The Principles of adaptation is a course every parent with a child living with Cp should take. Put in the proper perspective, it is a course that comes with a child with Cp. It is a mandatory course that runs from 100level through 500level. Really, there is no graduating from the course, you take it through life taking different speciality courses and attending different conferences as you go along. Aren’t we told that Cp is a life long condition that has defied medical cure? Big sigh.
One of the issues that bothers me whenever I need to travel with Ziim is bath time and potty time. Since Ziim is yet to achieve independent sitting, it is a bit difficult to do these important and necessary affairs outside of home. Potty, okay, let her do it in the diapper, but bath, hmmm, carry her? Not easy at all. This was such a worry that I made it a subject of discussion with my friend aunty D. Should I ask my sis to buy us a bath chair? That would be a waste of money for just a short visit, we already have one at home. You may have to wipe her, that’s aunty D. Ha, wipe her? For about 2 weeks? Ha.. that’s a long time not to have a bath. My big sis, A must not hear that one did not take a bath twice a day, much less for two weeks!! She will not like to sit near you and make sure you do not offer her anything. Having a good bath is something we take seriously in our family. Mama always insists on two baths a day and it has become a part of my life. For Ziim and myself, it marks the end of the day. Nonye, the weather is cold, so you may just wipe her. It did not sit well with me. Yes, the weather is cold, but there is this soothing feeling you get from a hot bath in a cold weather just like the one you get when you take a cold bath in a hot weather. And how do you really wipe those vital parts that need thorough washing if you get my drift. Sigh sigh.
I woke up one morning, I have reached a decision, just like the jury.If you like you may say after serious meditation. I will carry the bath chair. I informed aunty D of my decision. How will you carry it? That, I have not figured out, but having made the decision, I will figure out the how. I will not bore you with details of the how, but along, I took my daughter’s bath chairandI am glad I did. My sis said she never understood the importance of the chair until she saw it in the bath and then with Ziim in it.
You will notice the little adaptation I made here, the bath chair came without the strap. I have not talked about the history of this bathchair or have I? I don’t think I have, it is one of our cheried presents. That will be a subject of another post…….sometime that is. Here, I have adapted my scarf as the strap. Now you know why I come to mass (particularly week day masses) without a head scarf for that is the only one I own. In Bolton, the chair was adapted into some other uses just like it was here. Brilliant! my sis will say, she often sounds like oyibo.
On Saturday, in consideration to our trip to East grinstead the next day, the bathchair became a subject for discussion. I will carry the chair, I declared. Sister, that will be difficult, you will need to change trains, you will be pushing Zimuzo in her push chair, draging your bag and the bathchair. Oh, how I miss Naija, were it to be Lagos, one will see countless “alabarus” load carriers dying to carry your luggage for next to nothing. But this is the queen’s land, no such thing. I told her not to worry, did I not carry it to Bolton.
When we were about to leave on Sunday, it became obvious that I may not be able to carry the bath chair. My sis has loaded our bag with food, both cooked and uncooked! And of course warm clothings! Oh, I never talked about my siblings, myself and Ziim? The simplest way I put it is that if siblings love and care could cure Cp, Ziim’s would have long gone leaving no traces! My brother-in-law lifted the bag and said that it was quite heavy without the bathchair, there is hardly anyway I could carry the chair. We tried tying the chair to the bag so that I just drag them along since the bag has wheels. He even brought his belt to securely tie it to the bag. But how do I lift them in and out of trains? And remember Victoria station with it’s escalators, no lift. That settled it, the chair will stay, wipe Ziim for five days, sob sob.
When we got to the East Grinstead train station, we took a taxi to this self catering apartment that we usualy stay. Our hostest was surprised to us. Oh Noye, you are here, I am not expecting you until tomorrow. That means you did not receive my last e mail. No, a tree fell and pushed down the our telehphone pole. For over two weeks we have no internet access and telephone. That explains why I couldn’ reach you on the phone. I did try. I hope it is okay. Oh yes it is okay, just that I have not quite tidied up. We quickly made a bath room down stairs and only just finished the previous day. Ha, that’s nice, I don’t have to carry Ziim upstairs. Yes, and I have put a chair there for you to use to bath her. Did she just say a chair? Yes she did. I quickly took in our bag and went to take a look at the new bath room and the chair.
Behold the chair.
How is Ziim going to sit on this chair without surport. I thought about it the all night, it was almost like not having a chair. No, not really, just need to adapt the chair. Ziim’s condition is not going to change in the morning, but if I need to give her a wash, then I need to refer to my lecture notes.
Morning came, look what we did.
We had a shower chair, and Ziim enjoyed having a hot shower.
It was Dave E. Smalley who said that “the survival of the fittest is the ageless law of nature, but the fittest are rarely the strong. The fittest are those endowed with the qualifications for adaptation, the ability to accept the inevitable and conform to the unavoidable, to harmonize with existing or changing conditions”. When God blesses one with a child with Cp, He automatically endows h/her with qualifications for adaptation. Life with a child with Cp is filled with adaptation. As the child grows and changes, so do h/her needs. Oftentimes, the society, particularly ours does not make room for them, it is left for the parents to justify the qualification nature has bestowed on them. Having a spirit of adaptation is a must for parenting a child with Cp like Ziim.
Life is a game, and more than not we do not get to choose the cards we are handed down by nature to play the game with. But if must play and win the game, then adaptation becomes a must. So tell me, what/how have you been adapting to suit your circumstances?