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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.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Yesterday was Day Three of "Mommy and Robby's California Adventure." He was exhausted after the day running through the aquarium and "swimming" in the shark tank, and I wasn't sure he would want to do anything except veg out and relax. I should have known that a toddler never wants to relax. First thing in the morning, after stretching and begging me to take him to the potty, he reminded me that we were going to the Disneyland amusement park.

He told everybody we saw that he was going to Disneyland. Robby and Miguel, the hotel chef, had a lengthy conversation about what rides were best and where he could meet Mickey Mouse. Robby secured a map from the front desk receptionist (although he was disappointed that his buddy Bob wasn't there) and he told the couple checking out of their room that he was going to see Mickey Mouse. He rolled down his window at stop lights to tell the other drivers that he was going to Disneyland, and he had a much too involved conversation with the toll booth lady on the subject of Pluto the Dog. Yes, my little boy was over the moon excited.

He was so excited that he began to cry when he saw Mickey Mouse's face made out of flowers at the gates to the theme park. He just broke down sobbing, telling me that he was so excited and happy today. I have to admit that I almost cried witnessing his reaction.

I did hours of research on the Internet before we left for California about Disneyland. One of the interesting facts that I learned was that children receive special recognition if they go to the park on their birthday. Okay, so Robby's birthday isn't actually until Sunday, but I figured we were close enough to celebrate. I put on his "I'm the Birthday Boy shirt" while I donned the "Mommy of the Birthday Boy" shirt in order to legitimize my claim. Robby was immediately bestowed a "Birthday button" with him name written on it. For the rest of the day, every park employee wished Robby a happy birthday, and he got preferential seating on the rides.

Much by mistake, I discovered that Disneyland offers preferential access to rides for disabled guests. Perhaps this is the case at all amusement parks and I have been unaware of this courtesy. I admit that I felt guilty using the special ride access allowing us to bypass the winding rope lines and the waiting. After all, I am fully able to walk and do not consider myself to be "disabled enough" to use the special access.

However, my guilt quickly waned as Robby and I were ushered past the snaking lines directly onto the next available seats. I was saved a lot of walking but, more importantly, I avoided the time spent just standing. Being an amputee, I find standing still more difficult and painful than walking. After several minutes my stump begins to ache and my prosthetic becomes uncomfortable. My exhaustion after amusement park adventures stems more from the time spent standing on my prosthetic versus the time spent ambulating.

Being an amputee, I have become accustomed to being uncomfortable and having to adapt. Every day I must compensate for my limb loss. If I am granted a courtesy that allows me to more fully enjoy an experience, I am going to accept it. The perks of being an amputee are few and far between, but amusement park ride access at Disneyland certainly ranks among the best!

Robby enjoyed most of the rides, but absolutely adored the "It's a Small World" ride. This slow moving boat ride meanders through a world of animated dolls. "It's a Small World" plays on a loop for the duration of the 11 to 14 minute ride (depending upon how it takes the passengers to disembark). Robby was enthralled each of the ten times we went on the ride. Yes, we went on the ride for a total of ten times, with each ride lasting at least 11 minutes, we spent a total of one hour and fifty minutes watching animated dolls belt out the catchy short little tune. I deserve a Mommy of the Year button!

We spent eight hours at Disneyland, and we had a great time. We met Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Pluto, and Goofy. We played on Donald Duck's boat and ate ice cream with Clarabelle the Cow. After so much fun and excitement, we were both worn out by the time we returned to our hotel.

Robby fell asleep quickly and slept soundly throughout the night. I struggled trying to go to sleep. Every time I laid my head down, I kept hearing the "It's a Small World" song. I literally thought I was out of my mind. It sounded so real it scared me. I tossed and turned trying to push the tune out of my mind but I was not successful. I went to the bathroom and still heard the song in my head. I checked my email and heard the tune. Finally I was too tired to fight sleep and surrendered to my "It's a Small World" dreams.

I woke up this morning, feeling quasi-refreshed but happy that the song is no longer looping in my head. Robby and I got dressed for breakfast and I picked up his clothes from the night before. Underneath his "I'm the Birthday Boy" shirt I discovered my sanity.

I found the little music snow globe we bought at Disneyland. I didn't realize that Robby had been playing with it the night before. The switch on the bottom was moved to the on position, but the toy was silent. Apparently the battery had worn out from playing "It's a Small World" all night long!


  1. lol that is to funny about the song--but after reading your facebook and seeing the pictures, I to heard the song when going to bed--I tried getting ride of it with the pirate of the carrabien ride song I so love to go on when we go. We discovered the 'special treatment' last time when it was my birthday (didn't know about the special till we got there--and even as an adult I though-ally enjoyed being treated special on my 40th there). Even though we had brought my son there many times as a baby, we never got the 'special pass' or as we deemed it the magic card till he was 8. At first I two felt guilty about using it since we don't want him treated as having a 'disability' but the year before he had gone with his grandparents, a day after receiving a new leg and at the end of the night at the opposite side of the park--his foot fell off! Talk about a panic when they had maintenance call for an alen wrench (which they didn't have) and hearing that my son's foot had fallen off on one of their rides (not realizing it was a prosthetic foot at first lol) We were disappointed to learn that the 'magic kingdom' had no help for this situation and didn't even offer help to get him through the park. He had to walk without a foot, half carried by my aging father-in-law at closing time! We went prepared after that--never leave home without a proper tool to re-attach, and we mentioned the problem from the last time when we checked in. We were then given the 'magic ticket' and informed that he can always get one. For a family of 6 it made for an amazing stay. We had saved our tax return to make a week of park hopping. We saw and rode everything! Something we couldn't have done without it. My son never complained of pain from standing, but he was younger and always on the move, not wanting to miss a thing. Now at 12 I see were standing still bothers him. Thank you for talking about that--it helps me to understand what is really going on with his leg and what could be his way of 'taking the easy way out' since at 12 he has learned to use his leg as a way to do that. He lives at the clinic at school when there is nothing wrong so he can skip class, they usually catch on at the end of the year lol. He can be in the clinic during class but as soon as lunch and playground time comes he can be seen running, playing basketball and showing no signs of pain lol.

    Make sure that whenever you go to places like Disney that you ask if there is a special pass, most wont offer unless you mention it. I see it as help for the leg and also a small bonus for being an amputee. It's given my son confidence and a 'hero' type status with my other kids--my older two say they would never go to a park without him lol (and he is the more immature and a lot of the time annoying kid I have for teenagers lol) can't wait to here how the photo shoot goes and hope the globe has replaceable batteries so Robby doesn't get upset!

  2. Awe Peggy... This is soooo cool!