A Fifteen-Month-Old in a full leg cast: How it’s going

In a word? Splendidly.

Remember last week when I wrote a post about Henry’s casting situation, and how it was going to be sooooo harrrrrd, you guys?! (Well, I mean, it is going to be longer and more costly than we anticipated, and we are going to have to drive up to Park Ridge a lot, and that’s gonna be expensive). BUT. Happily, to my surprise, Henry doesn’t even seem to notice that he has a cast on.


So far, Henry has been able to crawl/scoot anywhere he wants. To my sheer and utter amazement, he really hasn’t been slowed down much, if at all. He plays with all the same toys. He enjoys the same level of mobility. He seemingly hasn’t been in any pain.

I hesitate to say this, given that we’ve only had this cast on for a week, but this might just be an enormous blessing in disguise. I was a little deflated when I heard that the doctor couldn’t cast both feet at once. But Henry (and the rest of us) would have been nowhere near as happy and mobile had he been in two leg casts instead of one.

(Would it be too self-centered to say that I think there’s a pattern in my life — of God taking seemingly unsurmountable difficulties and turning them into huge blessings? Who knew, when Lou told me that Henry couldn’t have both legs casted, that it might actually be easier for us in some ways? BAM. Huge blessing. Who knew the horrific morning sickness and debilitating anxiety that accompanied my first pregnancy would result in my beautiful little girl? Who would have thought that my “problem pregnancy” would turn into this snuggly, ropy-poly little blonde fatty who gives hugs and kisses all day? Like God dropping a little love-bomb straight from heaven. Next time something crappy happens to us, I’m just gonna sit back and wait for the blessings to start rolling in. As they inevitably will.)

The challenge now is finding activities that don’t soil or dampen his cast, and that’s easier said than done. Chalk? Gets all over his body and inside his bandages, along with the dirt and gravel from the driveway where we’re coloring. Same with paint. Putting a plastic bag over the cast is an option, but since he likes to crawl, he drags his gimp-leg around on the pavement and the pavement rips into the bag and exposes the cast. So the splash park is out. So far we’ve been playing in the sandbox, taking some walks, and watching TV. It’s frustrating to take him out since he insists on crawling around on the floor (and by “insists” I mean shrieks like a falcon until one or both of us comply with his demands) and we can’t always let him, depending on the floor surface. All this to say, any ideas are welcome for toddler activities that are dry, don’t involve mess, and won’t compromise his bandages. There’s only so many times I can stick him in his high-chair and have him play with Jello.

Thoughts? Suggestions? They’re more than welcome.



13 thoughts on “A Fifteen-Month-Old in a full leg cast: How it’s going

  1. I am glad that he isn’t in pain. I totally understand about things that seem like trials can turn into blessings.
    My toddler boys all loved the sandbox (that he is already playing with), and they loved playing with plastic kitchen items. I put them in a basket or cardboard box, and they would empty the box, stack everything, and then put them back into the box. And they loved carrying small cars around in a small backpack. They would take them out, play a bit, and put them back in, then move to another area and start again. They also loved playing with big bowls of water and small cups, but I can see how that is not an option for you at this time.

  2. Beans! I remember seeing my kids and their classmates at daycare using a sand/water table but it was filled with dried beans (or even rice). I mean, not that you want that on your carpet, but maybe throw a few towels on the ground, and get a big plastic tub/bin and he can sit on the floor and pour beans from cup to cup? (Love your blog, btw! Have I told you that?)

  3. I say invest in a pass to the Children’s Museum. It’s a little costly, but it will give you activities to do when it is super crazy hot out and then you will feel like an awesome mom who exposes her kids to brainy activities. DOUBLE WIN. (I think if you buy a pass, it includes ALL Children’s Museums, like Naperville AND Chicago AND yadda yadda, but don’t quote me on that till you confirm it.)

  4. A kid in my son’s swim class had both legs castes for toe-walking. He kept swimming even with the casts. Only they float, so his legs were very buoyant and his torso was not.

  5. What a great post. I thought of the waterproof cast cover as well and I hope that works out for you. Maybe it can be covered by insurance or Grandma and Grandpa 🙂
    I thought of a few activities my kids like (age 4 and 2): Drive cars through paint on paper (Just tape a piece of paper to the table and put paint spots all around it and give them a car to drive through, can even be fun to clean the car up afterwards in the sink, while Henry is resting). We also have fun things in a sensory table (water table). You can do shredded paper and hide things, we have little rocks from the craft store and we put in bucket and shovels and construction trucks. You can do fun shaped noodles too. Visit the library and borrow new books to read. They may have a summer reading club to join now to read for fun prizes. Ours even has a ‘read to me’ program for kids 0-3. Our local art museum has a kid space for kids with dress up clothes, blocks and a craft space. Free to get in, but pay for parking. What about summer programs at the metroparks. Even getting out in the stroller is fun with a new view. Do you have a mall with a playplace? So glad to hear it turned into a blessing instead of a set back.

  6. We just lived 6 weeks in a cast with my daughter. She’s a little older than Henry, but here are a couple faves. http://www.babble.com/toddler/5-genius-ways-to-keep-toddlers-busy/ . She also loved the toca boca apps (hair styling and pet doctor, but they were colourful and she didn’t really know what she was doing, but liked it) if you have an iPad. If you are on pinterest search toddler activities. After a while they just find a way. It’s amazing really how these little creatures adapt so well. Praying your time goes quickly and that he’s out of the cast soon.

  7. How awesome is this?!?!? I’m so glad the cast situation is going OK for both Henry and you. There have been so many times in my life where what I was convinced was a terrible situation turned out to be a blessing in disguise. You’d think I’d learn to stop worrying and trust more, but I still struggle with it.

  8. I’m not that surprised! A good friend of mine has a daughter who just went through a double casting and took it in stride. Carrying her around was a workout, though!

    • I believe it! I have to carry Henry everywhere even with the one cast (if we’re at a splash pad or whatever) and it’s killing my arms! I gotta get an Ergo…

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