We spent a good part of the weekend preparing for the move to Austin, with the help of Kit’s parents. Claire has mostly busied herself with packing and unpacking various bags. Her favorites, by far, are her backpacks.
Backpacks have been a long-standing amusement for Claire. She spends a lot of time stuffing them to the seams with whatever toys she has on hand, plus maybe a twig or two (another favorite). Several weeks or months later, out of her backpack comes a missing toy, such as Leo from Little Einsteins or that one puzzle piece we had been looking for. She has also lately learned to add load on the outside of her backpacks, by attaching a balloon or a stuffed animal with a string.
But today she took her backpack stuffing to new levels when she asked us to help her put her little backpack, already stuffed to the brim with detritus, inside the other backpack. “Will you help me put my backpack in my backpack?” were her exact words. Common sense took over pretty quickly, though, and we were able to talk her down from this idea. However, she did manage to load up her big backpack to the point where she was literally unable to get up. She kept struggling to stand up from a sitting position on the floor, and was only able to get up with a helping hand or two.
For a few months now, I have been promising Claire that I would take her to see my office. She has been to Kit’s office at the hospital a couple of times, and she really enjoyed it. Claire knows I am not a doctor, and simply refers to me as an “office worker.” Hey, that’s senior office worker to you!
With time running out before the move to Austin, I finally decided to take her out to the office. We spent about half an hour looking at my cubicle and wandering the halls. Claire liked the names posted outside of people’s cubicles and asked if a “Joe” worked here. So we walked down the hall to see. The closest we got was Bud. The other names tended to be a little more exotic, such as Senthil and Thuy.
Claire’s favorite room was the conference room, which had lots of soft, rolling chairs and a big white board. Here is Claire pretenting to be a project manager:
Claire actually managed to put the fun back into project management!
Claire finally got her full leg cast off today. She has been as cool as a cucumber about her cast for the last three or four weeks. Once we explained that her cast was there to help her leg heal, but she would have to wait for it to work, she never complained about it. She just ambled around with one leg sticking out funny.
Today that all ended, and once again we got to see her left leg in its full glory. The process of taking her cast off — where they take that loud power saw and tear through the cast towards her flesh — did not go so well. There was screaming and resisting and crying. No amount of reassurance could convince this three year old kid that the power saw cutting into her leg was “okay.” Once it was over, Claire, in tears, said she wanted to see the other doctor instead, meaning the one who shows her the x-ray of her leg and talks to her about it.
The “nice” doctor said her leg was fully healed, and gave her the green light to walk and jump and do whatever she wanted. After a nice bath back at home — her first real soaking bath in weeks — Claire spent a few hours getting comfortable walking on her leg. Eventually she was fine with it, if a little slow. I dropped her off at day care for a couple of hours towards the end of the day. When I went to pick her up again, she was in the play room playing a game called “fall down on the ground” with her best friend Catherine. The game involved repeatedly crashing down on the carpet and getting back up (on her healed leg) to do it again. This kid is okay!
Here is Claire working the room with the “nice” doctor after her leg had been freed.
Somehow Claire and Kit got into a conversation about Claire’s perfect day. Claire described it as:
- Her cast would be off so she could walk wherever she wants
- There would be no pond monsters (who are from her favorite scary book, The Dark, Dark NIght, and have been haunting her dreams)
- We would go to Chick-fil-a (probably more for the playground than the food)
- We would all go get ice cream.
I bet if she really thought about it hard, she would also probably include no nap and staying up playing as late as she wants. I picture a bloated, exhausted, and sweaty Claire snoozing on the floor in the living room, which of course is a sign of a truly good day.