Dear Little Fish,
Wearing a brace does mean you can't swim, shower, bathe, sit upright, have waterfights or play in the sandpit. I'm sorry, I'm really sorry, but that's just the way it is. Six weeks feels like an eternity I know, but it could have been three months, so let's look on the bright side hey?
Undoing the straps and wriggling your hips out of shape will not help your recovery. If you keep doing that you might damage the joint which has just been rebuilt, and might have to go through all this all over again. Please stop. I do have gaffer tape and I'm not afraid to use it. I won't be able to change the liner if I do though, so please just desist.
Wearing a brace does indeed mean you can't lean over to pick things up from the floor. I'm sorry, but that does not turn me into your personal slave. You throw your toys, you survive without them. You throw my computer, you get to sit in a different room and be even more bored.
Wearing a brace does not mean you are unable to eat vegetables. It does not mean your hair doesn't need brushing. It does not make you incapable of using the words please and thank you.
I know there aren't many upsides to wearing a brace. I know that right now it's hot and uncomfortable and restrictive and frustrating, mixed in with a little bit of unidentifiable pain. I know that for the last week, you've had willing servants in hospital and at the hospice, people running after you and being totally captivated by your cheeky grin and imperious demands. That was fun while it lasted, but we're back home now. I really wish I could make this easier for you. But "Get here NOW" and "DO IT" and "AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH" have never really worked as motivators for me, and they are unlikely to be effective now.
So here's a deal for you. You find your gentle voice again, and I will do my best to find plenty of things you can do whilst lying back in your wheelchair. You remember how to talk nicely and eat politely, and I'll find some meals which are "not yucky" for you. You practice driving that powerchair, and I'll find places we can go to where you will have space to move around.
And those weeks will pass. We're one down already. Just this week of half term, and then you will have plenty of time to be busy at school and preschool again.
I'm sorry that I told you your legs would be the same length after your operation when that turned out not to be true. I'm sorry you will still have a short left leg. I'm really sorry that you are hurting now when you weren't immediately post op. I'm sorry that no one noticed your brace had worked loose on Friday, and I'm sorry that we had to make you lie still until we could get someone to fix it. I know you've had a rotten time, but you've also been having plenty of fun you know, it hasn't all been miserable. And it won't all be miserable for the next few weeks either. So let's settle down back into our regular daily life shall we? Let's get on with things as they are and make the best of them. It won't be forever.
So, starting from tomorrow, could you please remember that "I can't, I got my brace on" is not an acceptable answer to "eat your peas, please" any more than it is to "hang on a minute", and that "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA" is never an acceptable way of saying "help me please"?