Edith’s sprained ankle & my “brave” parenting


Last week a certain little Miss Edith Rose sprained her ankle. Yup, calling that a big fat parenting fail that my 14 month old managed to sprain her ankle, but it was just one of those things. We visited Tropical World in Leeds for the morning and decided that, since it wasn’t raining, we would pop across the road to have a play in Round Hay Park.

After sitting on the merry go round with her brothers, pottering about the play park and just generally gawping at older kids having fun, Roo asked if he could take her down the slide. I said absolutely, without a second thought. Why wouldn’t I let her 5 year old brother, who adores her, hold her on the toddler slide that I can’t fit my currently rather rotund backside on?

So, he climbs up, I lift her to him and they came down. It’s worth mentioning that a few minutes before Roo had picked her up and tripped with her in his arms, so he was already on my shit list but this little incident was 100% not his fault, despite him initially catching the blame. Edie’s new to wearing shoes, she didn’t know to keep her leg up and Reuben couldn’t stop her foot catching on the plastic of the slide. So that’s how it happened, her foot got caught, she twisted and sprained her ankle. Initially I shouted at Roo, I thought he’d squeezed her – something I later had to apologise for – bad mama.

I first noticed what had happened when, after a good 10mins of tears, I went to put Edie down to totter about some more and she couldn’t put pressure on her foot. At that moment I thought maybe she just needed to rest it for a few minutes and it would feel better soon. But no.

Que us packing up and taking an early trip home, only to find that 2 hours later she STILL couldn’t bare weight properly and was unhappy.

Like any loving parent, I want the best for my kids, it breaks me to think of them in pain. We live just around the corner from the local A&E so we took a little trip to get some advice and see where to go from there.

We were seen really quickly by a lovely nurse but immediately I felt really uncomfortable with a few of the comments: “She’s covered in bruises on her legs” and “Down a slide with a 5 year old at 14m?”

Here’s the thing: I am not a helicopter parent. That is to say I am not that parent that hovers over their kids, wraps them up in cotton wool and just generally frets over every bump and scrape. To me, that stifles childhood. Can you name a person over 40 who didn’t sprain or break a bone as a child because they were climbing trees, jumping in streams and pretty much constantly on the go?


Yet nowadays it has become a parent’s mission to make sure theta their child never has a scratch – we sanitise cuts, we have cool packs for bumps… we’re downright neurotic half the time!

It wasn’t the first time I’ve had the comment, nor the first time I’ve been told I’m “brave” for allowing Roo to hold her. The truth is though, I’m a very relaxed parent when it comes to bumps and scrapes. It’s not that I dot care, not even close, rather that I want to raise my kids to be free, to appreciate running and jumping and climbing – with that comes falling and bumping and hurting yourself on occasion.

Do you have any idea how much joy it brought the pair of those kids to come down the slide together? The smiles that graced their faces? This isn’t a baby that is mistreated or uncared for, this is a child who is idolised by a couple of rambunctious, energetic and rough brothers. I’m not allowing my 5 year old to babysit a 14 month old, I’m allowing him to be a sibling. I’m allowing her to learn through play.

So in short, Edie had an unfortunately accident last week. It wasn’t because I’m brave or careless, it wasn’t because her brothers are too rough. It was because she’s a child and I refuse to stifle that.

H x


  1. Avatar April 15, 2016 / 9:06 pm

    Aw its such a clumsy age isn’t it bless them. Hope she’s better now x

  2. Avatar April 15, 2016 / 5:45 pm

    Glad to hear she is on the mend, these things happen even when you are a helicopter parent, they are called accidents and cannot be prevented.xx

  3. Avatar April 15, 2016 / 11:25 am

    Eurgh, there’s just no need for those sorts of comments! God, Toby got bitten by a goose at the weekend, I’m sure I’m a shit parent for letting him run around the garden following ducklings who have an adopted geese daddy. Bless her, hope she’s back on her feet now and ready for another go on the slide!xx

  4. Avatar April 14, 2016 / 10:46 pm

    I think you have a great approach, being over protective makes them worse and your teaching them that it is ok to get bumps and bruises as that is part of everyday life. I do it all the time.

  5. Avatar April 14, 2016 / 8:55 pm

    Aww bless her poor thing – I was forever being hurt and covered in bruises as a child because I was that and having fun 😉 x

  6. Avatar April 14, 2016 / 10:41 am

    Good on you! Accidents happen. Kids bounce and by making a fuss of every nettle sting and splinter we are raising them to also make a fuss. Pick them up, dust them off, give them a cuddle and let them go again. That’s what childhood is about

  7. Avatar April 13, 2016 / 10:08 pm

    Oh bless! It’s horrible seeing our children hurt themselves! But accidents happen don’t they. Hope she is better x

  8. Avatar April 13, 2016 / 9:03 pm

    Aww bless hope she is OK now. Accidents happen and little ones are into everything. Need eyes in the back of our heads and the sides ha ha.

  9. Avatar
    Jessica McDonnell
    April 13, 2016 / 8:07 pm

    Poor little girl. Spraining an ankle is bad enough for an adult, never mind a child.

  10. Avatar April 13, 2016 / 6:42 pm

    Ah god bless her, the little dote. Read comments too and glad to hear she is on the mend too. Her cheeky little grin though, I could eat her <3 My little fella is a disaster waiting to happen. It's gonna happen regardless what I do to try and prevent it.

  11. Avatar April 13, 2016 / 3:44 pm

    Bless her I hope her leg feels much better now.

  12. Avatar April 13, 2016 / 3:38 pm

    I do hope she recovers quickly. I am suffering from a twisted knee at the moment, which is really not amusing me at all.

  13. Avatar April 13, 2016 / 1:00 pm

    Here here! I think these days people are so scared to do anything. Comments like that would put me off going to the hospital. Sorry to hear your girl had a fall hope she heals soon xx

  14. Avatar April 13, 2016 / 11:37 am

    Ahh what a little trooper! Children will always have accidents, it’s part of growing up! Glad to hear she is on the mend though x

  15. Avatar April 13, 2016 / 10:30 am

    Bless her , toddlers will be toddlers though and accidents happen all the time. If I took my 2 year old to A&E they would be shocked as she is covered in bruises on her legs off climbing everywhere and has a bite on her back off her little brother. I am glad she is ok and I bet she was having the best time playing with her brother before she caught her foot xx

    • Harriet April 13, 2016 / 10:37 am

      She was Lindsay – thank you! H x

  16. Avatar April 13, 2016 / 10:06 am

    Aww bless her. James is always covered in bumps n bruises! He even managed to fall up the steps outside school this morning!

    • Harriet April 13, 2016 / 10:38 am

      Oh no! The boys have done that too! Kids eh?!

  17. Avatar
    April 13, 2016 / 8:35 am

    I’m guilty of being a helicopter parent, I’m so scared that something happens to my son, I wasn’t like this with my daughter but when she was little I wasn’t scared by constant news reports like I am now. I do think the media has a lot to blame for parents attitudes especially when it comes to accidents being linked to bad parenting which is really sad.

    • Harriet April 13, 2016 / 10:39 am

      I couldn’t agree more Daniella, I think it is a massive problem in the media!

    • Harriet April 13, 2016 / 10:39 am

      Thank you – she is on the mend!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.