Growing Pains

 

ID-10033608

My ten year old son recently began limping and telling me he had a sore foot. He is extremely active so I put it down to a stone bruise or something innocuous. I finally decided to take it seriously when he was hobbling around like an old man when he first got up in the mornings. It was the end of the summer sports season and he was nearing the finals for all his sports. It also coincided with the start of training for his winter sports. Every day of the week he was exercising and it was at that point that he was diagnosed with ‘Severs Disease’.

The name conjures images of a contagious infection where the foot is severed from the body, but thankfully it’s not as disturbing as that! Put simply, it is when the growth plate in the heel grows faster than the achilles tendon can stretch and is very common in active kids after they have had a growth spurt. The only course of action was to rest and to do stretches to help the achilles lengthen. As he already wears orthotics in his shoes, these were raised slightly in the heel to relieve the tension in his tendon.

To my son’s horror, the diagnosis of severs required him to limit his activities. He had to give up rugby training, competing in his school cross country and sat out a game or two of basketball. After reducing his sport, which let’s be honest is like a cruel form of torture for an active ten year old, the pain subsided.

Severs is a condition that will flare up off and on as he grows and he just has to manage it with ice packs to reduce swelling and stretching exercises.

As a side note, the podiatrist mentioned to me that kids that get ‘Severs’ often then get another growth related disease called ‘Osgood-Schlatter Disease’ a few years later in life when the growth plates in their knees start to give them pain. He advised that my son should try to build up his quads to help support his knees before the pain sets in.

So if you have an active kid complaining of sore heels or knees there is a good chance that they are suffering from good old growing pains!

 

(Image courtesy of photo stock, freedigitalphotos.net)

Double Jinx

ID-100162284

I was delighted and relieved that we made it through our annual winter ski trip this year without the need for any x-rays. The past three years have resulted in injuries to our kids. I actually gloated to my husband that our family had survived unscathed and that bad luck comes in threes, so we were out of the woods.

Yesterday, wanting to fill in some time, I decided to take my youngest two kids to the local ice skating rink. My fateful last words were ‘have fun, but don’t break anything!’ My daughter and son were having great fun racing each other and creating challenges for one another. They even participated in games organized by the ice skating rink staff. My greatest concern was that as a spectator my extremities might require amputation as I felt like frostbite had well and truly kicked in – I guess hypothermia is the price of keeping your kids entertained in the school holidays.

With ten minutes left in the session, my daughter fell and instinctively put her arm out to break her fall. She came off the ice in pain and declared she thought she had broken her arm.

I rushed her to the closest GP who after a 30 second inspection sent us to the local hospital for an x-ray. Lo and behold the x-ray confirmed our suspicions of a fracture and my daughter now has her arm in plaster for a few weeks.

I take full responsibility for tempting fate – not only did I jinx the situation by boasting that we had survived a year without an x-ray, but then to verbalise that my kids shouldn’t break any bones was too much. Fate is sitting back sniggering at my naivety that we were out of the woods.

Sometimes you wish you could wrap your kids in cotton wool, but experiences like this are going to happen regardless of how protective you are! Actually, to be honest, I think my daughter may be secretly happy to have her first cast, as she took no time at all to bust out the permanent marker so we could all sign it!

Image courtesy of praisaeng, freedigitalphotos.net

It’s as easy as riding a bike  

ID-10043348

There are certain times throughout parenthood where you are faced with a scenario where you need to teach your child a skill, but may want to put it off as it is a tedious or painful task for you.

A prime example of this is when you teach your kids to ride a bike. They generally start riding bikes with the assistance of training wheels. These allow them to have a sense of freedom as they wobble side to side from one training wheel to another, never having to really master balancing the bike.

Your child knows the basics of riding a bike and they can ride for fun. You have that internal conversation with yourself whether you bite the bullet and teach them how to balance and ride, or is it easier (for both you and the child) to let them use training wheels until they are an adult? It’s one of those jobs that you know is going to back-breaking but eventually you have to dedicate the time to teach them a life long skill. This means you have to try to hold the bike seat whilst running alongside the child, all the while barking orders and trying to not let the bike fall over sending the kid (and/or you) over the handlebars. It’s not an exercise for those with weak backs as it is unnatural to twist your back, pulling and pushing on the bike frame, whilst running.

My son loved riding his bike as a toddler and insisted we remove his training wheels at two years of age. As you can imagine, his bike barely reached my knees, so running, twisting, bending and manipulating the bike was a nightmare. Thankfully he was so motivated that he picked it up quite quickly, whereas my daughter was seven before we could convince her she needed her training wheels removed.

Apart from having to manipulate your body into what resembles a yoga pose while running, it also takes a bit of deception to make the child think you are holding them, while intermittently letting go in the hope that they will start to balance the bike by themselves. Eventually they will get the knack and before you know it, your hard work has paid off. They will eventually have a skill that they can recall and use anytime in life – hence the saying, ‘it’s like riding a bike’.

There is immense relief once you have taught your child to ride a bike (assuming that is without injury to you, the child or the bike) and the effort seems worthwhile. So if there is a task you have been putting off with your child, embrace the challenge and give it a go – there’s no time like the present.

(Picture courtesy of digitalart, freedigitalphotos.net)

UNNECESSARY PAIN AND SUFFERING

images-6

There are times as a parent when you know you will sacrifice your own happiness and be subjected to pain for the good of your child: pregnancy; childbirth; mastering breastfeeding; controlled crying etc, but today I unwittingly subjected myself to unbearable pain and suffering – I took my son and his friend to see the new Spongebob Squarepants Movie.

Don’t get me wrong – I love kid’s movies. The best ones appeal to adults on a whole different level than kids; they are clever, funny and cute. This movie was mind-numbing nonsense that left me thinking that the writers must have been seriously tripping on drugs when they came up with the weird (but not wonderful) scenarios in this films. As if a time-travelling master dolphin that shoots lasers out of his blowhole isn’t ridiculous enough, the pun-filled script leaves you thinking that hitting your thumb repeatedly with a hammer would be preferable than having to sit through the entirety of the film. There is a scene where ‘Plankton’ is subjected to the cruel torture of listening to Spongebob laughing – even the writers acknowledge listening to Spongebob is torturous! I can only think that someone has some serious dirt on Antonio Banderas to blackmail him into agreeing to appear in this film.

I know that I sound like a wet blanket and that someone should call the fun-police to arrest me, but another mother I was talking to at the end of the movie was equally as scathing in her assessment of the movie. That is 93 minutes of our lives that we will never get back!

Even my son was saying he didn’t really even understand the movie, which is no reflection on him. Unless you’re a tripping, cartoon-loving weirdo, I don’t think you would understand the film or the reason any movie producer would fund such rot.

Please heed my warning and save yourself the pain and suffering and go to see any other movie, because I guarantee, regardless of how bad a film it may be, there is no way it could be worse than ‘Spongebob Squarepants – sponge out of water!’

What kid’s movies have you loved or loathed?