Addie: Nathan talks to me ALL THE TIME. And he makes fun of my hair. AND he does bunny ears to me. He chases me around at recess and he is always making funny faces at me.

Me: Sounds like Nathan likes you.

Addie: What? Why would he do all that weird stuff if he likes me?

Me: The weirder a boy is around you, the more he likes you.

Addie: Pfft, it’s more like ‘The weirder a boy is around Addie, the less SHE likes HIM.’

Me: May that always be your answer.

Addie: Hey, is that why dad’s so weird?

Me: Pretty much.

Vivi was beating @cb_ute with sidewalk chalk.

While we’re on the subject of Addie, and since I’m kind of new to this whole “parenting second graders” gig, can we talk about something for a minute?

Addie likes to pretend she has broken bones.

She’ll wrap her wrist up in a scarf and hang it in a sling around her neck. Or she’ll wrap her entire leg in a scarf and hobble around begging for crutches.

This is, normal? No?

I mean, I used to pretend I had a broken arm too. I’d also melt down Jolly Ranchers to make a “retainer.” Then there was the “pretending I had asthma” thing.

It’s just something kids do? Or maybe something just Addie and I do?

Perhaps it’s a desperate cry for attention?

Let’s just say I felt a lot better about my parenting when I asked twitter “So, do your kids ask if you can go out to eat ALL THE TIME?” and everyone said “YES ALL THE TIME!”

So, what I’m saying is, your kids pretend they have injuries too, right?


  1. oh yes, i used tin foil for braces and used to talk out loud to myself in stores (in made up foreign languages).and my 9 year old and her bff wrapped themselves up in ace bandages the other day. twin sprained ankles. yep. it’s all weird in the best possible kid kinda way.

  2. Yep. Totally normal.

    K, for her 8 year old Christmas, ONLY wanted the American girl wheelchair. For her birthday this year, she got the cast and crutches. Poor Felicity breaks limbs daily.

    She has always been injury prone, so I don’t remember a lot of her pretended that she has hurt herself, but in pretend play with dolls? Yep. All.the.time.

  3. I totally did this. I found my dad or mom’s bowling glove (not that they bowled. No idea why we had one) and pretended I had sprained my wrist.

    Ace bandages are cool, too.

    And I did the foil braces, too! I forgot about that. LoL

  4. Yes! This was me forever..ace bandages, a neck brace and wrist brace were my favorite playthings. I once twisted my ankle in3rd grade and played it up too much because soon I was being carried down the hall to the nurse wondering how I was going to get out of this one. Totally normal at that age.

  5. My brother-in-law’s baby sister asked for, and was given, child sized crutches for Christmas 1.5 years ago. She is obsessed with them, thinks they’re the greatest. In fact, she also got some for her American Girl doll and they play hospital together! I think she’s in second grade, too so I’m guessing it’s totally a normal stage.

  6. Yep. My almost 8 year old stepdaughter is also obsessed with wanting all the injury related accessories for her American Girl doll. Wheelchair, crutches, etc. She also wanted braces and headgear for her doll. And, she begs for my fabric scraps when I’m crafting so she can wrap up her bear’s arm or leg because it’s “broken”. Kids are strange.

  7. My mom used to hide all the band aids and Ace bandages. She said she got tired of buying them every week, or some such nonsense. Totally normal. Well, strange, but normal.

  8. Ha! I remember melting those stick Jolly Ranchers to the top of my mouth for a retainer. I wore my friend’s glasses because I so desperately wanted my own (what I wouldn’t give now to not have to correct my vision…). I even remember using crutches. I also wanted to be left-handed. I was also weird, what can I say?

  9. Oh yes, my 10 year old still does it! If she has a small scratch on her finger, she has to make an enormous brace type cover out of paper towels. Though I will say that when she did break 3 bones on top of her foot and had to wear a boot for a couple months, that slowed it down quite a bit. haha. I guess it isn’t as fun when you have to actually wear something full time.

  10. haha – yes, definitely did those things.

  11. Yep- we’ve had lots of ‘broken’ bones here too. Typically they use toilet paper to wrap it up.

    I had to put the crutches in the attic, I was tired of hearing them argue over them. And try to take them out in public : )

  12. My best friend’s little girl walked around with her bandaged up for a week. I actually thought she had hurt herself, only to find out it was a pretend injury. I am guessing it is totally normal. 🙂

  13. Oh puh-lease my son went through that phase forever. The last “big” incident was a couple years ago – after football practice he threw himself on the floor and declared his spleen broken. Which of course is now a standing joke between my husband and I. So it makes for great fodder. 😛

  14. TIN FOIL RETAINER! HAHAHAHA. Totally did that! WOW, forgot about that. I used to love playing with the ace bandages too. Was always wrapping my wrist or ankle up…always. It’s just a kid thing.

  15. I feel so, so much better. I did this as a child. Constantly had a “broken” or “sprained” ankle or wrist. Walked on crutches when I found them and it was always a medical crisis in my doll’s lives. My sister, brother and mother used to laugh about it (they might still) and I was always embarrassed about what an odd child I was! Now I am know I am not alone! Yes!

  16. My girls LOVE to pretend injuries. My 9 year old pretends to break her arm, in spite of the fact that’s she’s already done it for real. And both girls are gymnasts who (I think) understand how badly an injury will sidetrack their plans, and they see others with injuries regularly.

    I think they’re nuts, but a normal kind of nuts, at least.

  17. It could be for attention but this is totally normal. I think all kids go through this phase or at least just the time alone when they want crutches. Just like braces and glasses. I remember when everyone wanted them…until they got them.

  18. No kids here yet BUT I did this all the time as a kid too. Baby blankets were casts and slings, I desperately wanted glasses before I actually needed them, I wanted braces though I never needed them. My dolls broke limbs all the time. And I remember my little sis doing all those things too!

  19. I did that as a kid ALl THE TIME. I pretended I had:

    broken bones
    poor eyesight

    It was really fun & cool until I had those things (except cancer. haven’t had that, thank God.)

  20. I love your response to Addie 😀 JUST perfect!!

    We used to pretend we had broken bones. Until one of us broke one. Then we were over it, because, um, ouch. So, my kids HAVEN’T done the pretending, but that’s because my youngest broke his arm while my oldest was in Kindergarten 😀

  21. I totally used to do stuff like this. This article: explains what my reasoning was exactly. Haha…no worries. Addie’s totally normal. Also, her comments about the boy in her class and Cody: hilarious. 🙂

  22. YES. I remember straightening out a paper clip and bending it over my top teeth to pretend I had braces. Needless to say when I did eventually get braces it was not as fun as I had hoped. Oh and I used to try to break my arm because I wanted a cast so badly. Didn’t work. Addie is totally normal!

  23. The conversation with Addie about “boys” was too funny.
    So so true.
    My husband’s weird too – and that’s a good thing!
    I’ve decided everything about children is “normal”. Part of us as creative individuals!
    Always love your posts up here in Alberta. You’re great.

  24. yes. that’s totally normal. i did it all the time and my 2nd grader does it also. just a ‘thing’ i guess. so far i haven’t had the conversation about boys with savannah – i’m sure it is coming much sooner than i am ready for. all of my friends have younger kids, so i am the lone parent of an ‘older’ kid. it’s so comforting to hear about what you and addie are going through.

  25. Totally normal!! J is 8 – third grade and it is always a break or sprain or there is blood. I buy boxes of Dollar Store bandages to appease her. She discovered the surgical tape when she was about 3 and went through 2 rolls in less than an hour -operating- on her stuffies. Now she wraps her appendages in her pretty scarfs as casts and slings. Her fake cough is hilarious too.

  26. I rocked the straightened paper clip braces!

    My son (who started 3rd grade today) found an ace bandage in the dark depths of a bathroom cabinet this summer and had me wrap his “broken arm” almost daily.

    Is anything kids do at this age “normal”? 🙂

  27. I sprained my ankle a few weeks ago and was on crutches for a spell. My 9 year old couldn’t wait until I was healed enough not to have to use them. She promptly shrank them down to her size and has been the envy of all the neighborhood kids because she has cruthes.

    Stacey Reply:


    oops *crutches*

  28. Yes! The best though was when my 4 year old daughter took her dad’s wrist brace to church with her in her “purse” and put it on while she was in Sunday School – the whole way to pick her up people were asking me what’s wrong with Ella Grace? I was starting to get really worried until I got to her room and she had that dirty, too big brace on – Sheesh!

  29. My daughter has not done this yet, but, I used to pretend I was blind until I was walking to the store with my dad and he didn’t hear me say “I’m blind dad, make sure I don’t run into anything”. Let’s just say I had an egg on my forehead for three days.

  30. Always pretending with the scarves, paper clip retainers, pretended to be blind for awhile. We also used to pretend to not speak English when we were out and about – used to drive my mom nuts!

    Comment about the annoying boys because I recently read something about this. It talked about how when we explain boys social awkwardness we need to let our girls know this should end (big boys and men who like you won’t be mean). I never thought about it that way – and I’ve used “he just likes you” numerous times in the past – this was a new point of view to me.

  31. For years I pretended I had a broken something. I soooo wanted crutches. It’s so exciting, you know??

    Until I ended up on crutches in 5th grade and I hated it. Hated being in pain. Hated being noticed. Because crutches in 5th grade? Whoa does everyone want to know you…mostly just to try out your crutches. 😉

  32. Yes, normal! I did that too when I was younger. I think it’s just an unfortunate reality that people who are sick or have some kind of disability do seem to get more attention or are told how “brave” and “inspirational” they are. And kids want a piece of that, because they don’t realize that there are also downsides to being sick or disabled.

  33. I totally did the tin foil braces thing. And my brother was obsessed with wrapping himself up with Ace bandages.

  34. Melting jolly ranchers? Genius!
    I would open a paper clip and bend it like a retainer. That was the best I did.
    Oh and I used to pretend that my feet pointed in when I walked. I guess I thought that was cooler.

  35. I would put foil on my teeth and my gum too, to give the illusion of braces. I would also read with my sunglasses on because I wanted glasses so bad. My dad busted me and yelled at me because it would ruin my eyes.

    I would also make up floor routines in my front yard, thinking I was Mary Lou Retton. I wonder how hard the neighbors must have laughed! haha. My baton was part of the routine, throwing it way up and trying to catch it.

  36. My daughter who is almost 15 used to wrap her arm up in TP for a “cast” and use ace bandages for “injuries”. I had hurt my foot once and she used my crutches more then me, lol!

  37. YES! Broken bones, bad backs, once even dead! She also at one time pretended that she was a neighbor (no one in particular) who’s house burned down and all of her family was dead. That one made me weirded out!!

  38. I used to be so embarrassed when my kids would “play dead” in the middle of K-Mart. After a while? Not so much.

    And yes – bandages when not needed, Ace Wraps around EVERYTHING, and don’t leave a cane or crutches around where they could find them. She’s perfectly normal.

    Just remind her that people who really need those things get first dibs.

  39. There is nothing really normal about any well adjusted, imaginative child. Embrace this philosophy and free yourself.

  40. ALL THE TIME! Buy a pair of crutches. It takes the imagination to a new level.

  41. Those rings they put around programs at weddings? Or used to (Am I showing my age?) They made great ‘clip on hoop earrings’ in 7th grade. I used straightened paperclips as a retainer, until I cut up my gums. So apparently I was a bit sadistic with my imagination. Now my girls (12 & 15) never really did anything like that, that I remember. Maybe it’s a special club.

  42. Yep, normal…I was pissed when I was in kindergarten & broke my arm too close to my shoulder for a cast…all I got was a lousy sling! Also, I thought I fooled the eye doctor into giving me reading glasses, which I desperately wanted in 5th grade. The joke was on me…I’ve been wearing contacts since 8th grade, and am now what some might consider legally blind…d’oh!

  43. I would *constantly* pretend to have broken limbs, and I would frequently roll our wheeled dining room chairs around the main level pretending I was in a wheelchair.
    I also made “retainers” out of gum or hard candy or wore my dad’s glasses (which resulted in me having a worse eye prescription than he does). So yes, normal.

  44. Yep! Normal as can be. I made my mom buy me “fashion” glasses with clear lenses so I could pretend I needed them. My four year old loves to pretend he needs a bandage or that he needs to go to the hospital. In fact, he is a good little actor–he once convinced my husband to take him to the ER while I was at work! Good times.

  45. My niece is in 2nd grade and her sister is 4. Their american girls have crutches and fake casts and a wheel chair. Not to mention the fact they pretend to be on crutches all the time, like this summer on the beach using large shovels and hoping around on crutches as the four year old would say…”I broke “nine” foot roller skating on my skate board.” just a phase I did the same thing.

  46. I teach the 3rd grade, so I basically hang out with 20 Addies every day. Every. Day.

    YES. This is 100% normal. Going to the nurse to get ice is the coolest (see what I did there) thing one can ever do. See also “I threw up a little bit in my mouth” and “This was bleeding yesterday, can I get a bandaid??”

    Please don’t think I’m mocking children or their “injuries”–they just all do it. Heaven help us if one of them ends up on crutches!!!

  47. I used to use plastic hockey sticks as crutches and my neighbor would ask if I was ok, then i’d drop them and run away. its something kids do.

  48. When we took my 8-yr-old son in a few months ago for an x-ray of his arm he pumped his fist and said, “Yesss!” when the doc came in to tell us it was indeed broken. Then he proceeded to tell us how he “prayed” it would be so he could get a cast.
    My other child gets unending pleasure bandaging up her American girl dolls and actually rigged up an IV pole for her using a plastic hanger. This from a child who has never been in a hospital so it can’t be due to experience. (American Girl sells a medical kit complete with cast so it can’t be that unusual.) She also has told me how jealous she was of her friend who broke her leg and woke up in the hospital surrounded by presents.
    So I guess either it is normal or we both just have weird kids.

  49. My son is too young to do it, but I pretended to be injured when I was a kid – I also thought boys with braces were the cutest and enjoyed watching any show or reading any book featuring a character with a broken bone or a sprain. I think its a typically kid thing!