Thursday, October 15, 2009

Overcoming Obstacles

Amazingly enough, my children are in a heated discussion yet again in the car. Why is it they only fight in the confined space of the car? So, here’s the tale end…

Me: I do think that baby [doll] is wonderful! You can save your money for it.
Her: You are not being a nice Mommy!
Him: Yes she is, Sis. You just can’t have every doll. (This from the boy who wants every Lego and Hot Wheel)
Her: I’m going to run away to Grandma’s. She’ll buy me a baby.
Him: You can’t run away. You can’t even walk.
Her: Oh, then I’ll crawl away.
Again, I’m laughing, to my daughter’s disgust and indignation.

How quickly she thought of an alternative to a problem! Remember when we were kids and our minds could run free? Not thinking of obstacles as permanent “no’s” but just as a detour? When did that stop?

Well, I’m here to share a few obstacles we run into with Sami. She is only 33 inches tall and probably won’t clear 4 feet as an adult. Making our home usable for her and us is quite the challenge. My husband and I are around 5’9” and our 9 year old son is already close to 5 ft. We also need to take into consideration her brittle bones, not just her height. She isn’t like the average dwarf/little person who can climb things. Her muscles are affected by her disease as well and falling isn’t an option.

Our solutions: Her bed is a mattress on the floor, cloth boxes in cubbie shelves turned on their side hold everything at her height from clothes to books and Polly Pockets, mini chairs that are heavy and sturdy are for her reading, but all of this takes up considerable floor space. Imagine only being able to use the bottom 3 feet of a room to store everything. Yes, we could and do put things on higher shelves, but that takes away from her freedom of independence….though it does help with her ability to communicate what she wants and ask for help.

Our latest “Freedom Project” was the toilet. Tired of using baby training potties, we bought Sami her own tiny toilet (like they use in pre-schools). Unfortunately, it’s still not short enough. So Grandpa, Daddy, and I got to work on a platform that would be safe enough Sami could climb up on and wiggle her pants down to do her business. It’s not a quick process, but she can do it on her own with some finesses and patience. (Just don’t tell her that her dad and I are close by for an emergency. We aren’t ready for that much independence yet. No one needs another ER visit J ) I measured and drew up the plans, the men made the alterations and built it in a day. Carter even helped with the painting.

Here’s 2 pictures of the great work the men did! There’s always a way to get around the obstacle. Open your mind, free it from conventional “wisdom” and let the ideas flow. Heather

1 comment:

  1. I love it!!! I am filing this idea away in my head for later! Sonya just started showing interest, so for now we have the smallest potty I could find, the Baby Bjorn. Sami looks so excited to have this big improvement on independence! Awesome job!