About Me

My photo
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, February 18, 2011

Selective Hearing?

Sometimes I wonder if I am talking into a void when addressing Robby. He has an innate ability to tune me out, especially when I am presenting him with a chore or demand. I feel as if I am constantly repeating the same phrases, all the time hoping for a different result.

After finally managing to communicate with Robby that he needed to pick up his Legos, a simple request that took nearly an hour to finish, we were able to go outside to enjoy the warm temperatures. Mr. Bill was also taking full advantage of the nice weather by working on his yard. Robby saw him outside and immediately grabbed his shovel and went to "help." I took my loppers, which were bent, to see if he could straighten the blades so that I could work on the blackberry vines that are taking over our backyard.

After Robby and Mr. Bill finished shoveling the dirt out of his truck I inquired about straightening my loppers. Bill took them and, without looking, told me he knew the problem. "These loppers aren't American made. They are made in China and are a piece of crap." He then proceeded to explain that I should always buy American tools because everything else is "crap."

From half way across Mr. Bill's yard, Robby put his shovel down and took off sprinting. He returned with his prized yellow hammer that he received for Christmas. "Mr. Bill, is this hammer American or is it a China made piece of crap?" I spent the morning trying to get Robby to hear me about his Legos, yet he seemed to have no problem understanding our conversation from afar. (Thankfully Mr. Bill lied and told him that his hammer was a quality tool.)

After an afternoon of lopping blackberry bushes and helping Mr. Bill in his yard, I was ready to relax for awhile. I loved being outside, but I was tuckered out. Apparently Robby was also tired. He sat down on the couch, looked at me and said, "I'm pooped. I can't wait to take off this stupid leg and chill out." He then proceeded to try to pull his foot off.

Robby didn't hear me as I instructed him to clean his toys, yet he heard every word that wasn't spoken to him when I was talking to Mr. Bill. I'll ask him to put the cat down and I don't get a response. A few days ago I mentioned to Scott that I wanted to take off my leg and relax, and Robby apparently absorbed every word. Strange how this selective hearing works!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Another Tragic Loss

This school year has been a difficult one for the staff and students at Scott's school. In the fall a student was murdered on his way home from school. Scott devoted a lot of time before, during and after school to help his students cope with the tragic loss of their friend and classmate. It was our hope that a "normal" feeling would return to the classroom after the semester was over and the new term started.

Unfortunately, things do not often happen as we anticipate. Last week, which was the first week in the new semester, Scott's students suffered another tragic loss. The parents of another student, also assigned to my husband's class, were brutally murdered in their home.

Last night I accompanied Scott to the double visitation for the victims of this senseless tragedy. Scott spoke with his student in front of his parents caskets, trying to offer support, love and condolences. There are no words to soothe the kind of anguish and pain that the young man is feeling.

I stood outside the funeral home with Robby as I watched scores of high school students, teachers and community members file into the building. I was struck by how many teenagers were present. It warmed my heart to see him surrounded and embraced by so much compassion and love from his classmates.

Scott's student told him that he plans on returning to school next Tuesday. He is going to have a difficult transition, but returning to the normalcy of school will be beneficial. I hope that the student body continues to support this young man as he grieves an unimaginable loss.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Smile Cards

Like all children, Robby loves getting mail. Everyday we take our pilgrimage to the mailbox in order to see if he received any letters. He really doesn't care what he gets to open; I've learned that junk mail can be exciting if he is the one who gets to tear into the envelopes.

A few weeks ago, in an effort to provide Robby with more mail to open, I spent the evening signing up for samples, newsletters and various information packets. In retrospect, submitting our name and address was perhaps not my wisest move. Every day our mailbox has been stuffed with catalogs, special offers and odd samples. We are receiving so much mail that I now have to take a tote bag when we walk to the mailbox!

Mixed among the useless solicitations has been a few postal gems. For example, we received 10 "smile cards." These cute little business cards are supposed to be left anonymously after completing a random act of kindness. I thought that distributing these cards would be a fun project so I decided to hang onto them.

I sat Robby down and discussed the "smile cards." I explained the game, and asked him what he wanted to do for somebody. After pausing for a moment, he decided that he wanted to bake cookies for the neighbors. (I was not surprised by this decision; in fact, the butter was already on my counter.)

We baked cookies, packaged them and tucked a smile card into each treat bag. Robby was adorable as he tip-toed up to each door holding his surprise. Since the good deed was supposed to be anonymous, he simply left the cookies by the door and ran away at lightening speed. He spent the rest of the afternoon looking out our window to see when his treat bag would be discovered by Mr. Bill.

None of our neighbors said anything about the cookies although I have little doubt that they know that they were baked by Robby. I actually forgot about the gesture until a few days ago when my doorbell unexpectedly rang. I opened the door to see a Contractor standing next to Mr. Bill, holding a "smile card."

I learned that Mr. Bill had hired the contractor to install a grab bar in my shower. This minor home improvement has been on my to do list for years. I simply never got around to making the call. I remember asking Mr. Bill if it would be a difficult project to tackle by myself. Knowing my home improvement talents, he recommended that I call a professional. I suppose that some of my procrastination could be attributed to not wanting to admit that I really needed the assistance.

Robby, upon seeing Mr. Bill and a "Tool Man" immediately grabbed his toolbox and showed the crew to my bathroom--my dirty, not ready for company private bathroom. I tried to get there first so that I could pick my bra off the floor before they started. I was too slow.

I offered payment, but I knew that it would be refused. Mr. Bill simply told me that it was a not-so-anonymous thank you for all the cookies, cakes and dinners we've given to him. He did accept a glitter happy face and heart magnet as a thank you from Robby.

Despite my embarrassment caused by the clutter in my bathroom, I am delighted with my new shower grab bar. I feel safe and I no longer worry that the bar will become dislodged from the wall (I was using a temporary suction cup bar). I should have had one properly installed years ago!

Robby and I could not have asked for a better neighbor than Mr. Bill. His thoughtful gesture means the world to me. I do, however, have one small problem. I have another "smile card" that I need to give to somebody new. I have no doubt that Robby will think of something and, knowing my little baker, it will involve cooking!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Good and Bad

Motherhood has been a journey of trial and error. I have made mistakes along the way, but I love my little boy and I always try to do right by him. The past few days have been a mixture of both "good Mommy" and "bad Mommy" moments.

I have been a good Mommy because I:

1. surprised Robby with a "ginormous" Valentine's Day cake from Costco.

2. read "I'm a Truck" no fewer than 50 times, using a distinct voice for each vehicle.

3. completed four loads of laundry.

4. helped Robby bake and deliver heart cookies to Mr. Bill.

5. painted Valentine hearts for two hours.

6. curled up on the couch with Robby to watch Free Willy (again).

7. insisted that Robby clean up his toys in the living room and I refused to back down when he protested.

8. managed to complete an important business phone call without being interrupted by Robby.

I regret that I was also a bad Mommy because I:

1. stole the giant rose off Robby's Valentine's Day cake because I didn't want to share.

2. ate a huge corner of said cake in a moment of hormonal driven frustration.

3. hid the "I'm a Truck" book in the freezer because I couldn't handle reading it again.

4. lied to Robby by claiming that it was "no underwear Sunday" when, in fact, he had no clean underpants to wear. I was then forced to explain to Mr. Bill why Robby questioned his decision to wear underwear on Sunday.

5. surprised Robby and Scott with dinner on the couch in front of the TV. I told them it was so that they could watch the car race. Truth is, I didn't want to clean the red paint off the table.

6. fell asleep on the couch while watching Free Willy. When I woke up Robby and Charlie Cat were covered with my make-up in an attempt to "be beautiful."

7. saw Robby merely pushing his toys under the sofa. When I asked him why, he responded by telling me that "he was pushing the toys under the comfy couch like Momom does when we have friends over."

8. gave Robby a half gallon container of ice cream, a jar of vanilla frosting and a spoon in preparation for my business phone call. The irony that I was talking with an executive from Nutrisystem is not lost on me!

I am learning to accept my parenting imperfections. I have the best of intentions, and I try. I think that should count for something!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

The first year that Scott and I were together, he warned me at the beginning of February that he hated Valentine's Day. I, optimistic and in love, didn't believe that anybody could really detest the day that much. On February 14th, he arrived home late from work and presented me with Easter candy. (I surmised that 7-11 ran out of heart shaped confections.)

Our second February together I did not receive candy, flowers or a card. I was given a sheet of notebook paper, torn into pieces. Scott claimed that he "made me a puzzle." For subsequent years I abandoned all hopes of being surprised by romantic gestures on February 14th and typically tried to avoid thinking about the holiday.

Since Robby was born, my love for all things Valentine's Day has been resurrected. I relish passing on the traditions from my childhood- we will spend the day making heart shaped cookies, and for dinner, I will make pink mashed potatoes. And sometime that evening, the Valentine Boogie will make his yearly appearance.

The Valentine Boogie has been a fixture in my life for as long as I can remember. When we were little, small boxes of candy and toys would miraculously appear on our beds on Valentine's Day. Although he has never been seen, the treats were credited to the "Valentine Boogie."

Sometimes the Valentine Boogie would become sidetracked and wouldn't show up on February 14th. After all, he lacks the reindeer and elves that are integral to Santa's speedy success! The Valentine Boogie is, for all intents and purposes, a one-man operation. However, when he arrived on February 15th we received a lot more candy. (It wasn't until I was adult did I realize that the copious amounts of candy gifts was because the Valentine's Day items were marked down on February 15th.)

The Valentine Boogie has been visiting our house every February since Robby has been born. This year he is eagerly anticipating the "Big Boogie's" arrival. He even asked Mr. Bill if he was excited about the Valentine Boogie. Mr. Bill, a little confused by the question, simply said, "Yes," and asked Robby to pick up more sticks.

Whatever your Valentine's Day traditions, I hope that it is a memorable one. I am going to have a great day "helping" the Valentine Boogie leave surprises and treats around the house. Robby told me that I am his "best buddy Valentine" and gave me a hand drawn card of the two of us under a rainbow. I don't need flowers and candy today; I already received the best present ever!

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!