No Guilt Nonni

Oh, my. Poor Nonni.

If you’ve read my recent post about snow tubing, you’ll know that I have a pretty badly bruised right arm and some cracked or bruised ribs.

This is, without a doubt, my biggest ever “ouchie”. I am finding it very hard to sleep (did you know that you need your thoracic ribs to roll over?), to laugh (holy chest pain), to sneeze (catch me, I’m going to faint) or to cough (I’m going to throw up, I mean it, get that bucket, I am serious!)

My right arm just keeps swelling, getting more and more purple/black/orange/blue/yellow with every passing hour.

Me no likies. Me wicked sore.

Nevertheless, being Nonni, I agreed to watch the kids yesterday. My daughter stepped up on Tuesday, so I did get a whole day of rest after my big tubing adventure.

But after that, I really wanted to see the kids. I missed them! I needed them! So yesterday I took care of my two grandchildren. I wanted them. I needed to be with them.

And I wanted to prove that I could handle a little ol’ tubing crash without missing a beat.

So I lifted Johnny with my left arm (ouch. I didn’t know my ribs would be so connected). I snuggled Ellie on my lap (Yikes, did you know your ribs were connected to your lap?) I changed some diapers and served some meals and some snacks. I helped Johnny climb into his crib for a nap (oh, man, ribs are used for lifting on the other side?), but I had to lift him out when he woke up (ouch, ow, ow, ouw).

You get the picture, right?

One cannot Nonni with only one working arm.

Last night I woke up every time I tried to 1) roll over 2) cough 3) breathe. Every rib I have ever met seemed to be screaming at me.

When I got up this morning, I was surprised (and completely disgusted) to see that my entire right arm was swollen like a sausage.


But what could a Nonni do? I got up, took my shower without looking at the ugly purple appendage on my right, and got ready to take care of the kids.

I tried. I did.


You cannot wrestle an 18 month old boy out of his poopie clothes and into his clean ones without your ribs. You can’t snuggle a sad 3 year old in your arms without using your right arm. No matter how hard you try, you can’t wipe down two wet dogs with one working arm. You can’t make pasta, or a sandwich, or get a snack for three hungry toddlers without dragging that aching right arm into service.


I did it.

I did what no self-respecting Italian Nonni would ever do.

I asked for help.

I texted my daughter, telling her that I wasn’t able to keep the kids safe with my one working arm. I told her that she needed to come home from work early, and that I didn’t think I should have the kids tomorrow.

I felt breathless with guilt. I felt weak, worthless, upset, guilty.

And then my daughter came home.

“Mom,” she said calmly, “You’re hurt. You can’t watch the kids. It’s fine.”

And just like that, the guilt and weakness and oh-poor-me lifted off of me.

Tomorrow I plan to sit still, with ice on my arm. I plan to read. I plan to take my ibuprofen and use my ice packs.

Tomorrow I will be Boo-Boo Nonni instead of Super Nonni. And I will be OK with that.

It isn’t easy, let me tell you, but even an Italian Nonni can find a way to give her swollen purple arm and her smashed up ribs a chance to heal.

Thanks, Kate!!!

This was the first night….you should see how gross it is now…….

21 thoughts on “No Guilt Nonni

  1. oh, you poor thing! and to think i found the humor in what happened, i had no idea you were so hurt and i take it back. like you, i try my best to always help or spend time with my grandies, but it’s good that you could step up and ask for what you needed. it works like magic, but it’s the hardest thing to do sometimes. please ice up and do nothing but relax and spoil yourself. )


    • oh, but I laugh out loud every time I imagine myself hurtling down the hill! It is a big old ouchie, but it could have been so much worse! I am just really lucky to have a daughter who doesn’t even understand the whole guilt thing. She just said, “You can’t do it. Get better. Done.” I’m lucky, in spite of my big old ouchie boo boo.


  2. Now way am I “liking” this post. That arm is horrendous and I can only imagine the ribs. Think perhaps a little visit with the doctor might be in order?? That’s a whole lot of bleeding into the tissues in that arm. It might need some attention!


  3. First response: OUCH!
    Second response: OUCH!!
    Get those ice bags lined up, no sneezing and call in the reserve nonni forces.
    I’ve bang up my ribs before and feel for you – seems like everything you do involves the ribs.
    Have I said it yet? OUCH!!!
    My ribs are starting to hurt just thinking about it. Take care of yourself.


  4. Wow, that’s some bruise. Glad you are taking care of yourself. We grandmas push ourselves and forget we need some pampering too. But I would have done the same thing. Feel better.


  5. Your tubing days are over! I hope you are feeling better. Be patient that you need to rest and heal, which doesn’t work well with caring for toddlers. Don’t feel guilty, feel sorry for yourself! You have a really bad injury.


    • Aw, you’re the best. Can you come here and keep reminding me? Its a tough situation because Kate is a teacher with limited time off and Sam works from home and is a consultant. We can’t just have me stop everything….Luckily, they are very supportive, the kids understand and my husband is happy to pick up the slack. I actually feel a lot better by day now. It’s the “sleeping” that is impossible….sigh.


  6. It’s very typical that pain is worse at night when we try to sleep. There’s nothing to distract us from it in the dark room! So do Aleve or something stronger. I feel so bad that something that should have been fun turned into such agony. I give you great credit for trying.


      • No, you’re not a whiner, those are some wicked painful injuries! And we don’t heal as quickly as when we were kids sledding as opposed to grandmothers tubing. I have to say my Flexible Flyer days seem like yesterday, as opposed to many decades.


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