About a month ago, one of the corner straps for the utility carrying case* which wraps around the protective case for Jessie’s iPad, broke. Immediately, I ordered another and gave Jess her backup device. Within the week, the strap on this case broke too. I hadn’t realized it was on its last legs. This prompted me to call the company to see when we could expect the replacement. To my dismay, they had no record of the order which meant we would have to wait yet another week. Unfortunately, this left us in a predicament. Unless I could come up with a solution fast, it would mean Jess would be without her Talker for seven to ten days, and being without a voice is not acceptable for even one. Now I’m annoyed that we need a backup for our backup. Makes me want to $&##%# curse!
Because she takes her Talker everywhere, she’s very hard on the cases, but this isn’t our only concern. We’ve found the best way to ensure she doesn’t leave her Talker behind is for the device to have a strap that she can wear diagonally across her body, like a pocketbook. Not only does this keep the iPad from swinging but she’s less likely to set it down, get distracted and forget it. Of course, the app Find My Phone is installed, however, you do need to check that it is working. As I’m writing this, I just tried tracking Jessie and FMP is saying she is offline. This is not the first time this app has not worked (maybe it needs an update?). If it’s not one thing that fails, it’s another but I digress…
In the past, I’ve jury-rigged cases with plain metal key rings after the plastic attachments cracked. I’ve even made Jess her own carrying case because she needed the cross strap. This time, I MacGyvered it with a zip tie and she was good to go. These ties give it the industrial strength that the rubber band like straps lacked.
About a week later, two new utility cases arrived in the mail. The shoulder straps are thin and are uncomfortable for her to wear all day and I find carrying straps from travel bags seem to be a good solution.
Whereas my husband keeps a cheap pair of sunglasses in the car, I prefer to be prepared. Because we have needs, my travel bag includes: church key, (bottle and wine opener for the adults) drinking cup, lip balm, straws, nail clippers, sunscreen, hair brush, floss, quarters and some dollar bills, a few plastic bags**, iPad power supply cords, screen wipes, napkins, and now need to add zip ties. At one time, I kept gum and breath mints, however, Jess found the stash and being that she is extremely inquisitive and nosy, she couldn’t help herself from helping herself and that was the end of that! This list reminds me of the scene in The Jerk…and that’s all I need. This makes me wonder, what do other people keep on hand when they travel?
The first thing we made sure we had was a snack cup. The only way to prevent a mess was for Jess to have a vessel to put food in. Long before straws became an “issue”, we kept them in the car. It only took one time for us to stop for drinks at a convenience store only to find there were no straws. Jess will drink from a glass but not from a bottle or a can, and the car we were traveling in didn’t have the “in case of emergency” supplies.
And people ask what I do with my time? Usually, I’m thinking of things that will make Jessie’s life easier…and in turn, ours too.
*This Otterbox isn’t perfect but it meets her needs the best so far. As cute as otters are, if the Company wants to test for true ruggedness, they should hire Jessie to use in real-life situations.
*why plastic bags? They came in handy when Jess suffered a bout of cyclonic vomiting. I’ve also used them to pick up fawns and birds I’ve found on the road who didn’t make it to the other side. I hate seeing their bodies but I hate it more seeing them run over multiple times. After gently moving, I say a prayer and lay them to rest.