I'm really tired of unsolicited advice from strangers, friends and family who think they could do better raising my child, aren't you? Why can't they just mind their own beeswax and run along? Sometimes their hearts are in the right place, but most of the time it's just showing off what they "know" about parenting, and trying to feel good about themselves while belittling us as parents. My personal favourite is the time where my babe was having a stimming meltdown in the middle of the mall, and a man in his 40's walked up to me and asked me if I could "control my child."
"My 'child' has autism, what's your excuse?"
10.) We are trained in verbal warfare. We received our training first from the family members we no longer speak to (no need to get into whether or not they're still with us, you just need to know we've won), passed friends (no, this is not a spelling mistake, take it any way you like) then our children's daycares, then their schools. After all that, our kids come home from school and teach us a few more words your neurotypical kids taught them...
9.) We're on the alert for any moving target. We're constantly evaluating and re-evaluating our surroundings, watching for you! We're ready for you and your assaults, and we've heard them all before. You don't honestly think you're going to be the first one to tell us there's something wrong with our kids do you? No shit Sherlock! Believe it or not, I thinks so too! So does his school, his paediatrician, his speech pathologist, his child psychologist and family doctor! Mind yer own beeswax laddy! Get yer panties out of their bunch and move along! 'Cuz if you don't, I may 'ave to lay da smack down on your rootie poo candie a$$.
8.) We are exhausted. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap as a child! We've endured countless sleepless nights due to stress, depression and a kid who just won't go to sleep no matter how many Melatonin you give him. How is this your problem? Well, statistics show that lack of sleep can cause seizures, hallucinations, psychosis, etc... and if this is the case, no court of law will imprison us for whacking you aside the head for your stupidity. Automatic temporary insanity. Booyah!
7.) We are fast. I'm not kidding. As I sat on my patio in the summer, I saw this kid running around outside with no clothes on and thought to myself "who's kid is that?" Then it dawned on me... THAT'S MY KID! I learnt that day that I can run across our back yard, tackle the little monkey in five seconds flat, and dress the squirmy commando kiddo in two. If I can tackle my super fast boy, trust me, I can get you too.
6.) We are tenacious. Popeye described YOU best: "I've had all I can stands, I can't stands no more." WE, on the other hand, don't have a choice. We keep going and going and going and going like the Energizer Bunny. Giving up is NOT an option. So you see, we can out run you, out talk you, and beat you, to the very end.
5.) Sarcasm and wit are our personal defence systems (well, definitely mine anyway) against drama, ignorance, whining and stupidity and we're (again, at least I'm ) not sorry for it. "I've had all I can stands, I can't stands no more" applies to US in this circumstance. You will most likely be told off in a way no man's been told off before... You will learn new phrases you wish you hadn't. Trust me, it's not gonna be pretty.
4.) We're not like "normal" people. Whatever that is... We used to be. I used to cry when people, including Dayton's school staff hurt my feelings or made me feel like a bad parent. Not anymore. Now I just get mad and don't care who I offend. I remember when I wore nice clothes, you know, dress pants, dress shirt, leather this and that, pretty frilly things, jewellery, make up, nails... I used to go out with my friends and barely stayed home. Now I live in my yoga pants and tee shirts, no joke. I wear yoga pants ALL THE TIME. I don't think I even own a pair of jeans anymore... Oh, wait... yes I do... the dryer shrunk them... And my friends? Yeah, I left those behind as well as family members who had a "problem" with my son. If you come over unannounced, there will be toys from one end of the house to the other, dishes in the sink, sticky table and counters, and laundry to be done. Seems some people have a problem with that. I used to be like that too, so I forgive you. But if I have to chose between you and my son, or house work and my son, my son wins hands down. So does his floor time play, which we do from 4pm to 6pm, have supper do homework and go to bed. So you see, my time is limited.
3.) We are strong. I bet you've never seen a small guy have a fit of rage and know he could take you. My lil'man was three years old, just had his adenoids removed and tubes placed in his ears. I was told to enjoy my "quiet weekend." When we got home, he got a little crazy, so I told him to go to his room. Within three minutes, he tore his bedroom closet doors down... big, huge heavy doors that took me half an hour to drag from his room to the basement laundry room. But I did it, all by myself. On the second thought, maybe I should let him take you on!
2.) In case you haven't figured it out by this point of my post, we're already mad! I mean mad cow mad. Super rage about to burst from the seams kind of mad. We're mad at God (yes, I know, how dare I? What kind of a Christian am I? Ummmm.... an honest one?!) for ripping us off, for not giving us a choice in what and how much we can handle. We're mad at Him for giving our child autism. We're mad at the doctors that didn't diagnose our kids early enough so we could get the help that they desperately need, because here in Winnipeg, there's so much bloody red tape to get through, I don't think even our beloved Premier Greg Selinger knows how to get through it, he certainly doesn't seem to know how to answer his phone. I wonder if he can tie his own shoes? We're mad at the educational system failing our kids, letting them fall through the cracks... Do you really want to be the one who makes me go postal? "Do you feel lucky punk?"
1.) Let's just say that I (I mean we) are amazing and just leave it that.
Consider yourselves hugged,