ABC’s of Parenting: X is for x-ray

Of course it is. Almost nothing else begins with “x.” But I think x-ray is a legitimate subject when you’re talking about life with kids.

I don’t know about you, but we’ve had plenty experience with x-rays over our years of parenting. And I’m sorry to say this, but our children were never smiling like the little guy in the picture when we had occasion to visit the ER for those x-rays.


Our introduction to the world of kids and broken bones was regrettable in various ways. A ride on a bike that we’d bought for Oldest turned out to be too big, but The Husband took her out for a ride on it anyway. A tumble ended that ride, and when our daughter’s wrist started to swell, we wondered whether it could be a break, or possibly just a sprain. But she wasn’t in much pain, and didn’t complain, so we decided to just watch it for a bit.

But then she couldn’t sleep. Which led to a late-night call to our HMO (oh, Lord, am I glad we no longer have an HMO) emergency line. Which led to an extremely nasty triage nurse berating me sarcastically for waiting several hours to call – along with a very explicit accusation of being a bad parent. (Believe me, parents who call in about a broken arm at 10:00 pm are suffering enough guilt without that kind of crap.) And then a later-night visit to the children’s hospital for an x-ray, and a couple of days later the bright pink cast.

A few years later came our second x-ray story. A whole-family bike ride
ended in nauseating tragedy when Oldest (again) rode too close to a curb and took a spill. It was right after the second Harry Potter movie came out, and none of us missed the fact that the poor girl’s arm looked just like Harry’s after Gilderoy Lockhart removed all the bones. One ambulance ride later the x-ray determined that surgery and metal bits would be required…and a couple of months later a second surgery to remove said metal bits. Guess what? Oldest never rode a bike again.

X-ray number three came when The Boy was in middle school. His brilliant P.E. teacher had the kids playing kickball with a volleyball. Gee, why not just have them use a bowling ball, I asked. Might be softer. And then we had a cast for 6 weeks. Luckily, as with everything that ever happens to him, The Boy just found it all a fascinating adventure.

I’m afraid kids and x-rays are just a natural pairing. Each of these incidents was accompanied by emotional overload for the parents. Not to mention whopping doctor bills.

Some families start college funds when their kids are born. I would suggest that an x-ray fund would not be inappropriate.


8 thoughts on “ABC’s of Parenting: X is for x-ray

    • We have one like that too. Our son has only had one broken bone…if you don’t count the cracked skull when he was 6 months old and the repeatedly broken nose and EAR. Who knew you could break the cartiledge in your ear? And one two sets of stiches and one plastic surgery on an ear for an entirely different incident. Yikes!


  1. I was beginning to think that bicycles might not have been the best thing for your daughter, then you said that she never rode a bike again.

    It’s one of the worrisome parts of being a parent…keeping them from harm.


    • Definitely. Though two of the incidents in this post related to our oldest, it’s definitely The Boy we have to worry about the most. He’s matured in so many ways, but his daredevil ADHD tendencies will never leave him, I’m afraid.


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