Bad Auntie!

    This is going to be one of those posts where I vent and you guys either tell me that I am crazy or that I am absolutely right…

    Last week I picked up my nephews early from their after-school program so that they could accompany my sons to the park because it was such a beautiful day.  While we were at the park, all of the kids decided that they wanted to walk and ride their scooters around the track a couple of times.  My husband agreed to walk with them and they all took off together.  As they were walking around the track, my ten year old nephew tripped over his feet, as he was walking with his scooter, and fell on his right hand.

    When we got home, my husband put ice on his hand because it was slightly swollen on the side and red.  We inspected the wound and he was able to move all of his fingers and his wrist so we figured that nothing was broken and that it was probably sprained or bruised if anything.  Of course, I proceeded to call my sister to explain to her what had happened because that is what I would want her to do if my sons were in her care and got injured.  She agreed that he would probably be fine and we got off the phone because my nephews were going to spend the night at my house.

    The next day, we checked his hand and he told us that he felt much better and that it didn’t hurt him that much and just felt sore.  It didn’t look much different than the night before and we went outside to bbq in the backyard.  My nephew played with all the kids the whole day and never once complained about his hand hurting him or told me that he was experiencing any kind of discomfort.  Obviously, had he told me anything like this, I would have immediately called my sister and we would have taken him to the doctor to have his hand checked.

    In the afternoon, my sister came to pick up my nephews and they all went home without incident.  Later that evening, my parents called me to tell me that my nephew’s hand had swelled further and that my sister took him to the hospital to have his hand checked upon which she was informed that one of the little bones in his pinky finger was fractured.  They wrapped his pinky and sent him home.

    The outcome of this whole situation was that my sister was mad at me because she felt that we didn’t supervise her son properly and that is why he got hurt.  My defense was that this was ludicrous because my husband was standing right next to my nephew when he tripped and fell on his hand.  He was most definitely being supervised but we could not possibly prevent him from tripping over his own two feet.  Additionally, we treated the injury accordingly, as far as I was concerned.  He did not lose any mobility in his hand or fingers and did not complain of any unbearable discomfort or pain.  We put ice on the injury the same way we would have done if one our own children had been injured this way.

    Lastly, I did call my sister immediately after it happened to see how she wanted to handle the situation.  I feel that, if she was really that concerned over the urgency of the situation, she would have instructed me to bring him home or picked him up quickly in order to bring him to the hospital.  She didn’t rush over here, in my opinion, because she didn’t think that he had suffered such a severe injury based on the symptoms that I described to her.

    In any case, I am now officially the bad guy.  It is kind of upsetting that things happened in this way because I really was just trying to be a good Aunt and take the kids out so they could have some fun.  They have vacationed with us many times and spent a lot of time at our house and have never sustained any kind of injuries.  Unfortunately, I may have to curtail our outings with my nephews due to my sister’s reaction to everything that happened.  It is insulting that she would insinuate that we weren’t supervising my nephews properly or something. 

    Believe me, I completely understand her being upset that her son got hurt because I get sad whenever my children get hurt.  However, it is unrealistic to think that we can wrap our children in plastic bubbles and prevent them from ever getting hurt.  Even under the safest of conditions and circumstances, children can bump into things, fall over things, and just be plain clumsy at times.  There is no way to avoid this entirely.  What do you guys think about all of this?

© 2010, Tough Cookie Mommy. All rights reserved.


  1. Hey
    You aren't a bad auntie. You did the best you could. And you are right we can't protect out children in a plastic bubble.We have to set them free to explore and learn from their mistakes.

  2. Thank you for your feedback, Barkha. It is good to see that others agree with my point of view. It is important to be vigilant of children while allowing them to explore and discover life.

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