Thursday, July 31, 2008

God, give me strength

WARNING. I'm using some profanity in this post, because I'm really quite annoyed right now. If you're offended by PG-13 language, best to move on.

I kinda think that the worst part about having a child with a disability is the way the world around them reacts. If children weren't total jerks that turn into adults that are total jerks, I would have considerably less anxiety about Ace growing up with cerebral palsy. However, since I was one of the little bitches in high school that made fun of the kids in special ed, I know I will face karmic retribution in the form of some little bitch making fun of Ace.

Let it be known that I will tear that little bitch's world apart, and you can all come visit me in the big house.

A woman I know online, "S," took her child out for a walk. Her child has cerebral palsy and is in a brand-spanking new wheelchair that he loves showing off. A kid in her neighborhood called her kid a "retard." Twice. (Let it also be known that I HATE that word, and cringe anytime someone uses it derisively.) Kid's mom defends kid, says S is actually the one with the problem. S walked away, crying.

I would have messed someone up. I have been in screaming matches before with people that I felt were treating their children poorly... you wanna treat MY kid badly? Drew would have to pull me off of someone.

I understand that I have to be the example Ace sees, and that eventually my reactions to these situations will become his reactions. I have thus far dealt with inquisitive people well because I want very much to educate everyone I come across - their inquisitiveness is not a negative thing. Sometimes I don't have a lot of time to explain prematurity and brain bleeds and spastic diplegia and AFOS, etc, but I will explain as much as time allows. (Also as much as the situation allows, since my explanations tend to involve my entire body and be fairly animated.)

I only hope that on the day I deal with someone calling my kid a name, insulting him because of matters beyond his control, God will give me the strength not to fly off the handle, as is my nature.

Reading S's message got me all riled up. S was on such an emotional high about her kid's wheelchair, only to face this. People who find themselves in situations they don't understand and turn to deliberate ignorance just seriously piss me off. Make an effort to educate yourself on all sides of an issue before making yourself look like a total douche.



Jo said...

Big Hugs Stacey. I understand your frustrations.

Once when my niece who has CP was playing another kid asked what was wrong with her and my nephew (not her brother... her cousin) said, "Well, when she was just a baby she was running down the sidewalk and she fell and hit her head and all her wires got crossed." Yeah... he was like 4.

You could try that one :)

I pray that you and Ace don't have to deal with name calling... and that if you do you will have the ability to educate the idiot who's doing the name calling.

I really don't want to have to visit you in the big house, sistah!!


Cassandra Hawkins Wilson said...

Stacey I am so mad at S for crying and not sticking up for her child. This year in kindergarten my son had to deal with that. Being in Brandon, he doesn't have many kids who look like him. He hates to be referred to as "Black." He quickly corrects you and say brown. One day, he came home and told me a kid called him and all "Brown" people monkeys...I was up at that school the next day...It's amazing at how parents are instilling hatred and other crap in their children's heads. Keep the prayer wheel turning for Ace. Always have his corner...He will be looking for it. My son was looking for it when his father called him soft...I had his back...He will never forget it! As an ex sped teacher, children are so cruel, but if I ever caught a regular ed student making fun of my students, I would embarass them so bad, they preferred to be written up. I hope Ace gets the same kind of teachers.

Stacey said...

Cassandra - S called the other kid a brat and told him and his mom that he needed to learn some manners. :) I think she did the right thing by walking away - much better than what I would've done.

Sharon said...

That's so hard.
Growing up, I had twin friends that weren't allowed over my house, because their mom found out I had a schizophrenic brother. I was crushed and confused by that (I was maybe 9).

Ace is just so sweet and the coolest kid. I'd love it if my kids could met him irl and be friends with him!
I'll [ray for those people that would even *think* about calling him a name. I'm sure they'd never see straight again after dealing with you. ;)

i'm black betty said...

i can only imagine...

yes, i would rip that mother's head off and serve it to her on a pewter platter i borrowed from alice. argh!

btw, you got tagged on my blog.

Watercolor said...

Amen. Hugs. Why people encourage meanness in their children is beyond me.

momma2ryan&jacob said...


I'm not sure how I stumbled upon your blog, but I think it must have been fate. I am the mother of two healthy little boys, and am about to VOLUNTARILY adopt a 2 year old who is not only trached, vent dependant, has downs syndrome, but she is also "brown". We are "pink" as my almost 3yo says. We don't know the first think about raising a child with a DD, but I'm willing to learn because I have fallen in love with her. I have looked at various links on your blog, as well as some of your friends' and feel like I have learned more in the past 2 weeks, than in all my training as a nurse and foster parent. I plan to continue reading your blog, and I appreciate your honesty, candor, and insight. I hope you never have to go through what your friend did, but I will pray that when you'll have some really good comeback ready! Ace is lucky to have a mom like you.


Alice said...

aww hell to the naw! That kid needs a beat down. I may have just snatched his ass up.

I almost beat a kid down for informing GB that it wasn't halloween when she was 3 and dressed at Snow White. I can't imagine....

HEATHER said...

I am totally astonished that a parent would DEFEND their kid calling another child that ugly name!!
Wow! I hope for your sake and precious boy's that you and he NEVER encounter someone who would treat him so ugly!

Old Bopper said...

Stacy this has nothing to do with the incident you described and then maybe it does. What we need at the local, state and national levels of government are physically handicapped people serving on boards and commissions. It's something you and other parents should start working on now so Ace's adult world will be a better place to live. I think that EVERY appointed board or commission should have a physically handicapped person on it. And I suggest we start with the State Board of Education.

Bird said...

I fear the child that pokes fun at my angel.

I used to teach SPED--specifically, I was in an inclusion classroom, which meant that the regular ed kids could see the ones I was helping. I'll start with "retard." If someone uses that word, the best defense is to ask them if they know what it means. A huge percent of people don't know that the definition of "retard" is slow.

If that doesn't work then hit them where it hurts. Tell them that you're sorry that they don't feel good about themselves, but that's no reason to make fun of someone else. I don't care how old they are. . . that will take them down a notch or two. If they keep it up, start talking to them like THEY are the stupid one: Baby voice, "this is a wheeeeel chaaaair--have you ever heard of a wheeeeel chaiiiir? They're for your leeeeeegs--not your braiiiiiin. Do I need to explain it agaaaaaaain? Are you easily confused?

Ok, I sound like a complete bitch, but the other kids learned real quick not to mess with my kids.

And, bullying is illegal in a many states, and I wouldn't be afraid to tell someone that if I had to.

The DP said...

Dude if anyone ever said anything wrong about ace, I would be right in jail with you. In fact if it ever happens, don't mention any identifying features about the offender because I would be psycho enough to hunt that person down and beat that person with a stick.
Ace is only the most perfect beautiful baby ever in the whole world ever ever ever and people need to recognize.
Oh and I totally dig Bird's choice phrases.

Jennifer said...

Things like this just make me SICK! I know how I feel when Landon gets picked on and there isn't anything visibly "different" or "wrong" (I hate the terminology, but you know what I mean) with him. The kids, I can pretty much handle, but the parents, not so much! Landon had mulch stuffed in his face by a kid at the park (Landon was trying to play with him and he didn't want Landon to)--Landon looked so shocked and defeated and my heart just broke while the other kids mom just rolled her eyes at me and kept talking to her friend. No wonder children grow up the way they do!

Ace is so lucky to have a mom like you who will take care of bid'ness! He is going to grow up confident and well-loved and unaffected by the crap around him!