31 for 21: Musical chairs, part 1

When selecting a high chair, moms look for best price, easy usage, and above all, ease of cleaning, among other features.

What Raphael sits in to eat, is more complicated.

Raphael's first solid food, resting in a bouncy seatWhen he first started eating solid food, he was about seven months old and nowhere near sitting up yet. I strapped him into his bouncy seat for his first watery spoonful of ground rice cereal in expressed milk. We waited nervously afterward to see whether his surgically repaired intestines would hold, but that is a story for another day.

Soon enough, we realized Raphael was going to need more structural support than a typical child for eating.

Raphael laughing in Tumbleform with baby spoon of green puree.I borrowed every feeding specialist’s pick, the TumbleForm seat, which is a big shiny scoop of densely molded foam Velcroed at any chosen angle onto a base of the same shiny stuff.

The recline on a Tumbleform can be particularly fine tuned, but the chunk of foam is surprisingly expensive, so I’d asked several resources to locate a used one for us.

I also didn’t want to buy new because the Tumbleform’s useful life seems to be about 4,000 years. I imagine future archeologists wondering about these brightly colored contraptions long after the current human race has perished.

Raphael sitting in his Tumbleform seat.Fortunately, Raphael’s occupational therapist recalled that a Tumbleform had been collecting dust beneath a staircase at our county’s disability services agency, and she quietly snagged it.

The Tumbleform worked well until one day when I was working in my downstairs home office as the children’s nanny, Kelly, gave them lunch upstairs. I perceived the world’s most audible silent gasp followed by a forceful thunk heard ’round the world. I just knew Raphael had fallen from his seat and clocked his head on the tile floor, and I somehow teleported myself upstairs to grab my screaming baby faster than Kelly could take the two steps across the kitchen to gather him. Everyone wept. Kelly swore she had belted Raphael in. Thank goodness his scull did its job.

Moral of that story: Tumbleforms are great. Just never ever put one on an elevated surface.

Please check back later to read about Raphael’s next seating success story: the Space Saver.

About elizamom

Colorado mother of two small boys. One happens to have Down syndrome.
This entry was posted in Baby Gear, Down syndrome, Motherhood and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to 31 for 21: Musical chairs, part 1

  1. Pingback: 31 for 21: Musical chairs, part 2 | The Upside

  2. Pingback: 31 for 21: Musical chairs, part 3 | The Upside

  3. Stephanie says:

    Wow! How is he doing now? I see this article was written in 2011.

    • elizamom says:

      Thank you for asking! He eats regular food (especially pizza and chicken nuggets) but still has some swallowing and chewing issues. Still a lot of vomiting when food gets stuck in his esophagus and other digestive issues. Still working on drinking from a cup and using better posture. It helps if his feet are planted when eating so we use a Special Tomatoes adjustable seat that has a foot rest. That has grown well with him for many years and was a great item to get because of how adjustable it is and how long we’ve used it. It’s the same as the Keekaroo chair but marketed for kids with special needs (and sold for much more that way).

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