When your kids grow up and leave, the only time they ever call is when something’s gone wrong or they want some money.
Last week we got a call from daughter No.1 at university in locked-down Liverpool. We’d already pinged her generous weekly parental contribution two days previously, so it better not be about money.
No, she sounded in a lot of pain and said: “I think I’ve broken my toe. It really hurts. How do you think I did it?”
We have previous in our family for toe injuries. And every other type of comedy injury, to be honest.
Yours truly heroically broke one of his on a lazy river ride at a Cypriot water park on a family holiday in 2011, and my brother-in-law smashed one of his to bits on a rock while throwing a nine-year-old daughter No.2 in the sea on the same trip. She’d throw him now, she’s 18 and 5ft 11.
“Er, banged it on the corner of your bed when you weren’t looking where you were going?” Bingo!
There’s no point turning up at A&E with an injury like that, what with everything else that’s going on, so she called her auntie, who is a nurse, to ask for some expert advice – especially after she nearly tore her’s off doing the exact same thing a couple of years ago.
Basically, the old RICE protocol. Rest it, ice it (bag of frozen peas), compress it (tight sock, tubigrip or strap it to the next one) and elevate it (six to 10 inches above the heart).
After that we got regular daily updates.
It looked nasty. Swollen and bruised. But day by day it looked better, and thanks to the advice of Dr Google (not always reliable or comforting but available 24/7), it appears that she got away with a sprain.
I think Santa might be bringing her a pair of steel toe cap slippers for Christmas.