Yesterday I wrote about the decision to step away from Lamp's prosthetic arms for now. It's the right decision and I haven't even thought twice about it. I will however always treasure those little arms. I loved both of the vintage floral fabrics used to decorate her cute little arms and I always used to joke that they were baby's first tattoo sleeve. Most people get imprints of their kids hands in plaster to remember just how small those hands once were... I actually get to keep a whole arm. HA!
At first it was just the funny things that we heard coming out of our mouths like, "Did you get the baby's arm? Where's Lamps arm? We didn't bring her arm. Oh well, it's fine...she doesn't need it." It was one thing to utter those phrases at home, but in public I'm sure we turned a few heads. It was also interesting to see how children reacted to her prosthetics. They were always curious and of course I would try and turn it into a positive and cool thing. I'd tell them it was her magic arm and that it could come off. Then I'd ask them if they could take their arms off. Often the response was a slack-jawed slow shake of their heads. Or sometimes just giggles like that was the craziest thing they'd ever heard. And it probably was. There were different takes on her arm as well from the opposing genders....One little girl asked me, Why does she have a Barbie arm? While a little boy once told Lamp, I like your robot arm.
But here are the two stories stand out the most:
The first takes place in a grocery store. Lamp is in the front of the shopping cart and big sister is sitting in the back. Like most kids with prosthetics, Lamp has figured out quite early that her arm is a serious weapon. So she starts hitting her sister on the head. Not too hard, but not-too-hard with a prosthetic arm is still pretty hard. I tell her to stop a few times and she pays no attention. I finally stop the cart, bend over and look her in the eyes and say in a firm tone, If you don't stop hitting your sister right now I'm taking your arm off.
So did a few other customers.
I smiled and thought to myself...yeah not many moms have that option.
(Yes the above photo was instagrammed from that very day with the hashtag #benefitsofprosthetics.)
Lastly, you have to understand that if you're not paying attention a lot of people wouldn't even notice her prosthetic arm. Especially if she had sleeves on and especially if they've got their own little ones they're chasing around. So one day we were on a playground and I was pushing Lamp on the swings along with other mama's and their babies. Lamp asked to get off the swings. So as I'm picking her up and starting to walk away, suddenly and without warning her arm falls off and smacks right on the ground. I don't remember any actual screaming, but I think there were a few gasps, wide eyes and What the??? It's OK, it's not real, I said as I bent over, picked up my daughter's arm and kept walking. Maybe you had to be there, but that moment probably cemented the reality of a zombie apocalypse in the minds of many children that day. So glad we could help.
I'm happy my daughter feels confident enough in her amazing, God-given body not to need those cute little arms, but I'm also glad they were a part of our journey. The past few years wouldn't have been the same with out them.
Fare thee well, fake plastic arms.
Fare thee well.