Thursday, July 22, 2010

How Goldfish Make Us Happy

So this week I am trying not to drown in my guilt by simply assigning myself the "Bad Mom" award and moving on.
This is what happened...we have been working on getting C a mobile stander. In case you don't know what that is it is basically a manual wheelchair but you are in standing position instead of seated, which is much better for bones/muscles/breathing. He had a mobile stander before and could push it short distances like around a room or two, but not at....say the zoo. It has been in the works for months now, but we are still trying to get the right documentation to submit to insurance for prior authorization.
We have been anticipating this for a long time. We purposely found a home with wood floors and very low profile carpeting so it would be better for him and he could use it some to get himself around the house. Since he can't crawl anymore, he now just bum scoots around as far as he can which isn't always as far as he needs to go.
So, the other weekend Adam decides we need to clean out the garage--the last big stronghold of unpacked things. I reluctantly agreed, though I was really glad we did it once we were all through. About halfway through, I noticed our old manual wheelchair in the corner. Our First Steps physical therapist had given this to us as a donation from another family when C was about two and a half. It has all its parts, but has been well loved. When we initially got the chair, we put C in it but his little arms were too short to really get a good push in the wheels. So in essence it was a glorified stroller, but we wanted to have it for a backup in case the power chair was in the shop and he was too big for a stroller.
So there I am, staring at it collecting dust in our garage, and it occurs to me that the last time he tried that chair was a year and a half ago, and his arms are bound to have grown since then. And if he can push the mobile stander wheels, he can push the wheelchair wheels. I wish I had better words to explain my feelings at that moment, but "duh" seems all that is really appropriate. I cannot believe it never occurred to me to let him try it!!! So we pulled the chair into the house and wiped that baby down with Clorox wipes, and put C in it.
And what did he do? Started pushing himself, albeit slowly, around the house. He was so, so happy. He drove himself all the way into the kitchen and said, "Mom, I'm gonna get myself a snack" and when I walked around the island, he had pulled the lower cabinet door open and was just leaning up with an orange bag of goldfish in his hands. And then he just wheeled away like it was nothing and it happened every day and started stuffing his face. And I cried. He GOT HIS OWN SNACK!! I know I'm such a softy, but I am so proud of my sweet little boy and his strength...not the strength of his muscles, but the strength of his heart and his desire to grasp for whatever independence he can get, even when it's hard to do.