“Well, you wanted more mama time. Careful what you wish for,” sighed Paul last Friday to Evie. 

Evie has spent roughly a year complaining that she doesn’t have enough “mama time.” (For the record: I never have enough Evie time, which I have spent six years complaining about…) 

Late on Halloween night, someone accidentally slammed her thumb in a door jamb and blood was everywhere. I’ve never seen either of my kids injured that badly. I opted not to take her to the emergency room because 10pm on Halloween seems like greater torture than the possibility of a scar because your mom should have got you stitches. I let her crash instead. 

That led to about four days of full-on Mama time. On Friday, I kept her home from school to go to her doctor which turned into a day of X-rays and prodding and poking and have a dozen people inspecting her disgusting, purpled, gashed, contorted thumb. I had her all weekend—with all the snuggles she wanted—and then on Monday I had to take her to an orthopedic hand specialist. It turns out she has a small fracture and a pretty gross thumb for at least 10 more days.

To Paul’s “be careful what you wish for” point, it reminded me of that short story “The Monkey’s Paw,” where the well-meaning wishes kept taking horrific turns. But somehow Evie seemed to be fine with the broken thumb trade off for more “mama time.” 

We spent a large part of both days we were at doctors laughing and having fun together. In the X-ray waiting room, I worried they were going to ask us to leave, because we were laughing so hard at an impression Evie did of “Ow Pig,” a new character we made up. Friday afternoon just before we picked up Eli from school, she actually felt bad, saying, “We shouldn’t talk about how much fun we had today, because Eli might feel jealous he didn’t get to spend the day with you.” 

A day with a broken thumb spent mostly in a hospital!

At the specialist Monday morning, the staff was struck by what a great mood she was in. Other patients assumed I must be the injured one, because Evie was just way too happy. I apologized for how boisterous she was, but the receptionist said, “I’m just glad someone in this waiting room is that happy for once!” 

When she came out they all looked up in anticipation and she excitedly told everyone it was indeed broken and they cheered. (She’d made a deal with me in the worst of the thumb trauma that if it were broken I’d buy her whatever single item she wanted from the Disney Store.) 

But in case you think this was just about the Disney Store, when we went and she picked one of the most inexpensive things. It was really about spending two days with mom, even if they were days spent being prodded and in pain. We came up with this whole bit about a dragon training another dragon to be a hero, she showed me how to draw Snoopy and Woodstock, and we played a lot of hangman. She reveled in a few days where something so bad had happened that I just shoved everything else aside. 

Remember that thread we had a few months ago about spoiling your kids out of guilt? Well, I was reminded—again—in the past week why that’s really more about the parents than the kids. All they want is you.

Today’s new questions on Chairman Mom:

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