Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Fun, redefined

We're back from Vermont. Requisite complaint about the trip home: It took us ten hours, and the kids fought for approximately one-third of the way. They took turns hitting, poking and otherwise maiming each other. Good times. I told them that I was going to call The Kid Police. Then I pretended to do so on my cell phone. "If they don't stop fighting, you're going to need to come get them," I said, which only made the kids giggle. Except then we stopped at a pizza store and a cop walked in. You should have seen the OMG look on Sabrina's face.

Other than the car drama, our trip to Stowe was amazing. I got a lot of alone time with Max because Dave hit the slopes, Sabrina begged to go to ski school three days in a row, Max bailed on the adaptive skiing and me and my partially-torn ACL decided to not ski. So Max and I perfected our skills at being ski lodge bunnies and I must say, we were exceptionally good at it. Like, gold-medal good.

At first, I was bummed that Max wasn't into the adaptive skiing. He kinda-sorta liked the lesson he took last year through Vermont Adaptive Skiing when we were at Sugarbush, but this year, he wasn't having any of it. He wailed when we left him with the instructor at Stowe Mountain Resort. Cynthia was lovely; she'd been trained in working with disabled people. "Give him time! Go get yourselves a cup of coffee," she told us. So Dave and I reluctantly trudged away. A half hour later, a ski school person came to get us. "He's not into it," she said. We found a sniveling Max with Cynthia in the locker area. We took him to get hot chocolate, and then he was back to his usually happy self.

The truth was, having hot chocolate with us was Max's idea of fun. So was exploring the two hotels we stayed at, hitting the game room, eating spaghetti (and more spaghetti)...

...checking out purple snowboards...

...observing a hotel piano player...

...running back and forth across a covered bridge, and wearing the scarf 24/7 that he picked up on his purple shopping spree. We did some other activities he totally got a kick out of, more on them tomorrow; it's amazing how zonked I am from doing nothing but sitting in a car all day long.

When we headed to Vermont, I couldn't wait for Max to try adaptive skiing again. I thought he might really enjoy it this year, and I also wanted him to experience the same thrills kids have on the slopes. Then again, I've realized, lots of so-called typical kids don't particularly like to ski, and neither does Max—for now, anyway. "Adaptive" activities are an opportunity for kids with disabilities, not a requisite for trying to experience life like other kids do.

Max's idea of fun is Max's idea of fun.


  1. You nailed it with this statement: "Adaptive" activities are an opportunity for kids with disabilities, not a requisite for trying to experience life like other kids do.

    I tried my son out in Special Needs dance class. It was a great location, nice teacher, low cost, great other moms for me to hang out with in the waiting room ... but it was dance class, and he wasn't interested. So we dropped out. I will miss my mom friends.

  2. I like Max's ideas of fun. (The thought of skiing terrifies me.) He sounds like a terrific vacationer.

  3. Have you ever gotten Max's vision tested by a developmental eye doc. Lots of people with CP have vision probs. My eyes are fine but there is a problem with the connection between my eyes and the visual part of the brain. I can see out of both eyes, I don't wear glasses, I have good vision, but I can't see out of them at the same time. Because of that, my brain can't converge 2 images (it is only getting the input of one, my left eye, my dominant one) and I don't have depth perception.

    I don't drive, not because of my feet or my hands, but because I can't tell how far apart I am from the car in front of me. Scary stuff. Skiing would really freak me out.

    Why do I rarely run into people in my power chair? Why when I reach for something do I always grab it, not miss? I don't know. Back in the day my OT said she thinks other parts of my brain learned to compensate. Here's some info (reminds me I need to call to set up an appt, my old eye doc is too far away)

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  5. Im telling you--you need to try smugglers notch! Less cushy, but the camp makes it worth it. Its really unbelievable.

  6. Maybe next year try Smuggler's Notch? We had a BLAST with our kids there - and their program for special needs kids is wonderful.

  7. I love the fact that you provide Max with various opportunities and choices and respect his decision. Many parents try to force things on their children (typical or atypical)I think it is important for parents to provide their child with choices and opportunities, but like you, respect what their child's final decision is. Happy New Year!

  8. "Adaptive" activities are an opportunity for kids with disabilities, not a requisite for trying to experience life like other kids do.

    So very very true. Even though I'm a "typical" without any special powers, I HATED skiing and would've (and still would!) always picked hot chocolate with my mom over skiing. I say Max is a smart kid :o)

  9. I don't like skiing either - I'm not a fan of cold weather on a whole, as a matter of fact. But I'm glad you all had fun on your vacation in Vermont! It sounds like a great time. I would have enjoyed hanging out with you and Max - hot chocolate, yum!

  10. I'm with Max. Skiing is not for me. Next time you guys go on vacation I'll volunteer to come with you and teach Max how to "lodge it" also known as "do everything at a ski resort except ski."

  11. You won't get me on skis, though I did it when I was young--I NEED my knees and ankles to do my job!

    Next time, try tubing--you can do it together, in one big tube--find a place that has a baby slope!


Thanks for sharing!