Currently in my (not enormous) kitchen I have five modes of child transport.
In fact of you count the old one hidden in a cupboard you could make that six.
There is so little floor space that making a brew or reaching the bin involves a crystal maze-esque feat of physical agility. Still I can’t bring myself to care that much because the latest two additions which have pushed us from buggy park status to full on Mothercare showroom have brought with them so much joy that fretting about floor space seems ungrateful.
I’ve talked before about Mojo’s impending adventures with independence and over the glorious long sunny(ish) days of summer many of those dreams have come to fruition.
First came the Bugzi.
|Watch me go…
My husband equated it to watching Mojo take her first steps. It was the first time she has ever been able to hold her head up and purposefully cross a space under her own steam. The Bugzi is a charity-provided electronic chair operated by switches (forward/left/right) it is truly remarkable.
Once she had worked out that she was in control, the first thing she did was head over to a table of things she wasn’t allowed to touch! Its a weird parental juxtaposition to be so wholeheartedly cheering mischievous behaviour. Meanwhile back at home our house isn’t really equipped to allow her to use it BUT once it gets in the school corridors….well, that mischief will certainly abound.
Then, only a week later a very exciting delivery arrived at our door.
It was the streamers that pushed me over the edge. Often with adaptive equipment it’s ugly, big, inelegant and functional. Aesthetics are obviously not a major concern when designing for NHS equipment. Mojo’s new trike, however, is nothing short of beautiful. It is brightly coloured (in her choice of pink) it features a picture of a kitten. It has a little bell. The silver and pink streamers, some with 3D stars on, are attached to the bike by multi coloured butterfly badges. A bag at the back, which holds all the tools and straps, proudly displays her name on a registration plate. It’s just, just perfect. It makes my heart sing that she can go out to do something she loves on her very own bike which is just as beautiful, if not MORE beautiful, than the bikes she has admired for so long. All of this AND she is essentially doing an hour of intensive physio without even realising it.
The last of our vehicular discoveries is, thankfully, not housed in my kitchen. This one was discovered by the beach in Mawgan Porth a beautiful Cornish beach resort which has been the destination of our family holiday every year since my mum retired and took us all to Cornwall to celebrate, we loved it so much that we all go back each year to spend time together. Its my happy place. Getting Mojo onto the beach has always been a faff and the older (heavier) she gets the more difficult it is becoming. It’s not just her we need to get onto the beach it’s also something for her to sit in that can hold her upright (folding beach chairs are useless) so we find ourselves with an enormous amount of kit for even a short beach play. Imagine then our joy, when sitting outside the surf shop was a beach wheelchair available to borrow for an optional small donation. My ingenious husband realised that the heavy floor sitter we usually wrestle to the beach fitted perfectly on the wheelchair and before I knew it, we had what can only be described as a beach throne and Mojo drifted across the beach waving at the crowds and laughing until she got hiccups. SO brilliant.
The importance of achieving more independence for Mojo cannot be overstated. Ever since we were able to look past the life-limited label and allow ourselves to embrace at least the idea of a longer future, our aim has been to ensure that Mojo is equipped to get the most out of life. Not for our sake but for herself, to dream big, to aim high, to ignore ‘expectations’ and roll her own path. Every inch closer to the goal of independence in whatever form it will eventually take, is a cause for celebration.
So now as we find ourselves days away from the start of Reception we know that she is completely ready for whatever that will bring!