Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Stroller?

Brayden technically has a wheelchair. It is called a KidKart. We have had it for about one year now. Brayden is incredibly comfortable in it. He can play in it (it has a tray to attach), he can ride in it (a little off roading for the boys soccer games or trips to fairs) and he can certainly fall asleep in it.

When we are out and about with his wheelchair three things typically happen:
1. No one notices it or cares
2. People think it is a stroller
3. People think it is a wheelchair

I am going to talk about the second, people think it is a stroller.

After having three boys, I certainly know what a stroller looks like. I researched strollers till I could not see straight. I still get stroller envy...I would love a bugaboo. When I had my first, those strollers were not really around but Peg Perego was the thing. Anyway, I digress...I am surprised that people think Brayden's KidKart looks like a stroller, it has some resemblance but have you ever seen a two year old sit completely still in a stroller?

Let me tell you about two conversations I had this past weekend.

Luke, Brayden and I were shopping at a pet store. I was pushing Brayden and Luke was pushing that adorable little kid's shopping cart. I load the cart down with a huge bag of dog food. Luke managed to push it through the store but I needed help getting it out to the car. The man that came to help me was extremely kind. As we were walking out of the store, he touched Brayden's wheelchair saying "I have a two year old and I must say that is the coolest stroller I have ever seen!" My response, "Thank you for thinking that it looks like a stroller but it really is a wheelchair." His response, "Well then that is a cool wheelchair!"

That was nice.

The following day, Jeremy treated us to a meal (and of course dessert) at the Cheesecake Factory for my birthday. We arrived shortly after church. Northern Virginia is usually an extremely busy place, people every where, always in a hurry, with more important things to do. That is unless it is Sunday morning. Our church service is over around 10:30 a.m. and we are usually the first ones banging on the door of any restaurant at 11:00 a.m. for lunch. We arrived at Cheesecake Factory, only a few people in the entire restaurant. Jeremy asked for a table and asked to make sure there was a place to park Brayden. The restaurant is not fond of strollers and will "kindly" take yours and park it close by so that it is not at the table. I am not sure if the hostess understood we had a wheelchair.

We proceeded to our table and were trying to get situated. I had Brayden's KidKart at an awkward angle because I was trying to hook up him up to his feeding pump. He was between our table and a table next to us, not in the way of servers or people walking by. The hostess was handing out the menus and as she handed one to me she said, in an extremely not-so-nice tone, "Um, Ma'am you are going to have to move your stroller so that it does not disturb other customers here to eat."

I just looked up and around.

Just look at the picture. The place was empty. I did not say anything and proceeded to take care of Brayden. I did not think she wanted to hear my response anyway and I sure was not going to let her put a damper on the only restaurant where I eat dessert! And I am pretty sure she did not know it was a wheelchair.

I just had to toss in this picture
of Luke with his Great-Grandma at the Cheesecake Factory, they look great in yellow.


the deKorne family said...

You are so patient...and I think it's really good you were a social work major. There hasn't been one day since that water park post that I haven't thought about that and been mad. I hate that you have to fight those battles!

Kristina said...

I found your blog from another that I sometimes read. We, too, get the stroller comment for Emma's wheelchair. She has a Kids Rock FAST and it is stylish, but so not a stroller to this Mom's eyes but many people mistake it for one and I think it's nice that they do. One time, we had a shuttle bus driver tell me he couldn't lower the ramp for strollers, and when I told him Emma was in a wheelchair, she blushed heavily and apologized profusely. I figure this stuff will continue to happen but it sure is nice that Emma has such a posh seat to enjoy!

K said...

Happy Birthday Carrie!!! Hope the Cheesecake Factory food was yummy (I miss it)!

Demorest Designs said...

Happy late Birthday Carrie! I have enjoyed catching up on your blog...what a great summer you guys have had. It was great to see you. Thanks for the wonderful dinner. Did you enjoy your night away??? Sorry to be using this comment as an email...