Ducky Diaries: Living in a capable world.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Living in a capable world.

This highchair.....  

To most, is just a regular restaurant style highchair. They are pretty much a staple at any dining establishment.

Not many people give it much thought outside of the fact that Jr. is licking the germs of it's surface. Which is scary.

However, for me, us, my family, my son, this chair is a nightmare.  

With it's flat, non contoured, hard structure, loose middle strap, and waist straps that are broken 99% of the time, this chair decides where we may take our family when we decide to venture out of the house.  

Let me paint a picture. 

My husband and I keep Dycem sheets stashed everywhere, including our car.   What is Dycem?
Well it's a non-slip sheet of material that we often have to use to keep Bear from sliding off his own bum.  It helps a lot of children with muscle tone issues maintain there balance when seated. 

So when we venture to an establishment that may have said high chair we take our trusty Dycem grip sheet and lay it in the seat of said chair.   Then D.i.c. and I work together, one holding Bear up in the air while one folds and contorts Bears stiff legs to get him into the seat. 

Within 5 minutes we are out of breath and have just about half the patrons staring at us. It's quite the spectacle. No one ever seems to know what to think....  Are we beating him?  Is he throwing a tantrum?  Are they forcing that poor child into his chair?  Who knows, am I rite!?

Don't even ask where Zo-Zo is and what she is doing during this time.  For about 30 second intervals I couldn't even tell you.  Thankfully she usually captures an elderly couples attention at a nearby table and is therefore occupied while we defeat the dragon known as "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! OMG! JUST HELP ME STICK HIM IN!?  GET HIS FEET?!  OMG! HIS LEG! DON'T BEND IT THAT WAY?!!?!?  DAMMIT!!!  EFF IT!!!!  JUST GET HIM OUT!!!  MCDONALDS IT IS!!! HE'S IN!!!! WOO!!!  FINALLY. WHERE'S THE OTHER CHILD?!??!".......

After that we frantically try to adjust the lap band and strap him down before he scoots his entire ass off the seat and tape and is dangling, middle strap crushing his little boy bits, hands gripping the bar for dear life....

 Back and legs completely straight and locked. Which renders our attempts useless for about another 5 minutes while we again re-adjust him in the seat.

 And then for the rest of the meal we take turns lifting him by the bum and readjusting him back into the seat  to keep from repeating the above scenario.  While holding our knees against his knees to keep him from sliding out. 

It's mucho fun.  We get lots of eating and enjoying done on these trips. 


Luckily, we have found a small number of dining facilities that offer the wonderful Rubbermaid brand of high chairs with contoured seating, high backs, trays, safety belts, and WHEEEELSSS!!! HUZZAH!  

We frequent these places a lot.  They are wonderful.  I would kiss the management(s) all of them if I could.... 

 Sometimes, unfortunately it's not an option to end up at these places.

I know it must costs eating establishments an arm and a leg to switch from these outdated wooden chairs to nicely contoured Rubbermaid highchairs with high backs and actual trays that work with any and mostly ALL children's body types or conditions (roughly a $100.00 increase) but I wish they all would. It would be $100.00 well spent in my opinion so that every family may enjoy an outing.

Special needs parenting rant #2

 Play grounds.  

Dear whoever creates the blueprints and designs for community play grounds,

I'm happy to see that you are finally recognizing that EVERY child should be able to enjoy your facility, regardless of their abilities or inabilities.

However, when you only have one handicap swing available, set on it's own mulch pile, separated and segregated completely from the park........  You're not nailing it.  At all.    I'm just saying. 

And F.Y.I.  our children......  

Love to do more than just swing.

Here's an idea.  How about we add a sand area with multiple levels or tables that ALL children including ones in a wheel chair can reach and enjoy. 

Maybe a set of parallel bars, on the ground for children working on walking skills.

Wheel chair ramps to and from certain areas.

Or what about a nifty little dome or cave that ALL children can walk, crawl, or wheel into.  Add a wall of chimes or cowbells, maybe one of those large swivel tic tac toe boards that are all the rage at parks.

Why are we not automatically making ALL parks handi-capable?

I know it's easy to forget about our children, but you shouldn't.  They are important. They matter. 

This silent notion that we should keep them home locked away from the world is as outdated as wooden restaurant style highchairs and playgrounds only made for typical children. 

Help a momma out.

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Mama needs Wine said...

Right on sister, thanks for expressing what many with special needs children have been saying. Say it loud and proud, these children, deserve much more than what is readily available!!

Ducky said...

*Air Five!!!* It's so true! I believe it should all be available to our children! I have literally just spent an entire Ohio winter indoors with my two littles because of the lack of, well, everything, really. It's a sad fact.