Last Friday, we went on a field trip with Namine’s school.
Field trips — heck, social stuff in general — are a lot less common for Namine than if she went to a regular school. That’s one of the drawbacks of homeschooling, unfortunately, so we take advantage of as many outings as we can.
This outing in particular was to an indoor climbing… facility? place? thingy? I don’t even know the proper term. Anyway, Namine was pretty excited about it.
I wouldn’t blame you, at this point, for thinking that we were nuts. Mountain climbing, indoor or otherwise, requires a good deal of leg work. While Namine’s walking is getting better, she’s still a good deal more limited in her hips and knees than her peers.
There was no reason, in our mind, to at least give Namine a chance. There were two types of harnesses: ones that fit the legs and waist, and ones that covered the torso, as well.
We tried the lower body harness first, but the proportion of Namine’s legs to her body changed the distribution of weight in the harness. As a result, the harness pinched her legs. So we moved on to the full body harness.
Unfortunately, the full body harness wasn’t much better. It seemed like it would be, at first, and we even got Namine hoisted up to start climbing. As we expected, she couldn’t really use her legs or feet to help her climb. But she’s got pretty good upper body strength, and she was doing well in pulling herself from one handhold to the next. But soon this harness, too, started to pinch her legs.
At the very least, we can say we tried. It’s an experience that, despite the pain, Namine enjoyed. After getting her out of the harness, she spent the rest of the time watching other kids climb. She told me she wanted to climb some more, if only the harness didn’t hurt her.
Reflecting on the field trip, I think this would be something worth pursuing again, once Namine has grown some more. We’ve already seen that her legs growing, and who knows? Maybe in a couple years, the harness might properly distribute her weight so that she can enjoy the experience more.