Two Already? Two, Already. Two Already!

It’s taken me a few days to post about Eli’s birthday because after celebrating the day thoroughly and well (a party with many good friends and cupcakes; a party with just the four of us and a chocolate layer cake), the wheels sort of came off the cart there for a couple days.

First, there was the dislocated elbow–totally my fault–this has happened to both boys before; I should know by now they are too heavy for their loose ligaments and it doesn’t do to swing them around by their hands. Luckily it doesn’t take more than a minute at the doctor to pop the elbow back in place, and it doesn’t seem to hurt a whole lot either. (Or else Eli is just a big stoic). But still, you know, the guilt…

Then came the disintegration of the lovey blanket, which we’ve been watching for some time now, but couldn’t figure out quite how to address. Well, I bought a spare lovey, but I didn’t think that was really going to be acceptable, so it’s been sitting in the closet. And then yesterday morning the patch, the label that he particularly loves, came off the lovey. I put it in my pocket for safe-keeping, while I tried to come up with a repair plan.

Not an hour later, Eli went to his blanket, as he does periodically throughout the day, and started turning, turning, turning it, looking for the patch. I watched a moment, unsure, and then pulled it from my pocket and offered it to him. He stared at it, wide-eyed, then looked at me and burst into tears. He wailed. He cried the big, gasping sobs of a child whose puppy has just died.

I thought he was going to hyperventilate, or throw up. I have never seen either of my boys cry so long and so hard. He wept for a solid hour, until Ben (bless him, such a guy sometimes) picked his head up from his intricate drawing and came over to assess the situation: Eli sobbing, me ineffectually trying to distract or comfort him.

“Hey, little bear,” Ben said, “Can I read you a book?”

Eli paused, just long enough for Ben to decide that reading was probably a good idea, and so he began, and Eli listened, hiccuping a bit, and slowly calming down.

I kept the spare lovey in the closet. Turns out Tony can sew well enough, and he restored the patch to its former spot on the blanket, with a few extra, reinforcing stitches.

And Eli has had a taste of a couple life lessons (pain, disappointment, loss), but happily just toddler size portions of these lessons. I think the taste of chocolate cake is probably still stronger.


  1. DebraBaker says:

    It doesn’t take long for them to grow up!!

    Hey, I have been trying to contact your co-author, Elrena to no avail.

    I would love to correspond with her and I have an essay if you’re still working on your book.

  2. Violeta says:

    Oh my gosh!! I can’t believe (though I’m so glad about it, for your sake), that an elbow dislocation is relatively minor for kids. Todd was mostly incapacitated with a severe one for literally months last year after a Judo accident.

    And also, I have to say, what a fantastic brother Ben is!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Nursemaid’s elbow, right? That sucks. I was instructed over the phone by my pediatrician on how to fix this on Kirby, which freaked me out but actually worked. (I think it’s not a true dislocation, just a trapped tendon or ligament or some such thing. It goes “boingggg” when you let it go.). Anyway, glad we’re not the only family that’s done this 🙂 Happy birthday to Eli the Newly Two! He’s lucky to have such a sweet bro.

    — Jennifer

  4. stacey says:

    Oh Caroline- It seems that everyone else was most moved to write about the elbow scene- for some reason, after I read the part about Ben reading to Eli to calm him down, the elbow (though disturbing) flew straight out of my mind. What a wonderful big brother. How lucky they will be to have each other through the years!