Saturday, January 18, 2014

What will you teach your child?

If I see another article, meme, post, essay, poem, or a wannabe PSA that focuses on how hard life is for Special Needs Parents (apparently, this being a SNP is a thing and we are all the exact same and our struggle, because that's what our lives are, is the exact same also) and how you, yes you, the person who is not in this club of Stepford parents, can help us by "really listening", "trying to understand and empathize", and baking us casseroles or offering to do our laundry, I will scream.

Seriously. I will go apeshit on a bottle of wine and cry myself to sleep after yelling unconstructively on various social media (example: Blogger).

I am not a member of a marginalized and oppressed minority, my kid is.

You probably think I sound ungrateful, some will say how divisive and dismissive of others' experiences I'm being, but hell: I'm never going to like being shoved into a box and made into someone's cause. This "we need to validate everyone's truth" stuff posing as dogma goes both ways, and I've had enough.


My kid doesn't deserve to be shoved into a neat little "this is how someone with Down syndrome is and will be," so why would I ever want stuff going around about my parenting identity that dismisses my actual reality and puts me in some corner to suffer under stares? Why would I want stuff going around about me that diminishes my kid, her person, her reality and her needs, and only looks at disability as something a family experiences, that happens to a family, something that's all about parents and siblings?

Fuck that shit.

This morning, as I sat on my couch, surfed Twitter, sang along to The Beautiful South's Don't Marry Her and El Chapo de Sinaloa's Para Que Regreses and tried to figure out whether my feminism was enough and whether it was okay for a feminist to unabashedly love such pieces of music, and just plain lived my average life, while the Babe danced like a banshee on one mother of a sugar high, I realized a few things.

1. I don't suffer. We don't suffer. We are not having a hard time because of having Down syndrome as part of our everyday.

2. I can fucking do my own laundry and bake a mean fucking casserole, if I want to. With and without bacon.

3. I want you to listen because I want you to understand why pitying me and a few other mean mothers I know will just make us meaner and louder. And sweary. And why ungrateful might just take on a new dimension if crap narratives keep getting this much fucking airtime.

4. Perpetuating a narrative about parents and caregivers of disabled people that focuses on hardship and need for compassion will hurt MY kid in the end. And I never want her to think she is or has ever been a burden on anyone. Especially when she is the biggest source of joy, love, goodness and fucking awesome sauce for me and the Viking I've ever encountered. So stop shitting on my kid with your assumptions of grief. Stop it.

5. What I need from you is for you to make my kid's access needs your access needs, for you to fight for inclusion and acceptance. What I don't need from you is emotional support because my kid doesn't have proper access to the same opportunities and experiences her typically developing peers have.

6. There's no way I can be nice or constructive about this. I'm at my wits end and conjuring up sarcastic memes and screaming into the wind are no longer enough.

Fuck you, pity party. I have lots of love, plenty of awesome, several suspicious casseroles in the freezer, and plenty of clean clothes (No mom, like for real). Deal.

Everyone should have a felted skunk.


Intersecting (IT'S NOT ONE ROAD, PEOPLE) with Jen from Down wit Dat


  1. Oh man, I love this. Thank you.

  2. So, so good, so glad to have found your blog, x

  3. Yes! I wrote something about this a while back, too:

    Glad I'm not the only one who hates all that special needs parenting bullshit.

  4. *Applause*

    I'm so fed up with it as well. And the fact that my son's special needs are what define him. I hate that too - "the XYZ syndrome boy". No, he's just a little boy, he wants to play and do things like other children. He's not the "syndrome boy". He's a little boy who happens to have some problems. But they shouldn't define him, any more than my problems define me. And yes, I am also just a mum, not a special needs mum.

  5. Yes. With a giant-assed bow and a side order of Cock (TM) sauce.

    I also LOVE my felted skunk.

    That being said, I'm at my wits end as well. What the hell is it going to take?


The Viking came home from a business trip packing a pink castle, a whole heap of princess and prince dollies and a carriage pulled by a unicorn. Life's good until someone swallows a crown or a glass slipper. I won't ever answer your comment, but I'll sure appreciate it while I'm sifting through shit looking for that crown. Yah.