About Me

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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 30, 2012

Dutch Wonderland!

Friday morning we decided to pack up Robby and spend the day at Dutch Wonderland Amusement Park designed primarily for children under 10. Scott and I enjoy the lack of lines, the cheaper prices for admission and food, as well as the plentiful shade trees. Robby loves that he is able to ride everything, including the "ginorously big roller coaster."

I never ask for a discount because of my "handicapped" status, but I am not above accepting one when offered to me. There are so few perks to living as an amputee that I will certainly take a benefit when it is presented! I was delighted when we were offered a hefty discount on our admission tickets and I graciously accepted the "disabled courtesy rate" when it was offered. With our budget for the day suddenly padded, we headed into the park for a day of rides and fun.

Robby took off skipping to the first ride in his sights- the Space Shuttle. (It is the same ride as the traditional pirate ship, minus the nautical theme.) There was no line for the ride, which meant that Robby could stay in his seat and continue the stomach jumping fun for multiple turns. My little thrill seeker was all grins. Scott and I were both turning an odd shade of grey. We quickly realized that we needed to take turns if we were going to survive the day.

After four times on the Space Shuttle and only after the promise of returning to ride more, we finally convinced Robby to explore more rides. He quickly spotted the swings and took off towards them. We all took our seats, Scott took my leg to a secure location (I learned the hard way never to ride the swings with a prosthesis because it will fly off) and we buckled in and prepared to take flight. I could hear Robby squealing through the entire ride, and there was no doubt that he was having a blast.

When the ride ended, we were permitted to stay in our seats for another turn. Before I had a chance to fully weigh my decision to ride again, we were up in the air and spinning. Around and around and up and down. Robby was giggling and pointing out every landmark he was spotting from our quickly moving vantage point. My eyes were shut and I was concentrating on breathing. My goal morphed from surviving the ride to not vomiting while I was in motion.

Scott must have sensed my sudden onset nausea because he brought me my leg in record time. I staggered off the ride and asked the 16 year old attendant to point me in the direction of the nearest restroom.  Meanwhile Robby and his Daddy hopped on the swings to ride again.

Thankfully the restroom was closer than I anticipated, which is good because I arrived in the nick of time. With my head down, I ignored everybody and went to the first available stall. I recall hearing a few people saying "excuse me" in an annoyed tone. I made a mental note to apologize for pushing my way in line but assumed that any questions would be answered when the vomiting commenced.

There is no pride in vomiting at an amusement park. It is a sign that my body is getting old and cannot handle the spinning. I hate getting old!  I have become the Mom on the sidelines, holding the water bottles and watching her family ride from the comfort of a nearby park bench.

I tried to hold my head high despite the fact that I had just been sick. Stepping out of the stall, I knew that my day of riding was done. Only when I walked to the sink to splash water on my face did I notice the long line of men standing against the wall, all frantically trying to zip up.

It took me a moment to process, but was instantly humiliated when I realized my mistake. I had run into the wrong bathroom. The barrage of "excuse me" were not by annoyed women with husky voices- they were from surprised men! 

Trying to muster as much dignity as possible, I profusely apologized. I tried to explain that the swings were making me sick and that I'm too old to ride. I yammered on about how I used to love the swings when I was young, but something has happened to my inner ear when I hit 30. I joked about how my husband was still on the ride with my little boy and that he will be the hero for the day. It was only then that I realized that my captive audience wanted me to leave instead of offering a long winded rambling explanation. I screamed "sorry" as I ran out of the door.

By the time I returned from my adventure in the men's room, Scott and Robby were climbing out of the ride after 5 consecutive turns. He bought me a pretzel, a bottle of water and proceeded to laugh as I recounted the incident. The boys had a great day riding together. I assumed my new role as park Sherpa, holding the bottles and bags while dutifully following the pair from ride to ride.

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