Friday, March 21, 2008

Getting Home with Limpy McLimperson

The flooding is continuing, complete with overdramatic news casts that trivialize the real damage with every emphatic, pursed-lipped pause.  Yesterday, the water started hitting the roads.  A heavily traveled state highway near my office park was closed shortly before rush hour.  My office was out of electricity for an hour or so midday as power was re-routed around a threatened substation. 
I left work a little later than usual, and hit a lot more traffic than usual.  I realize that I am relatively spoiled.  My thirteen mile commute takes twenty minutes on most days and thirty on bad weather days.  So when it took me twenty minutes to travel less than one mile to daycare, my patience started wearing thin.  And then, just as I pulled into the daycare lot, my gas light came on. 
Claire limped toward me as soon as I walked into the room.  Her caregiver explained that Claire had been limping since nap with no explanation or evident injury.  Since she was smiling and happy, I shrugged it off as one of those things that three year olds do just for the experience.  We went out to the car at a snail's pace which was still faster than the traffic was moving. 
I added my car to the line and crept along.  My gas light flickered on and off.  I started to worry that I wouldn't make it to the gas station.  I decided to turn back into the office park and wait out the traffic.  As soon as I made the turn, I realized my mistake.  It took me another 20 minutes to get back to my office.  All told, it took me almost an hour to make a two mile trip. 
Claire slowly limped to my desk and I began to get concerned about her.  She just kept saying that she didn't want to talk about it.  I tried to lift her pantleg and she slapped me away.  I worried, but figured that we weren't going anywhere without an ambulance anyway.  After an hour or so of internet games, we limped back to the car, crept to the gas station, and finally arrived home at 6:40 to cornbread lovingly made by my husband (I am forced to mention the cornbread because my mother evidently berated my husband on the phone until he agreed to make it for me).
I cornered Nick in the kitchen and told him about Claire's limp.  He grabbed her and tickled her all over, managing a pretty thorough examination of her leg in the process.  He couldn't find anything wrong.  Then, as I was putting on her pajamas, I found the problem.  A 1/8" square scrape on her knee was rubbing against her pant leg.  A bandaid fixed the limp, and we all settle in warm and dry for the night.


Mary Witzl said...

I read this with growing fear. Boy, was I relieved when I got to the end!

Our youngest once woke up screaming when she was about eighteen months old. We couldn't figure out what was wrong with her, and as it was bitterly cold, didn't undress her all the way to take a look. The next morning, I found that she'd wrapped a rubber band around her upper arm so tightly that the mark stayed there for almost a year. I still cannot get over the horror of this and how lucky we are that she didn't lose her arm.

Christy said...

Oh my goodness! I am so sorry to have you relive that memory. What is it with little girls and rubber bands? Claire used to take them out of her hair and put them on her wrist. Then when she knew she'd get in trouble for that, she put them on her upper arm so I couldn't see it. Eek!

Katie Alender said...

Oh, Mary, how awful!

Christy, an hour for two miles... even as a non-spoiled Los Angelena, I sympathize with that! Add in the gas gauge and I'd be nuts.

And it stinks about the floods. I hate local news.

Mary Witzl said...

That was exactly what happened, Christy -- she'd put them on her wrist and been scolded, so she put them on her upper arm instead. Her favorite teacher in nursery school kept rubber bands on her arm so that she could use them during the day. She was so upset when she knew what had happened, but it was hardly HER fault!

Kids really do crazy things. I used to think it was neat when my parents would quickly open and shut the car door if they'd failed to shut it properly. One day I chose to imitate this interesting adult behavior -- on a winding mountain road. My father never got over it, and that was one swat I can't help feeling was necessary.

And an hour for two miles -- yep, even for Southern California that's crap mileage! We did it a couple of times in Tokyo once. Served us right for driving there...