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I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Special Day...

Every few months, I like to declare an "Official Day of Robby." I'm not really sure how or why the tradition started. The only rules to the day are that Robby gets to pick activities that he enjoys, and no toys are bought. He never knows when a Special Day is going to occur, so it is always a surprise.

I guess it was because he slept in until almost 8:00, but Saturday morning I woke up and decided that it would be a good day for a Special Day. Because it was his Special Day, I let Robby pick out our outfits for the day. He chose his orange shirt with Cookie Monster and he put me in a bright yellow babydoll style shirt. All dressed and fed, we were ready for our adventure to begin.

I packed him up to go to his favorite place, the local petting zoo. He absolutely loves going to the animal park. We've been season pass holders since he was born, and it is the best investment we make every summer.

When we entered the park, Robby ran to the platform stage in the center of the park. He threw his hands into the air and yelled, "Hello Amanils." Usual to his routine, he then walked over and gave his cone of food to the baby goat. He gets upset and shoos the other goats away when they approach the food. He will only give his cone to the baby goat.

After bidding hello to all of the animals individually, we proceeded to the Moon Bounce. The Bouncer is a new addition to the park this year. Until today Robby has been hesitant to enter. Feeling brave, he asked me to take off his shoes and cautiously crawled in.

He got about halfway into the Bouncer before fear set in. He pulled on my hand, wanting me to join him. Since it was his Special Day, I felt obligated.

I was in a quandary. I know that shoes need to be removed before entering the Bouncer. Did this also mean that I needed to remove my prosthetic? I reasoned that I should take off my leg. The reason shoes need to be removed is to prevent a puncture. Surely, I figured, the prosthetic would pose more of a puncture risk than shoes. Since we were the only two in the vicinity I didn't really think twice. Unfortunately, I failed to think of balance as an issue in a Bouncer. Big mistake!

I popped my leg off, and crawled into the bouncer. I stood up (on my one foot) and Robby stared at me. I told him to jump. He jumped. And jumped. And jumped. I jumped. And fell. And rolled. I landed in the crevice between the Bouncer and the netting wall.

I tried to crawl, but the bouncing kept pushing me back against the wall. I was being pushed further into the nook between the netting and the bouncer. I was stuck. Robby was laughing, and suddenly three other kids were in the Bouncer. All bouncing in different sections and at varying intervals and speeds. I had no choice but to cover my face and hope that the bouncing wouldn't last long.

Taking pity on me, the other parents summoned their children out of the bouncer after what had to be at least 5 minutes. I managed to convince Robby that it might be fun to lie down in the Bouncer. This bought me much needed time for me to crawl out of my bouncer prison.

I slipped my prosthetic on and assumed the position of dutiful parent as spectator. Discouraged because my attempt at being the "fun Mom" was yet again thwarted, I wasn't willing to give up. Lucky for me, the intercom came on to inform us that the wagon ride was ready.

Robby practically flew out of the bouncer when I asked him if he wanted a wagon ride. We hurriedly put on his shoes and he skipped over to the wagon. After all of the passengers were loaded; we were off.

Robby sat next to me, but he kept grabbing my prosthetic. At first I couldn't figure out why. When the wagon stopped to look at the zebras, he smiled and told me that he was helping. He said "Robby hold Momma leg. Momma leg fall off on wagon."

I felt a tinge of sadness mixed with pride when I realized what Robby was doing. He remembered my leg falling off on the family hayride. He didn't want my leg to fall off again, so he was trying to hold it on for me!

I felt bad that he was worried about me losing my prosthetic. I wanted him to relax and enjoy the wagon ride, but he seemed fixated on holding onto my leg. I also felt proud that he wanted to help me and that he was thinking beyond his own needs. It was an odd mixture of emotions.

After the ride, Robby ran over for the bunny "meet and greet." A man was there with his little girl who was almost as excited to see the bunny as was Robby. Deciding that it would be appropriate to start a conversation, I simply smiled and said hello. He then looked at me and said, "So, when is your little one due?"

My mind immediately went into overdrive. He thought I was pregnant. I have just lost over 100 pounds, and a stranger thinks I'm pregnant. Quick, I was searching my mind for a response.

I tend to be "witty" when faced with uncomfortable situations. I simply smiled and said, "June 6, 2006" which was Robby's due date. The man nodded, and then looked perplexed. Suddenly his face turned to a vivid crimson as he realized his mistake.

He stammered out an explanation that my shirt resembles a maternity shirt. I smiled, and was thankful when Robby became distracted by the turtle. I said goodbye and went with my little guy.

After nearly four hours of action packed animal park fun, we returned home. Daddy bought Chinese food for dinner, which is Robby's favorite. We made a cake. He then blew out candles and took a bubble bath. I filled Scott in with the details of our day, minus the Moon Bounce incident. My pride was too bruised to admit failure. I wanted to avoid the normal and, perhaps justified, "What were you thinking?" I did, however, put my bright yellow baby doll shirt in the pile for donation.

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