- 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, December 19, 2014
Little Timmy is smack dab in the middle of my favorite stage of babyhood. He can sit independently and entertain himself for minutes on end allowing me time to go to the bathroom or get another cup of coffee without a companion. I know that when I put him in the center of the floor, he will still be there when I come back.
I absolutely adore this stage, but I know that it is fleeting. Timmy is eager to start crawling; he is only lacking the coordination to move. It won't be long before he figures it out, and with this discovery everything changes.
We are woefully unprepared for baby mobility! I have banned Robby from teaching Timmy how to crawl hoping to stave off the skill as long as possible. It is only a matter of time before Timmy happens upon the method, and then there will be no stopping him. I had planned on digging out the baby gates over Scott's Christmas break, but the glint in Timmy's eyes has motivated me to move up my timeline. This weekend will be spent baby-proofing the house which I suspect will not be an easy task.
In the next few weeks everything is about to change. Timmy will be moving around and getting into everything within reach. I'm fairly confident I won't have to renew my gym membership because just keeping up with him will be a work-out. He has a look of mischief about him, and judging from the way he hops, I suspect he is a daredevil as well. This little baby is going to keep me on my toes!
at 4:50 AM
Thursday, December 18, 2014
Yesterday afternoon was nothing short of magical. Timmy and I listened and danced to Christmas carols all day while baking cookies. (Okay, I did most of the dancing but since he was strapped to my chest, I will count him as a participant.) By the time Scott and Robby came home, the house was filled with delicious aromas and an abundance of holiday cheer.
Sitting around the dining room table eating dinner, I felt overwhelmed with gratitude and joy. Robby was happily munching on and praising the roasted chicken. Between bites, Scott was talking about plans for the holiday, and Timmy was in his high chair, playing with some Gerber puffs.
Instantly my tranquil moment shattered. Timmy began to cough, and within seconds he was gasping for air. He was drooling prolifically, and suddenly his coloring changed. He turned pink, then red, and then purple. He looked like a little plum! The revelation that he was choking was one of the scariest moments of my life.
Without thinking I scooped him out of his high chair, put his back against my chest and pushed upward on his stomach. At first nothing happened, so I did it again. I have never been so relieved to hear him cough! After a few more gasps for air and coughing, the remnants of a Gerber puff was deposited on my shoulder.
He choked on the food product geared towards a child of both his age and development. The puff canister clearly states that the treat dissolves on contact with the tongue, and are perfect for babies who are new eaters and independent sitters. The stupid puff didn't dissolve, and the results could have been catastrophic.
Timmy had a rough evening after the puff was dislodged. At first he was incredibly lethargic to the point where he couldn't keep his eyes open. Then the vomiting began, forcing him to expel everything that had been in his little tummy. After the vomiting subsided and his hiccups quieted, he returned to being my happy little boy. (Incidentally it was Robby who garnered the first big gummy smile after the incident.)
My mind has been spinning since the incident. Scott and I are both blaming ourselves for providing him with the puffs. Although logically we know that we did nothing wrong (after all, Timmy met all of the criteria for the food), I suppose parents always feel guilty. In addition to the guilt, I have not been able to shake the earth-shattering sense of terror I felt as I watched him struggle to breath. The outcome could have been so different and that has me paralyzed with fear.
I love my boys so much and will always try to keep them safe. Yesterday was an unwelcome reminder that life can change in an instant. I am sure much of today will be spent watching Timmy like a hawk and contacting the Gerber company about their non-dissolving puffs!
at 4:39 AM
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Last week I received the program for Robby's Holiday Concert at school. I was shocked to read that he was slated to perform a piano recital during the festivities. I asked him why he didn't tell me, and he simply shrugged and said it was no big deal. A few minutes later he came back into the room and asked, "What, exactly is a piano recital anyway?"
I have no idea what he perceived he would be doing, but it certainly wasn't close to a recital. His ignorance about the term was definitely working for him. He was cool as a cucumber until he learned exactly what he would be doing. Needless to say, he quickly realized that playing alone in front of an audience was, indeed, a big deal.
Yesterday morning he was almost as nervous as me. Although he enjoys playing the piano and taking lessons, he is less than diligent about practicing daily. I am lucky if we hear him play a few times a week. Probably tired of hearing me hound him to practice, three weeks ago he told me that he has no aspirations of becoming a "piano man." Instead, he explained his rationale for wanting to learn the instrument. "You see Momom, someday when I'm grown up and at a bar, I will be able to play the piano. Girls like guys that know how to play the piano."
Yikes! I was not ready for the conversation. I could have revealed that girls are only likely to be impressed if he could play something more than Row Row Row Your Boat and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, but I didn't want to burst his bubble. What can I say, at least he was honest about his intentions behind learning.
So yesterday morning my little boy, who sporadically practices and only wants to learn because he wants to woo women, timidly sat behind the keyboard and played for the student body and their guests. His playing was methodical and deliberate, carefully making sure to accurately press the correct keys. He did a wonderful job!
He may not aspire to be a professional musician, but I think my little lady's man is well on the road towards achieving his goal.
at 5:11 AM
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
In spite of the infant travel snafus, we had a wonderful time in Williamsburg, VA. Robby and his Daddy had a blast on the rides and, although Timmy was squirmy, I did enjoy the time spent strolling with my littlest guy. When he was awake, he loved looking at the people and taking in the sights. After having dinner with Santa (solidifying Robby's belief for at least one more year), we knew it was time to head back to the hotel. Timmy was fast asleep in his stroller, the temperature was starting to drop, and the crowds were increasing. On our way out of the park, we answered Robby's pleas and agreed to "just one more ride."
I'm so glad that we decided to stay. Seeing the long and meandering line for the sky ride, Robby asked that I accompany him on his final ride. Although I would like to think he wanted to spend time with me, in my heart I know he wanted to jump the line with my disability access band. Taking my hand, he led me up the exit so that we could avoid the wait. Scott (and sleeping Timmy) sat next to a large snowman and waited for us to return.
Robby may have only wanted me on the ride because of my fast-pass access, but I am not going to complain. It turns out that we were able to forge a memory that I will always cherish. Thinking about those few minutes spent together in the sky ride still brings me to tears. (Of course, I'm also menopausal so that may be partially to blame.)
Drifting over the park we were able to fully absorb the illuminated beauty below. It is difficult to fathom four million lights, but seeing them from above certainly put the enormity into perspective. About three minutes into the ride Robby scooted closer to me and clasped my arm. I looked at my little Koopa and saw that tears were streaming down his pink cheeks.
"Momom, this is the most beautifullest thing I've ever seen. I mean look around, it is all so pretty. I think we are seeing what the streets of heaven must look like."
Wow! How do I respond to that? I decided to simply agree that it was indeed beautiful and soak up the precious moment with my son.
As the ride continued Robby oohed and ahhed over the lights below. About halfway through the ride he blurted out, "I am sad now. You know I'm a sensitive little Koopa." When I asked him why he was sad, he continued to explain. "Momom, next year I will be nine years old. And then I'll be ten. Before you know it, I'll be grown up and in college. I don't want to grow up. I want to stay your kid forever. I love you so much and I don't want to leave. That's why I'm sad because I will never ever see this again when I am eight years old."
So, in addition to the appreciation of Christmas lights, I discovered that Robby also inherited my aversion to change. I promised him that he would be a kid for as long as he needed, and that he shouldn't worry. I think he must have believed me because he returned his attention to providing commentary on the lights below.
Needless to say, by the time we disembarked from the ride we both had tear stained cheeks.
at 6:04 AM
Monday, December 15, 2014
Friday afternoon our little family packed up and embarked on a much-anticipated Christmas adventure. We went to Williamsburg, VA, for a fun-filled weekend of holiday themed activities. This trip was special because it was the first time that Timmy has traveled on vacation with us. Needless to say, he required his own suitcase to accommodate all of his baby gear!
Reflection can be frustrating! Looking back, perhaps spending two nights away from home, in a hotel, with a seven month old-- was not our best decision. My visions of being relaxed and happily taking in the Christmas lights were replaced by pre-dawn walks through the hotel lobby with a cantankerous baby.
Little Timmy had a difficult time adjusting to a new crib, and he was quite vocal about his displeasure. He struggled to fall asleep, and when he did wake up, he was not able to self-soothe back to a comfortable slumber. Instead he was wide awake and quite displeased not to be in his familiar environment. Each morning while Scott and Robby were sleeping, Timmy and I took refuge in the hotel lobby. I was so quick to remove Timmy from the room that I didn't take the time to change out of my pajamas. I'm sure that I was quite a sight in my pink snowman two-piece fleece pajamas sitting in the lobby while trying to drink enough coffee to make me feel alive. I was quite a surprise for the few people who happened to walk by us.
Despite the obstacles of traveling with an infant, everybody managed to have a good time. Okay, in all fairness Scott and Robby had the most fun as I was relegated to baby soother. The pair rode all the rides at Busch Gardens Christmastown while I strolled and walked with Timmy. I love my little baby, but he was certainly high maintenance! (I did get to go on one special ride with Robby, which I will detail tomorrow.)
I shunned the naysayers who warned that Timmy was too young for hotel travel because I was confident that he would love looking at all of the lights at Christmastown. After all, the advertisements for the park touted four million lights decorating the grounds. Timmy's reaction to our Christmas tree only solidified my insistence that he join us on this adventure.
Timmy probably would have thoroughly enjoyed the lighted spectacle. Unfortunately in a cruel sense of irony, Timmy had fallen fast asleep by the time the sun set and the lights were illuminated. After a day of fussing, he missed the illuminated wonderland.
Of course, he woke up as soon as we pulled into the hotel parking lot.
at 6:14 AM