One of the most important dynamics of our family has to be teamwork (after all, we’re in this thing together). To help put it in terms the children understand, we’ve relied on our good friends the “Wonder Pets!” who always say, “What kind of work? Teamwork!” (Yeah for quality TV shows!)
While every family relies on teamwork, I’ve often wondered to what extent (given my disability) we may ask our girls to help out in nontraditional ways. For example, after a fun trip to the pumpkin patch this weekend (details to follow in a future posting) my tires were covered in dirt (the field may have gotten mud on my chair, but I assure you, I got the best of the terrain that day). However, in order to avoid tracking mud throughout the house, I needed a good wheelchair scrub (the kids and Mommy left their muddy shoes by the door, but it's not like I have an extra set of tires laying around here for these types of occasions). Enter Mommy and the girls ...
Armed with sticks to pick out the mud and ready with tiny hand brooms to sweep up the mess, my sweet little teammates attacked this dirty job as though the dirt itself had personally offended them. Under Mommy's supervision, Sammy took on my right tire and Isabelle took on the left – together the three of them formed a lean, mean, wheelchair-scrubbing machine (like the cleaning version of Voltron).
Even though our rat-dog Nubbins kept trying to steal the “cleaning sticks” from the girls (she REALLY wanted to play fetch), they hung in there and did a terrific job. What’s even better, they had a great time (it’s amazing to me how much fulfillment kids get out of knowing that they’re being helpful).
In addition to detailing my wheelchair, the girls change my shoes, blow my nose, charge my Blackberry, get me in and out of the van on their own (that includes strapping down my wheelchair with safety ties), feed me snacks, etc. (the list goes on and on). Shoot, the girls even fight over who “gets” to help me with my morning Listerine ritual (turns out pouring Listerine in a cup and helping me rinse is super fun — thank goodness they have steady hands).
We do all kinds of things as a team, including making oatmeal (I imagine it might be somewhat entertaining for you to see).
Sammy grabs the oatmeal packets while Isabelle climbs on my wheelchair in order to reach the bowls. After “pouring” the oatmeal, Isabelle adds water while Sammy handles trash duties and sets the table. I give Isabelle a boost to reach the microwave and tell her what buttons to push. Sixty seconds later, ding, breakfast is ready! It’s fun and tasty — a true win-win.
Whether adjusting my breathing mask or handing me the remote control so I can put on a show for them, my little angels are invaluable members of my team. Led of course by Mommy (our lovely and talented team captain), together, we get stuff done.
Lately, the girls have started to notice that the way they help their daddy differs from other families. To my great comfort, they have each expressed that they see this difference as being sad because: “Other kids don’t get to do as much fun stuff because they don’t have wheelchair daddies” (they also think it's lame that other daddies can't give wheelchair rides).
With these teammates by my side, I’m thinking it could be a championship season for Team Taylor!Visit my blog Rolling Perspective