there’s a way!
That was the theme of today. Alyssa got a tricycle for Christmas (and a helmet too… but that still needs some adapting) and we had grand plans to adapt it to where Alyssa could use it. I’d like to personally thank Kettler trikes for selling a 3 point harness for their trikes. Sure it adds a bit to the price but it still makes them far less spendy than a special needs tricycle. At any rate, our biggest snag was the pedals. I was determined to find a way to make her feet stay in place! We tried a few different things that worked but just didn’t last for very long. Also, they were a bit of a pain because it involved “suiting up” each time we wanted her to ride it. We knew there had to be a better way!
This morning was far prettier than I would have predicted after all the rain last night. I thought it would be fun to try going for a ride. As I headed down I spotted a single sandal from a pair that a friend sent us as hand-me-downs. They were too big so I had put them in the box with the others. However, my lovely three-year old had dumped the box. Ha! A lightbulb went off. The sandals would easily velcro over her leg braces… hmmm. I fastened them to the pedals using elastic so that I could pull them quite tightly. You know what? They ROCKED!!!… and of course so did she! Cait came out with us and she and Alyssa were tearing up the asphalt. It is hard to convince Alyssa to hold onto the handle bars! She just wants to clap LOL!
I still cannot get over what a beautiful morning it was! There was so much rain last night that I had just assumed it would be an icky and gloomy day. Instead it shaped up to be pretty dang fabulous!
I loaded her up on the trike and immediately she lit up. She wanted to check everything out from the wheels, to the pushbar, to the seatbelt. LOL. Once we finally got her past the point of wonderment she was filled with a determination that I love to see. There were a few points when Cait or I would stop pushing and she’d try her darndest to get that trike to move!
I love watching Alyssa react to other kids, and few other kids have as huge of an effect as Cait. Cait has an inherent ability to take kids for exactly who they are. She pushes Alyssa to do her best but differentiates Alyssa’s best from typical three-year old best… in a way that only she can.
I know that one is a little blurry but I love the fact that she’s looking up at Cait with a big ol’ grin. That’s what I mean. I tried to help her hold on and I got the “MOoOOooM I can do this!” glare… gosh… what does she think she is? THREE or something?! When all else failed and Cait simply could not get her to hold on she knelt down and gave her the most endearing pep talk I have ever witnessed!
After that? They were off to the races! Alyssa struggles a bit since her left side is so much stronger than her right. However, she totally doesn’t mind just going in a left turn circle! HA!
Every once in a while she’d need a reminder to hold on…
However, her feet held!! I’m going to do some fine tuning but overall I’m elated with how well the sandals worked as foot holds.
Adding just a little bit more “typical” to our not so typical lives! Sure when I envisioned my three-year old riding a trike it was her running to it, hopping on, and pedalling away. However, I took pause today as I realized that it would have just been “something that happened” instead of something AMAZING! I mean… really? My little girl was rocking a tricycle today. How awesome is that? Even if someone was pushing her it is still a range of motion and muscle-building that will help her in so many other areas!
I know one thing for sure… whether self propelled or helped to pedal… a trike ride is quite tiring for a preschooler 😉
She took a little break. It cracked me up. It was maybe 10 seconds and then she was back in the game. However, she didn’t put up a fight at nap time! I see many more trike rides in her future! YAY!