June 23, 2011

Ten Things I'd Like to Say, But Don't

Thanks to Mama Kat, I can forget about the social niceties and let 'er rip. The prompt I chose this week:

List 10 things you wish you could say to strangers who share unsolicited advice about your parenting skills.

It was hard to limit my list to just ten things. And since The Boy is now almost 16, the looks and comments I get about him refer mostly about him, and not directly about my parenting skills or discipline (but I know that they're thinking about what a lousy job I've done). At this point, I get more looks than actual comments.

The look I hate the most is when they screw their faces up into the pity look. I don't need their pity; I sure as hell don't want their ill-formed advice.

And the comments are always from adults - kids, for the most part, keep their traps shut.

  1. "What are YOU looking at?"
  2. "Aren't you glad he's not twins?"
  3. "You take him home. Let's see you do better."
  4. "He's autistic, what's your excuse for staring so rudely?"
  5. Sometimes, after repeated looks, I'd like to say, "Come on, admit it - you're jealous that you're not me, aren't you?"
  6. I sometimes get the comment "You sure have your hands full." I hate that. It sounds like The Boy is a hopeless cause, and I'm so overwhelmed that I can't do better. To that, I'd say, "Bite me."
  7. When The Boy insulted the lady in the store, telling her "I can't believe God made someone as fat and ugly as you", I wanted a hole to open up in the floor, so I could disappear. My response? "He has issues. I'm very sorry."
  8. Another comment I get is "Better you than me." Oh, yes, that's helpful. I don't even know how to respond to that one, other than to give them the stink eye.
  9. One of my least favorite comments (said when he was younger, and more, uh, energetic) "A good swat on the butt would take care of that." To them, I'd say, "Only if a swat on the butt would somehow fix brain chemistry - go ahead, give it a try."
  10. At Eli's birthday party on Saturday, another guest said "I knew something was 'off' about him, but I didn't know what." To her, I wanted to say, "Yes, it would be easier for you if he wore a shirt that listed his diagnoses, wouldn't it?"
Let's just face it - most folks wouldn't have a clue what to do with the kid, either. 

"They don't want the truth - they can't handle the truth!"

What they most want to do is retreat into their own perfect family and thank God that The Boy isn't theirs.

I'm glad The Boy is mine, he's still a work in progress - maybe one day, he'll be socially appropriate a majority of the time.

With current autism rates at an all time high, maybe acceptance of kids with special needs will become common, as more families have personal experiences with them. 

One can only hope. And smile, wistfully, until then.


  1. The better you then me one.. oh yeah I have a comeback for that. Yep I am so much better then you God chose me to be this child's mother. He knew that someone as self righteous and uptight as you could not handle the treasure within him. You see the cracks and I see the light that shines through them.. You are so right better me then you..

  2. I empathise, and I realize you have more retsraint than I, because I would have to EDUCATE these people!

    Hugs. Every mama deserves one, some more than others. You are doing a great job. Pat yourself on the back, or kick ass.

  3. #7 was awesome. I mean, just because his honesty was so right there and completely not malicious and it maybe hurt that person but it wasn't mean that way and people should understand that. Adults say stuff like that all the time and it's pretty much just to be mean.

  4. I found you via Mama Kat.

    I too have an autistic child. My daughter, she's 5. I'm familiar with "the look". It never fails to leave me with a warm feeling inside, sorta akin to a volcano right before eruption.

    (I'm always excited when I find a blogger from my neck of the woods--I'm from KS. Nice to meet you and I will visit again!)

  5. What a great post. My nephew is autistic and it's hard on his parents, who get really rude comments all the time.
    Please come to our blog, http://paris-ankara.blogspot.com we talk about autism a lot. We'll never talk about it enough, in my opinion. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I so agree with you, except, I may have already said a couple of those. I fear that I have nowhere near the restraint that you have.

  7. Do people seriously say stuff like that to you? I am a special ed teacher and find that SO offensive!

  8. I'm so glad that you find ways to write about your beautiful son! I've learned so much from you that I am able to take to work at my school.

    We have ADHD in our family, which is nowhere even remotely close to Austism, but which has challenged me. I have the highest of admirattion and respect for what you do on a daily basis.

    I loved the comment above about seeing the light shine through the cracks. How true for all of us!

    Again, thank you for this great post!

  9. You sure have more restraint than the rude ones who speak to you that way!! I've found the older I get, the more I want to just say what I'm thinking...and sometimes do! :o

  10. I wrote on this same prompt, but you certainly have more restraint than I! I cannot believe some of the things people say to you!
    I love your list!


  11. Yah, I think the "hands full" one is awful. Its such a cliche and people say it all the time, but it doesn't make it any easier to swallow. I'm glad you can actually say you've said some of those things. That's awesome :) Thanks for stopping by my blog--if you want to link mine up with yours you totally can! If you don't mind I'm gonna link yours as well...I think its really valuable to hear from a special needs parent. Great post!

  12. Excellent list! My hope is that as our culture evolves, we'll have more people who are sensitive to the uniqueness of each human on this planet.

  13. I can totally understand why you are so frustrated. It sounds like they are horrible.

    I think you should speak your mind sometimes. Why not?

  14. It just boggles my mind that people come out and SAY that. Thinking it is one thing ... but to say that to you is just beyond rude and awful. People suck sometimes.


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