OK, so. You know when you’re in holiday mode and every day feels like a Sunday? You’re craving a piece of fruit, but you have a whole bag of Skittles instead? Your clothes are tight for no good reason, you’re getting back to your routine, and you’re feeling a little depressed?
Hi. Who’s with me?
Happy New Year.
I previously declared that 2019 will be the year of Shenanigans.
That’s still true, but it’s also the week of candy, and coffee, too many plastic toys in my house.
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We spent a week in Edinburgh, driving down with the dulcet tones of We Wish You A Metal Christmas.
We arrived at our flat for Christmas week, and it was suggested that we had enough crap in the back of the car for two kids. No such luck.
The next day was Christmas Eve, and Neil got a haircut and food poisoning, but I was happy with my seafood linguine, and tallied six out of seven fishes.
I spent Christmas morning popping tubs in Isla’s Christmas loot, and picking teeny tiny toys out of play dough.
We headed to my in-laws for lunch, which Neil didn’t eat, but we all put on Santa hats, anyway.
We were kinda stuffed when we left, but I got a text from my Dad that went something like this:
Dad: We’re here. Do you want Chinese food?
Me: I love you, man. Shrimp fried rice.
All the best people have Chinese food for Christmas dinner. Especially when it’s kind of your second Christmas feast. Just go ask Alice. Alice and I are not related, but everyone’s kind of related at the holidays.
Getting back to my actual relatives, Dad cast a glance at Isla’s pile of plastic toys.
‘Why is everything so small?’
‘It’s buried in play dough and fits in small tubs. It’s called Lost Kittens. Hours of fun.’
‘Huh. Who invented that?’
‘I don’t know. Not parents with CP.’
I even put one of the little cherubs on Instagram…
The next day I added to my book hoard with the help of book vouchers from the day before.
Isla went to the kids section adjusting her leggings (how did she get so tall?) and I got lost in thrillers. I was stacking my new books on my lap and all of a sudden I’m following my floating eye.
Most of the time I’m concentrating enough not to actually follow my eye around corners. I don’t see double, but my peripheral vision is amazing.
And the day after Christmas, out of the corner of my eye, I saw my kid’s bare butt. In the bookstore.
‘ISLA. PULL UP YOUR PANTS.’
‘THEY JUST FELL. THEY DON’T FIT. THIS BOOK IS NICE, THOUGH.’
I couldn’t drive fast enough to help my kid
and give her a wedgie.
But Neil and and I are a team.
Isla sat on my lap while I paid for my bookmas, a whole two bucks, and Neil drove me out of the store. ‘Merry Christmas, everyone.’
And perhaps as some kind of payback for my parenting mishap the day before, we had lunch at a vegan cafe the next day. I had a banana milk smoothie and some jackfruit thing, while we chatted with some friends.
We left those friends for an actual lunch with more friends.
The pub was one of our favorite places. But I have an issue with it. There’s no accessible toilet. Whenever we go in there, I’m torn between wanting delicious food, and not wanting to spend my money in inaccessible places.
Sometimes the food wins, but I hate myself for it.
And speaking of inaccessible places, we also went to the movies. We had to sit in the very front, where there were two reclining seats about a mile apart. Isla and Neil sat on the floor so we could all sit together. A family seeing a family film.
Now. There is such a thing called a Plus One card. A disabled person pays full ticket price for certain events and the person with them goes free.
However, shockingly, disabled people are allowed to hang out with more than one person at a time, with friends and family who are not paid to be with us, and who do not require a receipt for their records.
Plus One is useful but not enough. Especially in terms of accessible seating when there is a lone ‘regular seat’ next to a ‘wheelchair space.’
What about two wheelchair users going out together, with more than one person who might need a seat? You know, a group of friends? Are we supposed to sit at opposite ends of a venue, any venue, and communicate via smoke signals?
I recently read a piece by Gemma at Wheelescapades about booking accessible seats. I actually have my own Ticketmaster story, but that event isn’t til the summer, so you’ll hear it then. But why is this still a military exercise?
Why did my family have to sit on the floor just so we could be together? Why, when movie rows are the place I look forward to being on the same level, anyway?
Anyway, we liked The Grinch and I’m blogging about it, but really what year is it?
The next day wasn’t much better. We went to a wildlife centre, which Isla enjoyed. I’ve said before that I’d happily be dragged backwards over grass if I get to see her seeing things. And that’s true. I say it every few months, because it happens every few months.
But I’d like not to get hit in the face with some stranger’s bag, and I’d like to be able to pee in a room where I can shut the door, I’d like to not be invisible to people stepping in front of me. And if I’m driving down a hill, I kinda have the right of way and those people can move.
And I gotta say, I’m only contractually obligated to smell the fumes of two people.
Everyone else, try not to blow it out your ass. I’m sitting right here behind you.
More adventures in parenting with a disability over here, and throughout the rest of the blog.
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