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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??



Politics in the Produce Section


Usually going to the grocery store on a Sunday, after 11am is a huge mistake.  If I go early on Sunday it’s a breeze, because it’s just me and the other heathens.  But I was lazy this weekend, and got a late start. 

Let ye all go forth and descend upon the grocery store like locusts upon a field.

Note:  For this post, my “inner” dialog will be written in parentheses.

While perusing the first strawberries of the season, I heard someone call my name.  I looked over, and saw the district autism coordinator (oh geez, summon a big fake smile, quick).  I’ve had mixed feelings and experiences with her (god, she doesn’t have any makeup on and looks like hell), so I wasn’t sure how I felt about the random encounter (AND she’s wearing sweatpants.  I have makeup on and jeans.  Awesome, I have the upper hand in terms of presentability.)

We talked for a minute about the budget issues.  The school district is bracing to receive 20 million less in funding this year, and many positions are on the possible chopping block, including hers.  She said she’s stressed because she has a son in college (lucky for her she doesn’t have a kid with autism to worry about), but she’s thinking of starting a daycare if her position gets cut (I wouldn’t let her dog-sit for me).

Because I’m selfish and single-minded, I steered the conversation toward the behavior intervention plan they were working on creating for Connor, at my insistence (because they’re slackers and shouldn’t need me insisting to have the obvious).  She says they’re working on “data tracking.”  So I told her that my original question was can an aide or someone spend a week shadowing Connor at recess, and helping with social skills on the playground, because that’s when he has a difficult time.  How hard is it to understand that a kid on the spectrum needs help and coaching to learn how to play with the other kids? 

“I’m sure we can find a way to make that happen.”  (standard bullshit answer)  So I reminded her that my initial question about a shadow was never answered in the onslaught of back-and-forth email between me, regular teacher, sped teacher, and her.  I was told about the social stories they read him (great, but forgotten by recess) and about his “motor time” (still useless at recess).  But no one could ever give me an answer about a shadow at recess to help with social skills. 

Oh yes, she assures me she will look into that (lying sack of shit).  And I remind her that it shouldn’t take me ten emails back and forth about something like this (and if they thought they would wear me down, they were sorely mistaken, because I will take it to the ends of the earth just to prove a point, because I’m that much of a bitch).  It should be common sense that a child with autism needs some help with social skills on the playground. 

I did not, however, tell her that I was completely aware that they were all using stall tactics to try and stretch this out to the end of the year (goddamn them to hell).  I also did not mention that I called the principal to request the behavior intervention plan to force them to include social skills training into his IEP (how can I make these people care half as much as I do about my kid’s success in school?). 

I’m not sure if our encounter will produce any results, but I thought it was fortuitous timing to run into her (why was her hair so freakishly dry??  She needs a deep conditioner…).    Maybe it was an unfair advantage to run into her and push my agenda, but autism isn’t fair, school districts aren’t fair, life isn’t fair.  And damn it, I have a job to do.

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