- 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.
Friday, October 24, 2014
Robby has been counting down the days, waiting for today to arrive. Earlier this week I decided to become a hero to my little boy by offering to take him and his friend to Pumpkinville for the afternoon. Pumpkinville is the huge Fall festival at the Animal Park. We try to go every year, but of course we missed last year because I was already feeling sick from the pregnancy. Robby never complained that he didn't get to go, but I wanted to make an effort to get him there this year.
Ever since I extended the invitation, Robby and his friend Kabir have been planning the afternoon. The friends are looking forward to jumping, sliding and petting all the animals. Kabir has never been to Pumpkinville, so Robby has enjoyed regaling him with teasers about what to expect.
In years past I have always been the one jumping and playing. Now he is growing up and no longer needs me as a playmate. I've accepted that my roles are to pay the admission, to purchase snacks and to schlep Timmy around as I desperately try to keep an eye on them. Part of me is sad to be displaced, but watching him so happy as he plays certainly nulls the rejection.
After we come home from Pumpkinville it will be all hands on deck for the remainder of the evening. Tomorrow is a big day! We are hosting "Robby and Timmy's Super Big Happy Halloween Trick-or-Treat Party." We are expecting about 20-25 kids, and we have a lot of work to do.
I'll be baking and prepping far into the evening as Scott and Robby work to ready the yard. We are renting a giant moonbounce slide, but the leaves need to be cleared from the area before it is delivered in the morning. (I also rented a cotton candy machine which I'm sure will be a big hit!) Chairs need to be set up, the sticks need to be gathered, and everything needs to be tidied up before the company arrives. The weather is supposed to be gorgeous with 70 degree temperatures and bright blue skies. It's my hope that we can keep everybody outside so traffic inside my house will be kept to a minimum.
Last night we went shopping for party supplies and we came home with the SUV packed with food, drinks and to quote Robby, a "crap ton" of candy. I admit that I may have gone overboard with the candy bags, but I couldn't figure out what I wanted and it all looked yummy. I guess that is what I get for going to the store hungry! Robby was in his element happily pulling decorations, plates and treats from the shelves. I love seeing the excitement on his little face.
The next few days will be busy, but I know that we are going to have a great time. I love throwing the Halloween party because it the perfect opportunity for everybody to get together to just have fun. Unlike birthday parties, there is no pressure to bring a gift and nobody is the "star." Instead, everybody can just run, eat, bounce, play and have fun. After the summer we've survived, we all deserve a party!
at 6:13 AM
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Yesterday morning was unusual to say the least. For the first time ever, I had an early morning appointment that simply could not be changed. I woke up at 4, quietly dressed and prepared myself for an extraordinarily long day. I was in the car, driving in the dark, before anybody else at the house was beginning to stir.
In order to accommodate my schedule, Scott had to assume Daddy duty. He took few hours of leave from work so that he could get the boys up, fed, dressed and dropped off at school. This was the first time that he has been responsible for both children on his own, and I am sure he would agree that his novice status was apparent.
My drive was quiet until about 6:00, and as soon as my phone began to ring I knew that Timmy was awake. Scott wanted to know what to feed him. At first I thought he was joking, but the seriousness of his tone led me to believe that he was sincere. I reminded him that Timmy does not yet have teeth and that a bottle for breakfast would be appreciated.
At 6:15 he called to let me know that Timmy sucked down his bottle, but spit up onto his work pants. I suggested that he change clothes, and keep a burp cloth on his lap. He agreed and hung up to change his clothes.
At 6:40 my phone rang again. This time he wanted to inform me that Robby was awake.
At 7:00 he called to find out how many Eggo waffles Robby would eat for breakfast.
The 7:30 phone call started a series of interactions that will go down as the Great Bread Debate. Scott called for instructions on how to pack Robby's lunch. I suggested that he make him a sandwich, but reminded him to cut off the crusts. This sparked a long exchange concerning the specific location of the bread crust, identifying the many sides that can be called a crust.
I contended that bread has four sides, and that each side has a crust. He believed that the only crust was the bottom and that sides were simply sides and not part of the crust. By 8:00 I couldn't believe that I had debated/discussed/ argued over bread crust for 30 minutes. I was frustrated with our inability to agree about the parts of a slice of bread and increasingly annoyed by the barrage of phone calls. We finally mutually agreed to end the conversation by deciding that Robby would have noodles instead of a sandwich.
I realize that wrangling both kids in the morning while trying to get ready for work can be frustrating. After all, I do it every day! However, the excessive phone calls became a bit overwhelming. When I finally switched off my phone, I couldn't decide if he was really that overwhelmed or if he was trying to be annoying. When I picked up Robby, I realized the answer. Somehow my little Koopa went to school with both his shirt and his pants on backwards.
Sigh. On the bright side, I've discovered that my family needs me.
at 6:18 AM
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Every year since Robby was little we have gone apple picking. He thoroughly enjoys running through the orchard, wielding a long pole in the quest for the perfect fruit. Considering that he has no interest in ingesting anything apple related, his zeal for picking apples is a bit surprising. I'm sure that the fun lies entirely with the basket pole, which he considers to be a fierce weapon against the fruit laden trees.
With Robby transformed into an apple slaying knight seeking out the high hanging foe, Timmy and I dutifully trotted behind. Remembering the uneven ground littered with fallen fruit, I opted to forgo the stroller in lieu of wearing him on my chest. Although it was considerably easier than pushing a stroller, I felt a lot of anxiety walking through the orchard because I couldn't see my feet over Timmy. I was constantly worried that I was going to step on an apple or into a hole and fall.
Not wanting my falling anxiety to interfere with the fun, I tried to maintain a carefree demeanor as I gingerly and deliberately walked through the trees. (You never realize how many apples fall off the tree until you try to avoid walking on them.) Between trying to keep track of my feet and avoiding being hit by the long picking pole that Robby swore he could handle, I was mentally exhausted by the time the basket was filled.
Timmy felt none of the angst I experienced and smiled throughout the picking adventure. He loved being outside, looking at the trees and people. He was content being worn and was snug and warm as I schlepped both of us through the field.
By the time Robby had finally slayed enough apples, I was more than ready to head home. I love spending time with him, but sometimes our family traditions are considerably more difficult to execute with an infant. That being said, there was something particularly wonderful seeing my little boy pick apples that are going to be made into applesauce for his baby brother.
at 6:25 AM
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Everyday being Robby's Mom is an adventure. I never know what he will say, do or observe. He certainly keeps me on my toes!
When I pick him up from school each day I have habitually asked his teacher if he had a good day. Although yesterday she said that he did, I could tell by the smirk on her face that there was more to the story. After retrieving Robby from the playground for me, I asked him if he had fun and what he learned. He said that he had a good day and that he learned about synonyms.
At this point, he went to retrieve his worksheet from his cubby. He handed me his papers and went to say goodbye to a friend. When I was alone with his teacher, she took the opportunity to lean in and tell me another "Robby story." (I'm really glad that she is laid back with a good sense of humor because this happens more often than I care to admit.)
"Today we were working on synonyms and Robby did a great job. He was able to come up with a synonym for every word I provided, and at the end he asked for a challenge. Without really thinking too much about it, I asked him to tell me a synonym for a bully."
She really didn't need to finish the story because I was fairly confident I knew where she was going with it. Not knowing how to end the conversation without the conclusion being offered, I tried to smile and nodded as she spoke.
"He said it was a really big challenge and that he would think about it. I started serving lunch when he suddenly interrupted. With his hand wildly waving in the air and hopping up and down, I asked him what he needed. Without hesitating, he walked over to me and had me kneel down so that he could whisper something in my ear."
At that point I felt quasi-relieved that he had at least requested to whisper his answer. I know Robby well, and I had a good idea of what he had said.
Proud as a peacock, my little guy continued to whisper his answer to his teacher. "I figured out your synonym challenge. A synonym for bully is a$$hole. Am I right? A$$hole is a good synonym for bully."
All I could do was smile and thank my lucky stars that his teacher finds him endearing. Last night, we had yet another discussion about appropriate and inappropriate language. After our parental lecture, Robby looked at us with his inquisitive bright brown eyes and said, "But I'm right, aren't I? A$$ beep is another word for bully." Instead of launching into another discussion about which word was inappropriate, I handed him a cookie and hid in the bathroom.
at 7:37 AM
Monday, October 20, 2014
Friday afternoon I picked up Robby and his friend Rowan from school for a special adventure. (Rowan is the neighbor up the street whom I watch every morning before dropping her off at school.) The pair have been working on me for weeks, trying to casually hint that a trip to Chuck E Cheese would be a lot of fun. (They saw a commercial promising free tickets to every child who comes in costume.) Of course, there is nothing casual when it comes to the hints generated by eager eight year olds!
The pair schemed as they desperately tried to turn every conversation around to Chuck E Cheese. "Hey Momom, I'm a little worried about my bones. I feel like they could break at any minute. I think I need to eat more calcium. Hmmm.... (scratching his head) Did you know that cheese has a lot of calcium? Wow, Chuck E Cheese has pizza with cheese, and it's probably loaded with calcium." He isn't going to win any awards for being discrete.
After a few days I mentioned that perhaps we should to go Chuck E Cheese on Friday after school. They both leaped off the couch and started jumping up and down in the living room, ironically knocking over a full cup of milk which was also loaded with calcium. While going to the pizza arcade is not my favorite activity, knowing how much my little guy loves it makes the noises, smells, stickiness and expense worth it. After all, where else can you blow $80 in tokens in the quest to win a plastic duck valued at $1?
Proudly wearing Halloween costumes, and insisting that Hamlet wear a costume too so that they could take his tickets, we set out for the arcade. I wasn't sure how Timmy would respond to the lights and sounds. Sometimes he becomes too stimulated and melts down. As it turns out, he takes after his big brother when it comes to his love of Chuck E Cheese. Smiling from ear to ear as we walked around the arcade, Timmy never stopped cooing and giggling.
After three hours and a small fortune, the friends were finally ready to cash out their tickets at the prize wall. I find this to be the most torturous part of the experience. After standing and wearing Timmy the entire time, I was ready to just go home. I was hoping for a smooth transaction, but I knew that it wouldn't be possible. It takes them forever to decide which plastic novelty they want to claim. Ironic that it takes them so long to chose because the cheap plastic toy is quickly forgotten as it becomes lost in the abyss of the toy box.
At this juncture I try to take a deep breath and remind myself that it is the journey, not the toy, that is important. Somehow it lessens the blow to think that I spent a tidy sum on an afternoon of family fun. The cheaply made gigantic toy duck with a mustache was simply a bonus, which incidentally I'm fairly certain has already been lost.
at 6:38 AM