The Curiosity of a New Wheelchair

Brittney Baumgartner by Brittney Baumgartner Additional Needs

Brittney Baumgartner

Brittney Baumgartner

Mother to 3 boys, who are getting older by the second. Married to my best friend, Aaron. Living life day by day, in this rambunctious yet blessed h...

We had no doubt that Oliver would take to using it right away, since we had so much practice in his bumbo wheelchair.

A couple pounds heavier, he was soon using it like a pro.

Aaron and I just had to face our fear of bringing it out in public for the first time.

Now don't get me wrong, we were not ashamed, embarrassed or anything of that nature.

We did have this little flight of excitement with the thought of him being able to finally explore his surroundings out in public and not just be pushed around in the stroller.

We saw what an improvement it made just being able to roam around the house in the little bumbo wheelchair, we could only imagine what taking him to the store or zoo would be like for him!

What we did not expect, nor were we quite ready for, were the stares.

The prolonged looks, whispering under one's breath, and the questions.

Sure, we got the stares before when Oliver had to go through serial leg casting of both legs... but we just figured they thought he broke his legs and never really got any questions, but rather assumptions from anyone who approached us.

Once he finished the casting, Oliver just appeared like any other two year old in a stroller.

We were never anywhere long enough for anyone to realize he was not walking like the rest his age, or ask why.

So once he got his wheelchair, it was kind of like BAM! Look at me.. I am in a wheelchair. So, right away you know that I cannot walk for whatever reason. (Which is not always the case, as some use it for long distances even though they can indeed walk short distances, etc.)

Not only is it visually inviting one to ask questions, but most people have actually never seen a wheelchair come in such a small size.

I know I had no clue previous to Oliver's diagnosis, that equipment like this and in this size existed.

After our first two outings with Oliver and the new chair, Aaron and I found ourselves uncomfortable and like the odd balls out.

I could at least be happy knowing that Oliver was still too young and oblivious to the fact that everyone was staring at him and the chair more so than how cute and awesome he is in it.

I knew I had to do something... I knew that as I was before, all these people were staring and asking questions for the simple fact that they were curious.

They did not know, therefore went out in whatever fashion to find out for themselves or just flat out stare.

So I decided to take to social media for help!

The city I live in has a group on Facebook for mothers to join and post questions they may have, sales going on, advice, or anything of that nature.

I knew it was the perfect platform to take in educating the ever curious.

In a short and sweet post, I introduced my son Oliver (pictured in his new chair) and basically let everyone know they would undoubtedly be seeing us around town at some point or another.

I shared why he used the chair and that this chair was no binding deal, but in fact a mode of transportation to allow him to explore and be independent.

I invited anyone to ask questions and was surprised by the overwhelming response we received.

So many blessings and welcoming greets.

Even pictures and stories of other children in the community who had their very own chairs!

With one little post, one little share, I was able to bring everyone just a little bit closer into understanding something just a little bit different.


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