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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.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Laser Tag

Each morning after not-so-patiently waiting for my coffee pot to heat, I typically sit in my rocking chair and begin my mourning routine. After briefly checking Facebook and my work emails, I log onto my personal inbox. Virtually overflowing each morning with daily deal offers and special "invitation only" sales, it usually takes me a few minutes to delete all of these "important" messages.  It would certainly be quicker if I took the time to remove my email from the various mailing lists, but I have come to enjoy seeing all of the daily deal offers. Every once in awhile I find one that piques my interest, solidifying my spot on the mailing list because I would hate to miss out on a bargain.

A few weeks ago I opened an offer for a laser tag experience. Neither Robby nor Scott have ever played laser tag, and I suspected that they would like it. Regardless of how many times I try to redirect his energy, Robby always returns to playing with his water and Nerf guns. The deal was fantastic, offering 50% off a 3-game punch card, and I felt like I was being beckoned to make the purchase. I bought two cards and quietly slipped the vouchers in the rainy day file. 

Tuesday morning was cool and dreary, thwarting out plans of spending the afternoon poolside. With none of his friends home, it seemed that we were destined for a day of playing inside and watching television. After lunch I decided to surprise the boys with the laser tag vouchers. Both were elated with the prospect of teaming up and, according to Robby, "opening up a can of whoop bum on the enemy." I am fairly certain that they both got dressed and found their missing shoes in record time!

Since I possess zero interest in playing, I stayed in the lobby with the other moms while Scott and Robby went into the playing arena. It turns out that the arena is equipped with a series of CCTV's so I was able to watch the battle ensue. Seeing Robby and Scott run around with their laser guns made me chuckle, and I was sure that they were having a great time.

Scott emerged from the arena first after the game ended. The smile on his face was absolutely radiant. He was drenched in sweat, winded and gloating that he found the "sniper's den." I don't think that the group of 10 year old girls, nor their mother, appreciated my husband's victory dance in the lobby.  Robby followed in tow, smiling and high fiving his Daddy for leading him to the snipers.

I fully expected to spend another 30 minutes watching the grainy TV coverage of another battle, but to my surprise Robby said he was ready to go. I assumed that the lure of the now blue skies and bright sun was beckoning him to the pool. Scott seemed disappointed, but I tucked the punch cards into my wallet for another day and we headed home to change into our swimsuits before heading back to the pool.

Scott chattered about the laser tag battle throughout the afternoon. Every once in awhile Robby chimed in, but his lack of enthusiasm was obvious. I didn't say anything, but I suspected that it wasn't as fun for my 7 year old as it was for my 47 year old boy!

It turns out that my hunch was correct. Robby quietly approached me late in the evening and told me that he didn't want to do laser tag again until he was older, like "maybe 10 or 35 years old." I assured him that he didn't have to do it again, and a look of relief washed across his worried little face. We had a long talk and I learned that laser tag is not a lot of fun when you have a hearing issue. The dark room, coupled with the noises being piped in, was disorienting and scary.

I had never considered the impact his hearing issue would have during a laser tag battle, but apparently it was significant. I felt horrible for putting him into an activity that would cause him to become scared and to struggle, but at the same time I am glad that he was able to come to me with his problems. I'm sure that the passes will still be used; I'm fairly confident that I won't be able to keep Scott away from the Battle Arena!

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