Archive for October, 2009

Audacity

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on October 31, 2009 by ltycks

Last night we bundled up Dubs and headed out for some grocery shopping.  Thankfully after a couple tantrumy experiences we have learned to bring Dubs snacks when we go to the grocery store.  He hasn’t learned that we can’t just snack off the shelves (who can resist THAT).  Well once I parked something immediately caught my eye: a car had parked in the zebra to my left.  No, it wasn’t that the driver had taken up a little bit of the zebra.  The driver had parked his/her car entirely in the zebra.

Hubs suggested that I check to see if there was a disabled placard on plate on the car (i.e. is there a rational reason for this?).  So I did.  Nothing.  No “evidence” that anyone who rode in the car needed to be that close to the building for medical/ethical reasons, nor was there reason to believe that the driver of this car was in any way being considerate of other, not to mention that there parking lot was not very crowded as there were other handicapped and non-handicapped spaces near the building.

Here are my thoughts as a disabled driver:

I need a zebra to my right so my ramp can lower,

Other people need zebras on their left,

If I cannot get a space with a zebra, I need to double park,

If I double park, I need to make sure to leave enough room for my ramp and chair, but not so much that a (compact) car can squeeze by me,

If I get ticketed for this (double parking) I must go over this list with the police to avoid having to pay the ticket.

Back to last night.  I debated in my head whether or not to report this car to customer services.  I got out of my van didn’t I?  Maybe they had a valid reason for being so…audacious?  Do I want to be that person?  Is this tattling?  Is Hubs bothered by this?

I ended up so conflicted that I had Hubs tell customer service.  It’s not easy to admit this, but sometimes when I see people treat me with disrespect (and I think disrespect describes the scene I saw in the parking lot), I shrink up within myself and I don’t speak out.  I think there are lots of people that do this.  I do credit myself with sharing my concerns with an ally (Hubs), which is better than doing nothing.

When we left the store the car was gone.  I’d hate to think they paid $400 in towing fees.  I’d equally hate it, however, if they prevent me or someone else from getting their last minute dinner groceries in the future.

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A kid in a playground…and by kid I mean a grown up kid, and by playground…I mean (accessible!) playground (!!!)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on October 30, 2009 by ltycks

*Woot* *Woot* there is this one public park that has THE  greatest playground I have ever laid eyes, and motorized wheelchair, on.  The sand box is elevatod so kids I mean moms and dads who are disabled can be seated whilst engaging in sand castle building and overall digging merriment.  The slides are all on ramps rather than steps so that those of all physical abilities can cruise around.  Even the bridge is wheelchair friendly.  No people I am not dreaming this up.  It is here in Midwesternville.  I have been there. Twice with Dubs.  On a rare, warm day off I may just go frolicking by myself.

I.never.had.this.growing.up.

I’m just glad HE does.

(Not so) Funny thing is…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on October 28, 2009 by ltycks

My new wheelchair (Pride Quantium 6000Z) is only 5 months old (more like one week shy of 5 months…and since we are potentially talking warranties that is approximately 1/20 less time that I have used it).  Since then I have replaced the foot pads (might be my fault/Dubs’ fault. Might be…), the JOYSTICK, the brushes (I also do not know what those are) and both MOTORS.  Must of which is being nonarguably covered by warranty – but can you, as any corporation worth it’s name, tell me that MOTORS wearing down in five months is your average wear-and-tear?  Maybe, just maybe, if I threw my 300lb chair down a flight of stairs (but that wouldn’t be wear-and-tear.  It would clearly be my fault, but no wear-and-tear).  Well they did.  Fortunately the wheelchair techs wouldn’t have it and they are both being replaced.  For free. Minus about $200 in labor.

I want my money back; I want my money back…

Electro Man

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on October 27, 2009 by ltycks

Zap! When Dubs’ first started school (I fully realize I dropped the quotes, preschool is not that far away) the first themed day was about superheroes. Well, we did not have much in the line of super/spider/batman…he had superman pj’s at 18 months, but they are now more like superman capris. And his Harry Potter shirt? Completely outgrown.
So we did not send him in any superhero outfit. According to that day’s report card, they made him a cape out of a trash bag and called him “Electro Man.”
Well the name must have stuck. This kid loves turning on the light before entering a room, or when we first get home. What cracks me up though is that he will also turn OFF the light when he leaves the room. Tonight after he finished brushing his teeth in Hubs’ and my master bathroom, I called him from the bedroom so we could go get Hubs and go night night. And of course, without any prompting, he turned off the light himself!
I know I must reek of first time mommydom but I am loving the perks of toddlerhood!

Innovations, Renovations, and Accomodations

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on October 25, 2009 by ltycks

Since I’m new at this, and have less blogging energy during the work week. I am still trying to find my audience or community online.  One thing that I really hope to hear more about from you all is the creative ways you cope with adversity, whether or not you consider yourself disabled.  When I find that certain solutions work for me, I’d like to share them online in hopes of this information being useful to others.  I would love it if while reading this, you comment on things that work for you.  And to reiterate, you do not have to consider yourself disabled (or have any type of medical diagnosis) to participate.  You are more than welcome here.  After all, we all face struggles.

With that said, today’s topic will be:

Toddler Toy Invasions (aka Messes)

Please show me the two-year-old or three-year-old that will sit still with o.n.e. toy, the s.a.m.e., toy for a significant period of time?  And if you can, please share with us your secrets!!!  Dubs will have his cars, papers, crayons, legos, toy tools, etc etc all over of our rec room floor.  And only some of the time will he help mommy.

In so far, my solution to this has been a pooper scooper*.  That’s right I went to PetSmart and bought the largest pooper scooper they had and have proceeded to scoop up his toys using it.  Now this only works on his small(er) toys, but it’s perfect for his Duplo blocks, toy cars, crayons, and Handy Manny Tools.  It can even work with paper if you get the claws from the pooper scooper around both sides of the page.

Dubs recently got his hands on our apples and surprise, surprise my pooper scooper works on them as well.  Now the objects it can pick can only be so big (after all it is designed to pick up a large dog’s poo), but it’s great for pushing aside larger toys, and thus making room for my wheelchair.

*Don’t worry, there is no cross contamination here.  The dogs’ pooper scooper stays in the garage and goes no where near items that would potentially go in Dubs’ mouth.

Again, please share your solutions here as well.

Engines Churning

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on October 24, 2009 by ltycks

It is a beautiful fall morning here in the Midwest (can’t you tell I grew up here?).  It’s a Saturday.  The trees are sprouting gorgeous shades of yellow, orange, red, and pink foliage.  A little over a year ago when Hubs and I were house hunting, the fact that our (now) neighborhood has an abundance of trees was definately a winning point.

Weekends are energizing.  There are two days of no-work-do-want-we-want-and-can-afford ahead of us.  Another work week is past us.  I like to focus my weekends on providing learning experiences and family bonding time for Dubs.  He loves going out as a family, even if it is to the grocery store – which can still be a learning experience.  I also try to make my parents a part of his weekend: hubs and I never had grandparents that lived in town, or that lived close enough to us that we could easily visit them, for that matter.  And I consider it a blessing (and much needed respite!) that Dubs can have this.

On another note, I am very interested in learning the weekday and weekend rituals of other families.  As working parents, Hubs and I usually meet up after work at Dubs “school” (aka daycare) to pick him up. Together. As a family.  I like to think that it is nice for our child that his full parental unit picks him up everyday.  It’s not a necessity.  Nor is it somehow “wrong” if other parents are unable to do this, or choose not to do this.  It’s just somethig that we are able to do -it’s one of our rituals.  It enables us to all come home from our respective “schools” together.  And we may not always be able to do so.

On weekends our biggest ritual revolves around Playhouse Disney – which is probably the biggest reason we have cable.  Dubs loves him some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (and can be seen almost anywhere calling out “Oh Toodles” with his hands on his cheeks.  Bless his Heart) along with My Friends Tigger and Pooh, and Special Agent Oso.  And as a parent, I appreciate the interactiveness and educational content of these shows.

Another ritual that we seemed to have adopted consists of watching hockey.  My brother an advent Blues fan and multi-year season ticket holder had taken Dubs and I to his first hockey game last year.  And Dubs (who was 20 months old at the time) loved it.  Neither the intensity nor the loudness seemed to bother him.  So we took him to two more games last year, and have been to one this year so far.

We have also started to watch the games at home with him.  I love that he enjoys watching the Blues and I think it is very important for kids to believe in heroes – whether they are soldiers, police officers, firefighters, sports figures, or mommy and daddy – I think that hereos give kids the opportunity to have hope, to witness courage, and it provides a healthy belief system for kids.  To me it also promotes their innocence, which in toddlerhood and childhood, can be paramount.

Keeping it “Real”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on October 23, 2009 by ltycks

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Sometimes, as a disabled mother I feel less whole.  Like somehow able-bodied mothers have inherent maternal capacities that I am doomed to lack.  Able-bodied moms take their kids to the playground three days a week, they change diapers with the wave of an arm, play with their kids on the floor, and my favorite, do “newborn nighttime duty” by themselves, selflessly, while the rest of the family sleeps.
I never am at the playground alone with Dubs.  I could loosely put on a diaper when he was a baby, but rather unreliably, and ran the risk of poor chaffy baby butt if the velcro was too loose.  When I am on the floor, Hubs has to hoist me back up.  And nighttime feedings? HA! Do not get me started. Around the magical age of eight months, I realized that Dubs could care less about my any of this.  He loved, and still loves, going around in my chair – we rarely use(d) a stroller.  I am the only person that he currently shares his toys, books, and juice with.  And mind you, he is two. Almost three.  And you know what they say about three year olds.
This morning I drove Dubs to “school” (daycare) and the staff there took him out of his car seat and to his class.  And everything felt “real” -dropping off my son before I go to work. The social worker part of me tells me that I should never question my abilities to parent solely on this basis, but the greatest teacher of this is, and will always be, Dubs.
He keeps it “Real.”