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Hater Humpday

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Hater Humpday is like shooting ducks in a barrel.  The hardest part is narrowing down which offenders will be featured.

Let me describe Connor’s weekly social skills playgroup.  I dread going to this every week, because the parents sit around in the waiting area taking great pains to not look at each other or speak.  Ironically, it’s a SOCIAL SKILLS playgroup.  See what I’m getting at here??

Yesterday, the jackhole dad of one of the kids had one of the kid’s toys, one of those cups with a ball on a string, and you’re supposed to throw the ball up and catch it in the cup.  It looks exactly like this:

Anyway, jackhole tossed the ball up and missed.  Me, trying to strike up conversation and be friendly, because I’m a total asshole like that, says “yeah, that thing is hard to do, Connor is better at it than I am.”

So, Captain Craptastic says, in a very serious, uptight way, “oh, I’m very good at it, I just missed once.”  And then turns his head.  Right, uh huh, and I suppose you also get all of your underwear from K-Mart and your dad lets you drive the car in the driveway on Sundays, right?

I wanted to drag his bloated carcass down the hall, because he would really benefit from attending the social skills playgroup with his son.

So, there’s also a mom and dad pair there.  They are trying to be all cutesy and put together, and their other NT kids are being fussed over and they are generally over parenting the kids.  And I just couldn’t take my eyes off the spectacle because, really, it’s all such bullshit.  You know their kid is chewing off the furniture legs at home, and they scramble to find a pair of clean underwear in the morning just like the rest of us families out here in the world.  They be frontin’.  Meanwhile, I’m trying to keep it real up in the hood, but they’re not feelin’ me.

And then there’s this other mom.  Her son has autism and is more profoundly affected than most of the other kids.  I totally feel her pain, I do.  But the odd thing is that every week, she turns her boy around and tells him to “say hi to Connor and look at him when you say it.”  She’s trying to enforce the social skills he’s learning.  Oddly enough, she has NEVER said hello to me, not even once.  I implore you, good people, isn’t that weird?  It is, right?

So, in short, my hater humpday is devoted to social skills playgroup, but on a broader level, to other parents.

See, I went from living in a fantasy world of having a baby and thinking there was this magical “sisterhood of motherhood” that awaited me.  But it didn’t.  What awaited me was a bunch of competitive, neurotic train wrecks that were constantly one-upping each other with tales of how little Blaine could write his name when he was two, or how little Bobo has been accepted to the most prestigious pre-school.

After diagnosis I thought I would find some kind of motherly bond amongst the spectrum parents, akin to that of combat soldiers.  Nope, another delusional creation of my fatigued brain, because what I’ve found are antisocial, downtrodden parents who have no interest in socializing.

Jesus.  If your kid pees on my floor and tries to steal the dog’s kibble I’m not going to judge you.  I’ll probably just tell you about how one dog steals my socks and eats them whole, the other dog obsessively licks one spot on his leg for hours on end, until it is raw and I have to take him to the vet, and how Connor likes to smell the toilet paper after he wipes.

It’s the house that cuckoo built, and we all live in it, so can we not just get along??



About Flannery

Kid, husband, dogs, my mother, full-time job, maximum stress, minimal relaxation...sooner or later I had to vent. AND we moved from California to Texas. I could start a whole other blog about that.

13 responses »

  1. What the hell? I guess none of these parents have ever been told how important it is to MODEL behavior they want their children to emulate. Or maybe they don’t really care if their children develop social skills and are just there to assuage their own guilt. Yeah, probably that one. They’re probably afraid if they get into a conversation with someone else, a play date might be suggested, and oh my gawd they can’t manage their own kid much less someone else’s.

    I can somewhat sympathize, because I am awkward and anti-social my own self, but for your kids, YOU GET OVER IT.

  2. What is it with a-hole parents?!? I don’t get it. And for the record, my kid’s peed on the floor and well, if I had a dog, you can bet it’d be chewing up half my furniture. You have a sisterhood–out here. Eff the rest of them.

  3. I haven’t been to a social skills playgroup, but I have been amazed at the level of nastiness/idiocy among parents. It’s exhausting.

    I think the internet brings the good people together. That’s what I’m finding.

  4. Then you have those parents that only want to talk so you can become their babysitter when they need to go out of town but are too damn busy for you for real socializing outside of their babysitting needs.

  5. See, and my demented mind would FAULK with these people. If someone said “My kid can walk on his hands across a path of burning coals while reciting Shakespeare” I would go “Wow. that’s neat My kid uses shakespeare to wipe his arse, then he smells it and asks “to be or not to be”.

    I can’t wait to have a kid. If we ever get preggers and its a boy, we are naming him Theodore Rex. True Story, its part of the deal. Lance’s one demand.

  6. A few times, I’ve started to share something Li’l D did that excited me, only to be cut off with, “Oh, well, my son did something even more awesome . . . a month earlier!” That always leaves me feeling both a little bit sad and a little bit surprised. (It’s probably ridiculous of me to be surprised at this point, huh?) In these cases, I wasn’t saying something to be competitive. I was saying something because I delight in each sweet new thing my son does or says. Why must it be a matter of oneupsmanship?!

    Several people have said things like, “You’re going to demand your son be a high achiever like you, eh?” In each case, I’ve responded, “As long as he’s happy and not hurting people, I don’t care if he’s a hot dog vendor.” With my family’s long, close history with mental illness, it’s much more important to me to encourage Li’l D in the pursuits he loves because he loves them than to “earn” bragging rights via his successes.

    I just want to have fun watching him grow, and enjoy other parents’ wonder at watching their kids grow. I’m not interested in competing . . .

    Oddly enough, she has NEVER said hello to me, not even once. I implore you, good people, isn’t that weird? It is, right?
    It could be that she has a degree of shyness herself, or she might be doing something I occasionally find myself guilty of: being so focused on my son, I forget we can both interact with others. At the same time!

  7. It’s the general coldness and competitiveness of American society. I swear to God, sometimes, I smile at people and say polite things like “How are you?” Or “What a lovely child!” and they treat me like I’m either a complete idiot or I’m just leading them on and secretly planning to manipulate them out of their life’s savings.

    All those years of awkwardly learning social skills through trial and error, only to find they’ve gone out of vogue. Bummer.

  8. In defense of the guy, he probably is really good at that game. You watching him, see, put the pressure on. What he needs to work on is getting his skill down pat, so that in a public, pressure situation he can perform up to his capabilities. He probably looked away so that you wouldn’t see the intense look of concentration that game requires.

  9. How frustrating! I’ve been in that situation too and I don’t get it. I think the best part of these situations is the possible opportunity to talk with other people who understand. Who don’t think it’s odd that every single shirt your six year old owns has had the collar chewed through (by that same six year old). Or that yes, it IS the end of the world if the noise levels gets to loud and God help us all if the fire alarm goes off.

  10. Wow, what a nightmare! But the sisterhood is here, they just can’t get out of their houses because the dog and the child are fighting over who gets to lick the furniture. But we are here! I promise!

  11. So, it’s bad form to kick other parents in the shins at social skills class. No, really. I’m asking. Cause people have turned so crazy, it’s hard to tell now. No wonder our kids have trouble. I was at a function recently with a group of women. They were all talking about exercise. I kinda zoned during that part and eyeballed the truffles. But then one woman snapped me back from lala land when she said, “Hey, you should go with me to zumba. You’d really like the instructor. Her kid is Autistic too.” Maybe for your next class, you should take up stimming in a corner and see what happens. And then of course tell us.

  12. Sisterhood – right here. Whenever you need it. I’ve got an idea what you could do with that cup and ball also but it might involve getting arrested- you up for that? I know a good lawyer or two… 😉


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