Wednesday, July 21, 2010

SGW: A Rant from Special Needs MommyLand

Today we welcome the Stark. Raving. Mad. Mommy.  Her stuff is great.  That letter to Dora...  And the ones about not being able to make friends in Texas and how she's now resorted to the internet to make mommy friends...  Hilarious.  Her Facebook updates are super funny and her tweets will make you snort your beverages. 

Also, if you have a kiddo with Autism or Asperger's or know someone who does, you need to know about this blog.  Because of the awesomeness.

Kate & Lydia

Do you have any idea how excited I am to be here? Kate and Lydia are my idols and I spend much of my free time stalking them reading and admiring their work. When my blog, stark. raving. mad. mommy., inched its way up to the Top 50 on Babble, I was excited because I was on the same page with Rants from Mommyland. Squee! I’m at a lunch table near the cool kids. Do you think they noticed my awesome new pegged jeans Op shirt jelly bracelets blog? OMG. I think Kate just looked at me. And made fun of my shoes.

Anyway, I need to tell you about my special region of Mommyland, which is known as either Special Needsville or Yes My Child Rides the Short Bus Dammit. Actually, my son is way too panicky to ride any bus. I have to drive him. We aspire to the short bus.

My four-year-old son has Asperger Syndrome. Asperger Syndrome is frequently referred to as “high functioning autism” or the “good” kind of autism. I am assuming that “high functioning” and “good” really mean “can kick George Lucas’ butt at Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga.”

Speaking of Little Dude’s encyclopedic knowledge of Star Wars, I must mention this: he is not Rain Man. While I love me some pre-crazy Tom Cruise, not every autistic person has savant skills. In fact, it turns out that Kim Peek, the dude on whom Rain Man was based, was not even autistic; he had a rare genetic disorder called FG Syndrome. So if y’all could stop asking me if I’m planning on taking Little Dude to Atlantic City to count cards for me, that would be awesome. It is not a witty 80s pop culture reference. It is annoying. (Besides, it was Las Vegas, not Atlantic City, Genius. I will go toe-to-toe with anyone on the 80s references.)

Okay? Excellent. It would also be uber-helpful if you could keep your thoughts on Little Dude’s non-potty-trained status to yourself. Yes, I know you can see the top of his size 6 diaper sticking out over his shorts. He has a habit of pulling up his Clone Wars shirt so that he can play with his belly button. It helps him relieve stress. You drink too much coffee / T-box / Pabst Blue Ribbon to relieve stress, so don’t judge.

So I know you can see the diaper. It doesn’t mean you can comment on it. Making my son feel ashamed is not going to help me get him potty-trained anytime sooner. It’s just going to piss me off. When you comment, loudly and incredulously, “he’s getting a little big for diapers,” I’m going to respond even more loudly, “and you’re getting a little big for those fake Apple Bottom jeans.” Because your tramp-stamped muffin top is wayyyy more unsightly than an Elmo diaper peeking over my son’s waistband. That’s right: You better check yo self before you wreck yo self.

Fortunately for me, having twins first helped prepare me for an onslaught of unwelcome comments. Taking twins out in public seems to encourage strangers to ask all kinds of discerning questions like “Are they natural?” (Latex, actually. But don’t they look life-like?) Strangers ask if I have done infertility treatments. Why, yes. Yes, I did. Now let’s discuss the most physically and emotionally wrenching period in your life. Speaking of periods, please tell me in detail about your menstrual history. Because that’s what you just asked me about, Einstein. You should really be either Oprah or my OB/GYN if you’re going to ask me about that. And since you’re neither, you can suck it.

I have also been asked, more than once and in front of my twins, which one is smarter, which one I think is prettier, and my all-time favorite, “which one is the evil twin?” My response: “I haven’t figured that out, but now both of them hate you so you should probably start sleeping with the lights on. Because they are smart and sneaky and you will never see it coming.”

Another topic upon which I have received unwanted comments is the food allergy situation. All four of my kids have allergies; I have spent the last nine years doing the food allergy equivalent of keeping Kosher. I wrote a whole post about a food demonstrator who said directly to my son, “Oooh, how terrible to be allergic to strawberries. ’Cause they’re so gooooooood.”

That reminds me: my son can hear you, you insensate muttonhead. In fact, you should know that when he is not making eye contact, he is listening intently. He’s looking you in the eyes? Go ahead and keep blathering. He’s imagining you being eaten by the Rancor. People with autism, my son included, are not oblivious to criticism and snide comments. Most of them simply lack the social skills required to slam you back. But I have mad skills in that department. And the next person who makes my son or his sisters feel uncomfortable is going to be crying into his or her pillow for a long, long time. I am stressed, tired, and out of patience with muttonheads and I will not hesitate to tear you down brick by brick until your ego is withered to the point of needing psychotherapy.

If you want to ask me about fertility treatment because you’ve been trying to get pregnant for the last year, will I tell you all about it? Yes. If you want to ask me about my son’s hand-flapping because you’ve noticed your child doing the same thing, will I explain it? Oh, even yesser. But if you want to make comments just so you can feel like your reproductive system, genetics, and toilet-training skills are superior to mine, I’ll have to square up.

Well, thanks for listening to me rant. I feel better now, don’t you? Awesome.


stark. raving. mad. mommy. is the mother of four children, aged four to nine. She writes about parenting, insanity, and the Lego obsession known as Asperger Syndrome at

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