Friday, May 25, 2012

The Reverse Mommy Wars

     By now I'm sure we've all heard about the recent Time cover.  (There were boobies, right?)  And we've all seen the absolute shit show that followed it.  It's pretty hard to offend both sides of a disagreement with one picture, but Time did it.  Congrats, Time, you win a blender or something!  But despite my self-deprecating attitude regarding parenting, I actually feel like I don't do too awful of a job.  I'm pretty comfortable with my parenting choices, so people can talk all the smack they want.  I truly do not care.  So, needless to say, the Time cover really didn't do too much other than give me a bit of the old heebie jeebies.  But something that does seem to be a disturbing trend (and by disturbing trend I mean it's happened to me several times and I found it annoying) is what I like to call the Reverse Mommy Wars.  It's what happens when parents compete over whose child is less developed or less healthy.  And it kind of makes me vomit in my mouth a tad bit.

     In spite of my name for the phenomenon, the person who most recently committed this parental hate crime was a dude.  As Skeletor and I sat in the super awesome Vanderbilt Pediatric Department's waiting room, a man and his son sat next to us.  He looked at Skeletor, sizing him up, and asked, "What's wrong with him?"  (Don't even get me started on that.  I've had that happen more than once in a special needs facility.  Some people have no home training.)  I merely said that we were here for an evaluation with a strongly implied "now eff off" tacked onto the end of my sentence.  He then said something that irritated me even more.  He looked at Skeletor and then his son and said, "Well, you're just lucky he's verbal."  And then he proceeded to assess Skeletor and compare him to his son, who was clearly more severely autistic. 
     Seriously, guy?  This is not a competition, and if it was I would definitely not want to be the winner.  I'm sorry that your kid has some struggles that are different from my son's.  But, I'm pretty sure that my son has some struggles that your child doesn't deal with.  Can't we all just get along, people?!  I find it depressing that this type of behavior happens.  Even though we have special needs children, why in God's name would we not brag about all the awesome stuff they do?  I don't want you to feel sorry for me or my son.  We needs no pity parties around our way.  (Unless I'm throwing one.  I'm a hypocrite sometimes.)  I can see that some parents would hold back on this because they don't want to upset parents whose children aren't progressing as well as they had hoped.  But that wasn't the case with this douche kabob.  Instead of focusing on his child's strengths, he seemed to be using his son's disability to form his own personality.  And he was intent on tearing down anyone who might be doing the same.  And that is just sad.  Also gross.  So I would just like to make a plea to all the special needs parents out there.  We can commiserate with each other and give each other a shoulder to lean on, but let's talk about the good stuff, too!  Because even though it doesn't always seem like it, there's almost always more good stuff than bad.  And that's nothing to hide.

8 comments:

  1. Amen to that. I am sorry you had to sit next to that. I'd rather have compassion and a little silence any day!

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  2. Parent competition is the WORST.... Sounds like you handled it very well... BRAVO!!!

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    1. Thanks! I wanted to karate chop him in the face, but I held my homicidal tendencies in check.

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  3. Hear, hear! Well said, and I like your name for the phenomenon. I also like the phrase "douche canoe," and I plan on using liberally in the future if you don't mind.

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    1. Thanks. It's very likely that this has all been discussed in great detail and beaten into the ground before I came around these parts, but...well, I'm new here. So everyone should forgive me my trespasses and whatnot!

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  4. I love your positive attitude even when complaining about someone. That's talent right there! You're right. There is always good. Let's focus on the that. Brilliant!

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    1. Yeah, I'm actually a pretty positive person. But don't tell anybody. I've got to protect my street cred!

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