I flew, I put my elbows out before reaching the couch. One elbow went between the couch cushions. Our sectional sofa has a piece of wood where the sections meet and, of course, that’s just where my elbow landed with a crack.

It was so painful I instantly had tears in my eyes. I fell to the floor with a moan and rolled around holding my elbow. My daughter came out from under the blanket to see what was happening.

The kids gave a nervous giggle before they realized I wasn’t faking the injury. Suddenly my daughter yelled, “Oh, you are bleeding all over, gross!”

I had succeeded at scaring my daughter, but the price I paid was not worth it.

Next it was off to urgent care for an X-ray. When the doctor said I fractured my elbow, I just shook my head.

The doctor and nurse asked me how I injured myself. For a split second I tried to think of another story I could tell them.

I wondered if I could say something understandable like I had slipped on the ice. I decided to fess up and tell the truth, no matter how embarrassing.

I noticed a smirk on their faces. I had fractured my elbow during an attempt to dive bomb our couch.

The doctor looked at me and said, “Well, no one can accuse you of not playing with your kids!”

I rolled my eyes, knowing that when I left the urgent care they would all enjoy a laugh at my expense.

When I returned home the kids came running up to see what happened at the doctor’s office. When they saw my arm in a cast and sling they asked a million questions. When I told them I had fractured my elbow my daughter said, “Well, mommy, I guess you are just too old to play anymore.”