Monthly Archives: October 2012

Things I Love Thursday: Puppy love

Inspired by the lovely Katy, brewin up Hall and Oates over at I Want a Dumpster Baby…

Since I missed Wordless Wednesday yesterday, as I was still in a snit over a certain douche-canoe who shall not be named…  I present this:

“I want to HUG Manny!”

He is really learning to love Manny, and wants to pet him and play with him all the time.  Manny REALLY isn’t on board with this, but since he likes whatever Ben snacks on and doesn’t wanna get hollered at by me if he starts growling, he begrudgingly accepts.

I love this old man.  He was not happy when he brought Ben home–even lost a bunch of weight and such, but he came around once Ben started eating solid food. (go figure)  When Ben cries, he cries–Ben is a member of his pack, and he protects him as much as he protects me or my husband.

 

Sweet ol’ puppy dawg…

Categories: Autism | 1 Comment

Dear Ann Coulter

Or, like I like to refer to you, Cunty McCunterson.

Wow.  just…wow.  You know, I “get” that you get your attention by using shock value.  I understand that every fucking thing you say really has no meaning, or weight, or substance.  I get that you are just some lonely woman who needs the attention, good or bad.  Usually bad. I get that.  And I would give you a patronizing pat on the head any day of the week for that.

But really?

*sigh*  after last night’s debate, you did it.  AGAIN.  

And now no doubt you will trot out a little dog and pony show telling the world you should have used a different word.

Well, I’m going to stand by mine.  Cunt.

First off, it was the most OBVIOUS play to distract from Romney’s obvious loss with your stupid words.

But the second, and most important point.  By choosing that word, not only did you make a cheap shot to get attention, you disenfranchised and entire group of people. And not just liberals this time.  You sent a signal to every one of your fucked up followers that it is open season on people with developmental delays, or any differences, mental or physical.  Your continued use of this word is as insulting as if you called the president the N-word.

Which I suspect is what you wanted to do in the first place.  Cunt.

When you use words like that, you justify the rampant bullying that you and your kind do  to any person with a perceived difference, who may be facing and conquering challenges you would never be able to overcome.

Like this kid:

So while you may applaud Romney for taking it easy on the president–(BTW, is THAT what you would call that? Because, to me,  it looked like someone WEAK on foreign policy being schooled.  But I digress)  I hope the country and ALL the parents of kids with differences throw the fucking book at you, cunt.

Categories: Autism, Snark | 19 Comments

Flashback Friday

Time for a lil vocabulary lesson, yo.  Here’s a blast from the past…

June 30, 2010

Werd…

Like any new paradigm, when raising a special needs child, you are thrust into a world that has its own vocabulary. It’s a fine mix between a psychological and educational vocabulary. As a prior teacher, one of these I was quite familiar with—but the other was new. And frankly a little annoying.
As I began this journey with myriad professionals and the piles of books sitting on my nightstand, I found myself simply immersed into this vocabulary. I had failed to get the “Autism for dummies” series, but luckily I had the gift of inference having received the first part of my education OUTSIDE of Calfornia. So with a little observation and thinking, I was able to decipher the true meaning of these new words coming at me.

Typical: a kid without any developmental or physical delays. Also called neurotypical.

Yeah—I know. We’ve all heard this one—maybe not this word, but we’ve been through the routine. When I was a kid, typical was “normal” and everything else had a label—usually retarded or handicapped. But those terms are passé now, and I think I’ve seen a millions different labels since. (I also have a special needs aunt, so I’m a bit more familiar with this particular dog & pony show) Like a lot of people, I always thought this was silly. I have to say, I get it now. If I sit and refer to my friend’s kid as “normal”, well where does that leave Ben? Yeah—it’s like hearing your neighbor’s meatloaf is restaurant quality, and you think, well, what the hell is wrong with mine? Nothing. They’re just words. But words don’t wipe the smirk of Rhonda McSupermom’s face when her kid does something yours doesn’t. Correction: I know one or two words that might, but that would hardly help my cause…

Receptive Vocabulary: the language we receive.

A problem in this arena is best explained with an analogy, it think. Imagine you were dropped into a foreign land, lets say, Utah on a Sunday. Being it is an arid state, you might wish to quench your parched throat with a tasty libation, and since you have no idea how or why you’ve been dropped in Utah, perhaps that libation should contain a certain percentage of alcohol. So, imagine your confusion when you find no open bars or liquor stores. You ask passersby where you might find such a libation, only to hear them say to you that liquor may not be sold on Sunday. These words make no sense in your brain. Beer cannot be purchased? How does one celebrate one’s favorite sporting event if it should happen to fall on the weekend? Where might one escape the drudgery of every-day life and tilt with complete strangers? You are confused and frightened. You decide that speaking to these people is not a good choice, and remove yourself. Next time your son, daughter or significant other look at you with quizzical horror, remember Utah.

Expressive Vocabulary: the language we express. 

If you have a problem with receptive, you will no doubt have a problem with expressive. Example: If you don’t understand that the person honking their horn at you is trying to tell you that you have a coffee cup on the roof of your car, you might respond with the wrong expressive vocabulary—either verbal or non-verbal—such as a string of four letter words questioning the parentage or IQ of the honker in question, or a simple non-verbal finger gesture. A strong grasp of the surrounding receptive vocabulary can lead to more appropriate Expressive Vocabulary.

Transition: moving from one activity to another.

This has become a favorite, since it is one of Ben’s weaknesses. Once little man has a routine, or if he’s having a fabulous time doing something, he does NOT want to be told that we are going to do something else. I mean, if you were told, “no, you need to put down that margarita and come over here and eat some lima beans,” would you not object? Typical parents have to deal with this too—but the objections evolve into different forms. My son? Screamfest. Your son? *whine* “But WHYYYYYYYYYYYYY?” Which is more annoying? Who can say?

Meltdown: The Special Needs Tantrum 
(not to be confused with the special needs boogie)

Toddlers have tantrums. We all know this. Kids with Autism also have tantrums. Managed in similar ways. Basic rule: ignore a tantrum and it stops—maybe not instantly, but it will stop. This is not what this word meltdown is about. Just google the words Austim and Meltdown: page upon page of descriptions, possible set-offs and desperate pleas from parents on how to deal with this phenomemon. Ok. Imagine a tantrum. Now multiply times 100. Add violence. And half a day. That, my friends is a meltdown. It’s like the Israeli/Palestinian conflict of tantrums. Every parent has their strategy—some work, some don’t. That’s because most of our strategies involve how to handle this occurrence at home. (i.e.—I put Ben in the bathtub. Calms his shit down immediately) But many of these meltdowns happen OUTSIDE the home. Which leads to the even more fun, “looks from strangers”. I really think I should start taking pictures and then make a coffee table book. Call it “Views From a High Horse”.

IEP: the school district’s educational plan for your child. 
(Or, an hour of making you feel like an idiot.)

This meeting, following the joyous evaluations you’ve had, is set to discuss these evaluations and what they plan to do for your child. Now, my snarky comment aside, many school districts have lovely IEP meetings with caring teachers and therapists who work together to create an educational plan that best suits your child’s needs. Those meetings tend to occur in districts that do not have the words “first” or “second largest in the country”. For those of us in those districts, these meetings can be…well…shot worthy. They often start with READING TO YOU. Yes, it’s story time children. Let me read this report to you instead of giving you your own copy to read before the meeting so that we can “discuss” the findings. This is right up there with people who make power point presentations and then READ THEM TO YOU. Frankly, this whole thing could be handled better if they would just set up a bar with some snacks. You have a drink, eat a little crudite’ and then take 30 minutes to discuss the findings and the plan, make sure everyone is happy, or if not, how to discuss implementing alternate plans. I realize not everyone is college educated, and moreover, I recognize the sad state of education in the state of California—but if we continue to treat parents like they are idiots, that state of education isn’t going to get much better.

At this point, it’s probably safe to say I should start carrying around a notebook to start recording all these lovely words and phrases. Never know when you’re gonna be stuck in Utah (or a few choice states in the south) on a Sunday. Ok, a notebook and a flask. And a camera—to catch those “looks”.

Categories: Autism, flashback friday, Snark | 1 Comment

I Am.

This was inspired by You Know It Happens At Your House Too!

The idea:  Take the phrase “I am ____” and write on it for 5 minutes.  Yeah–set a timer and all that shizz.  What, i my classroom i once called a “quick write” to keep those lil fuckers busy while i took roll and got my shit together.

Here goes…

I am.

I am a woman, with all the wonderfulness and awfulness that that entails.

I am a mother.

you know where he’s going? Awesome town.

I am a mother of the most awesomest awesome kid who ever rode to town on the awesome train.

I am the mother of a child with autism.

I am tired.  I am frustrated. I am waiting for the day that i can relax.  And i mean REALLY relax, not the five minutes i get from time to time to fucking BREATHE and eat a popsicle.

I am afraid that day will never come.

I am beset on all side by those trying to tell me how to do this.

I am not really listening.  much.

I am, however,  learning.  always learning.  About Autism, about caregiving, about pie crusts, about keeping a marriage working, about how to make my own stain fighters,  about surviving.

I am crafty.  You want it?  I make it. questions?

I am a writer.  always have been.  Since i could put pen to paper.  ask my kindergarten teacher, and the story about the lions…

i am…

i am…

CRAP!  I’m late to wake up the kid for school!  I am outta here!

 

Categories: Autism | 7 Comments

Turns Out I Was A Hipster And Didn’t Even Know It.

 

(Originally posted Dec 1 2011.  But i’ve noticed an uptick in the mommy wars, so i thought it would be a good time for a re post)

I was canning before canning was cool.

So, I’m trollin’ FB in the wee morning hours before the house awakens, and I come across this link  to an article shared by Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom. (she didn’t write it–she was just sharing it)

And I read the post written (which, if you don’t wanna click through, disparages women who “urban homestead” by suggesting we are hipsters with 1st world problems and a silly distrust of our national food safety, and that we have in a sense stepped “back” in our feminism by choosing to live this way) and i think, WHISKY TANGO FOXTROT?

So then I click through to the Washington  post article, (which was her original subject, which makes the “hipster” argument, but actually makes it sound cool–TOO cool) and I’m just gettin all worked up.

Because *I* am that woman she is talking about, and she’s not being very nice in her judgy assitude. (i’d love to take credit for that word–but someone used it in reference to this article, and I fell in love with it.  Consider it now a part of my vocabulary)

I make bread.  I make jams and pickles and can them.  I spin and knit.  I make a lot of shit from scratch.  I sew clothing and other items.  I try my damnedest to budget and stretch my food supplies to live a life of less waste.  I recycle.

I do NOT however raise chickens. (but wish I knew someone who did) and I am a horrible gardener.  I try every year and it’s just sad.

I do these things not because of some moral imperative but because I consider it my job as a SAHM.   *MY* job–not your job, not her job not his job.  MINE.  I will willingly help someone learn anything I know, but I never expect anyone, ANYONE to adopt what I do.  I don’t do it for any kind of status (although I can be a praise whore about it–but I think we can agree that another issue entirely) and I don’t do it in protest or whatnot.  I do it because I can, and that enough for me.

But that’s beside the point, because it doesn’t matter why I do what I do.  Who the fuck cares?  Haven’t we had enough mommy judging?  I also sit my kid in front of the computer or telly sometimes (OK, a lot of times), and lord knows there’s enough flack about THAT floating around.

I mean, WHY, as women, do we have to constantly DO this?  I don’t care that a woman works outside the home bringing in money.  I don’t think she’s any less of a woman.  Nor do i find those who home school or are more “homesteadier” to be any better or worse than myself.  We all do what we do.  Do we judge men this way?

I’ll admit it: I get it, kinda.  I mean–we (women i mean) carry around this self-judgy shit that isn’t easy to throw off.

Example–I’ve got a friend (I KNOW, right?) who is 1)gorgeous 2) skinny 3) GORGEOUS and 4) keeps an immaculate home.  I mean FUCKING IMMACULATE.  If she’s got dirt or dust somewhere, she must keep it in a secret fucking room where trolls live because I’ve never seen an out-of-place item or speck of dirt in her house.  EVER.

And when I see her house, do I think to myself–”what a lovely home”?  NO.  First thought is always “WTF am I doing wrong that I cannot keep house half as well as she does?  She’s got two kids fer chrissakes and I’ve only got one!”  Instant self loathing.  At least I am hating myself in a lovely space though.

(Really Mar–you are AWESOME, and seeing your home only makes me want to be a better homemaker.  And thinner.  Mostly just a better homemaker.)

So, it’s like we’re set up to judge and feel guilt when we feel we find we are not meeting some stupid self-perceived perfection mark.  And sometimes, we lash out at those who are doing such as awesome job.  Like hating on women who make their own bread because you never have.

Not to mention the fact that many of us feel guilt for either staying home or working outside of it because there seems to be this perpetual battle of “my mothering is better” on both sides.

I will admit that I feel guilt on a DAILY BASIS that I am not working (in the traditional sense), especially when we have to tighten the budget for one reason or another.  And this is after I work two jobs from home and spend a majority of my time in therapies and teaching my son.  I still feel guilty.

And there are moms who work outside the home who bring home the bacon, fry it up, help with homework and read bedtime stories and still feel like they aren’t doing enough.

We are thrust into this perpetual battle over the stupidest shit.  Is your kid alive? check.  Do you qualify for either “Supernanny” or “Hoarders”? No?  Then you’re doing ok in my book.

Not that my book even fucking matters.  Because my book only matters here, in this house, with my kid and husband and dog, and kinda the neighbors but not really.  And it really just irks me that women still feel they have to play this game.

[Do men play this game? because I am curious as to what y'all judge each other on if you do]

I really disliked this author’s idea that by living my life like this, I was “taking a step backwards” in my feminism.  (But I also dislike the idea that by doing this I am more of a feminist, as the hipster homesteaders tend to claim.)  And then she just had to make it better.

I made a fairly ubiquitous  non-comment stating some of what I stated here(without the cussing or name calling), wanting to point out that food dyes, at least in THIS house, are a problem, and that I try to control what my kid eats because of his Autism.  And I get this:

Carry on?  CARRY ON?

I realize she was just trying to be nice, but you know what I read with her words?  That condescending  nod and pitying look that says “oh you poor thing–the hardships you must bear!” and I wanted to cock punch the bitch.

(one might say pity makes me a little stabby.  If one wanted to get shanked, that is)

And what’s with the “close to  an autistic boy” shit?  it’s like saying, “oh, I have a black friend” in order to justify the bullshit coming out of your mouth.  You know someone with Autism, do ya?  what, did you stand next to a kid having a meltdown in a grocery store once? Did you watch Temple Grandin and now you’re all knowledgeable?

Am I overreacting?  Probably.  But if she can write a piece meant to get her some attention in order to stir up the pot and draw readers to her blog, then I can overreact and stir the pot back, right?

Pity sucks.  Period.  I don’t need her judging my life and I DON’T need her pitying it.

Now if you’ll pardon me, I need  to go start my bread dough and throw in a load of laundry and create a menu plan for the week.  And to stop reading blog posts from women who would NEVER  survive a zombie apocalypse.

You’ll recognize me during the apocalypse.  I’ll be the one enjoying a fresh slice of bread…

see that? THat bread right there? I made that. And she can’t have ANY. (mostly because we ate it all)

Categories: Uncategorized | 16 Comments
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