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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.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

House of Bounce... Ouch!

Every year, when Scott returns to work after summer vacation, I find myself having a difficult time staying home. It is probably the solitude of the house that compels me to seek adult conversation. This phase is as predictable as the seasons, but I know that soon I will fall into a comfortable routine with Robby. Eventually, my need to flee will subside.

This morning, after the laundry was hung to dry and the dishes were clean, I set out with Robby to have a fun adventure. We were originally going to the animal park, but, unfortunately, when we arrived it was closed due to inclement weather. This surprised me because it was 75 degrees and sunny. Robby became nearly inconsolable over not being able to feed the baby goat. I quickly diverted and drove to the reliable "House of Bounce" for a special afternoon.

In case you are unfamiliar with the wonderful play place that is the "House of Bounce," perhaps I should provide a brief description. Basically, it is a large warehouse filled with huge inflatable toys. The traditional Moonbounce, along with an extremely tall and steep inflatable slide and an obstacle course all grace this kiddy Utopia.

After we showed our "frequent bounce" card, Robby took off into the room. He had his shoes off before I caught up with him. Unfortunately, no other children were there. Robby had the place to himself, but it also meant that he didn't have a chance to play with other kids. The absence of a peer playmate meant that Mommy had to go into full swing fun kid mode. So much for enjoying a leisurely cup of coffee while Robby runs around.

I checked with the attendant who assured me that I was permitted to climb on the apparatus with a prosthetic. I reasoned that it should be okay because there aren't too many sharp edges on my leg and besides, Robby needed a play buddy. Yes, I have to admit that my quest to become the "Fun Mommy" reared its head again. I really should learn...

Although I didn't actually jump in the Moonbounce, Robby thoroughly enjoyed my playing a dinosaur stomping after him. I had a slight issue getting in and out of the bouncer, but the difficulty stemmed more from the size of the opening rather than the prosthetic. I did discover that the netting along the side of the Moonbounce does not support an adult weight. Luckily nobody except for Robby saw me fall head-over-rear out of the enclosure.

The Moonbounce was fun, but Robby couldn't get enough of the large slide. He could be coaxed into going down by himself, but that apparently wasn't nearly as much fun as having Mommy go down the slide first. The narrow and steep stairs were not designed for adult feet. Trying to maneuver up the bouncy staircase with a prosthetic merely added to the difficulty.

My first impression when I reached the top of the slide for the first time? "Dang, this is really high!" I was stuck because I knew that I would never be able to walk down the stairs. I had no choice but to slide. How bad could it be? After all, my three year old loves it.

I took a deep breath, shouted out "Cowabunga" and took a hopping leap. I bounced on my butt for the first 15 feet but then my bottom managed to adhere to the very fast, and very bouncy slide. I stopped sliding just in time to see my little daredevil following me down the slide, giggling and laughing.

So, for the next 90 minutes, Robby and I climbed the inflatable staircase and slid down the slide. I thought that he would tire of the game, but I was mistaken. By the time the "open bounce" came to an end, I was plain tuckered out.

I managed to lose the skin on both elbows going down the slide. I am also amazingly sore considering that the equipment was soft and inflatable. How can a slide filled with blowing air cause so many bruises? And why am I now having trouble moving my head to the right?

I keep trying to prove to Robby, or perhaps to myself, that my amputation will not hold me back. Perhaps I need to consider other factors in my zeal to becoming the "fun Mommy." I have come to the sad conclusion that my body is not nearly as agile as it was in my twenties. In addition to my amputation, maybe I need to consider my age before volunteering full participation.

Despite my battle wounds, Robby and I had a wonderful afternoon. He played through his nap-time, so I am hopeful that will translate into sleeping in beyond 6:15 tomorrow morning. After all, I am still looking forward to a leisurely cup of coffee at some point.

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