“One of the luckiest things that can happen to you in life is, I think, to have a happy childhood.”
As I was doing my yoga practice the other day (a half-hour online video which promised me flat abs and a tight butt…which obviously, it delivered on immediately), James was holding Mira while she drank her bottle and watched me. She would stop drinking every few seconds to laugh at me as I huffed and puffed and contorted myself into some new ass-enhancing power pose. And it was really fun and cute having her watch me and get such a kick out of seeing me move. But then James put her down on the ground and held her in a seated position in front of me so she could get a better view, and it hit me so hard in that moment: my daughter will likely never be able to do this. Or pretty much any motion I take for granted on a daily basis – motions I make to get around, to feed myself, to keep my body strong and healthy. I’m not saying that she won’t find ways to make adaptations, because we are fiercely committed to making sure she does. But Mira can’t even sit. And we have absolutely no idea if she ever will independently. Because right now, it seems impossible.
But she tries so hard to sit. SO HARD, PEOPLE. She wants it so badly, and it breaks my heart to watch her try and try without being able to do it. Luckily, it doesn’t usually bother her much that she can’t do it, but as she gets older and smarter and starts realizing that she is not doing what those around her are doing, her patience is noticeably waning. She eventually gets frustrated after several minutes of struggle and exertion, and I definitely don’t blame her. Can you imagine using every ounce of brainpower and muscle control in your entire body to try to do something as simple as sit up, only to be unable to accomplish that goal every single time you try? Uuuuuugggghhhhh thank G-d she’s so sweet and pure and patient. My angel girl who never stops trying.
Below: Mira holding in midline for about 2 seconds. A huge improvement in the last few months!
Not to sound whiny, because I have no right to be, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to navigate daily life with a toddler who cannot sit. Mira is just like any other 16 month old, in that she wants to sit at table height when we go out to restaurants so she can enjoy a meal with her crew. She’s just like them in that she wants to sit in the front of a shopping cart when we run errands so she can get the best view of all the action in the bustling epicenter of the globe that is Hy-Vee. And she’s just like them in that if she doesn’t get what she wants, she gets sad. Not mad, because that’s not my Mira, but definitely sad.
There’s a remarkable difference in her demeanor between those times when she’s in a stroller or placed in her infant seat inside of a shopping cart and those times when she is carried. She rarely smiles or laughs when she’s in her carrier, and just generally seems glum and bored. But the second she’s brought up into our arms and allowed to see what we see, she immediately does her darling little “excited tight-body move”, an enormous smile lights up her whole face, and she coos and giggles. So obviously, we want that girl up, up, up!!!
Problem is, she is now too big for her infant car seat/carrier, and we have zero seating options for her when we go to a restaurant. Or if, G-d forbid, one of us tries to run simple errands with her in tow without the other parent present. We have to hold her on our laps in restaurants, which gets exhausting and frustrating (and messy) for all involved. We do our best to use a baby Bjorn or baby k’Tan carrier with her in stores or on sweet ass trips to the mall (hell yeah!), but they’re designed for, well…babies. And we have a big girl now! She’s way too heavy and it really wears on us to carry her in one of those for too long. Her weight wouldn’t really be much of a problem if it were distributed more evenly, but we can’t afford to get a toddler-size carrier right now. So we’re working with what we’ve got, but it’s hard. And it’s definitely not a long-term solution.
At home, we can use her highchair or the yellow chair pictured below, but it’s only on loan from school until we find something better. And while it’s portable, it’s heavier than it looks, it’s clunky, and wouldn’t fit in the front of a shopping cart or at a table in a restaurant.
Luckily, we’ve found an amazing seating solution for Mira!!! It’s pictured below with a link to the manufacturer’s site underneath.
There’s only one problem: it’s $375. And we ain’t got no $375, let alone an extra $129 for the floor sitter part ($475 total if bought together)! I don’t know if this surprises anyone, but…wait for it…Mira is expensive as shit. So while $375 isn’t exactly a ton of money, it’s definitely not an amount that we just have lying around, especially after I was out of work for over a year and we’re still trying to get back on our feet financially.
So I don’t want to beg, but I’m not ashamed to ask: will you please help us give this amazing, lightweight, portable chair to Mira? It would be a game changer for her. She deserves to see the world from the same angle her peers do. And it would last us a couple of years (up to age 3), so Mira can keep experiencing daily life with our family the way that makes her the happiest: up, UP, UP!!!
My amazing sister-in-law, Jessie, set up a gofundme for us. Please take a look if you’re so inclined! The fundraising goal established is for well over the price of the Firefly GoTo Seat, so please don’t be alarmed! It is intended to eventually help us cover the costs of more big-ticket items that we’ll need this year, including a pediatric wheelchair, a stander, orthotics, and a bath chair. James, Mira, and I thank you tremendously for any help you are in a position to offer!
I love you!