Monday, April 4, 2011

Transient Magic

Just so ya know, I do not have my Mommy of Especially Needy Child shit together all the time.

Owen's cousin's birthday party was yesterday.  At a kiddie gymnastics place.  The party goers were shuffled into the gym to play as the parents watched through big windows.

The warm up exercises went fine.  Owen was able to copy the instructor's movements.  He was laughing and having fun.

Next was a relay activity; instructions were given, the kids were divided into groups, and given specific jobs to do.

Owen stared blankly at the instructor, and when his turn was up he burst into tears because he didn't know what he was supposed to do.

Because he couldn't hear her.

I should have foreseen this. I should have been in there interpreting for him.  I should have protected him from feeling left out.

I did go in and interpret for the rest of the party. And he ran and jumped and did all the things the rest of the kids were doing.

But I still felt like an asshole.

And I could have done without the pitiful looks from the other parents there.

Because even though there are times when it fucking sucks to be us, I don't wish we were anyone else.

Yesterday was not magical.

But big picture?  We've had more than our share of the stuff.

And today, Cheryl at MommyPants has me guest posting about that magic.

Go read, please and thank you.


  1. Read you on Cheryl. Lovely post there and here. You are such a fabulous mother, even on your decidedly non-fabulous days.

    My latest post is about getting "the look" from people when I'm out w/ my autistic son. Sometimes it's pity, sometimes something much darker. I still hate it, always.

  2. i'll check it out- I'm sure you are an asshole (since you say so) but I don't think this is an example of you being one-

    Your twitter pic is making me feel sick-

  3. As one who regularly commits these errors, they are called "accidental asshole" moments and are therefore excused. Those judgement pitying looks are NOT excused and are "intentional asshole" moments and can be picked on at length.

  4. Dude, you dropped one ball. Who would give you a pitying look? That's silly. I'm sure once you got there Owen was fine. What dumb ass instructor didn't realize he was looking at them blankly?

  5. We've all had our asshole moments. The instructor could have tried to help more, too. I'm glad he had fun!

    I read your post over at MommyPants. I love it!!

  6. You are a fabulous mother as I and others have said now and many times in the past. How could you have known there would be an issue? Don't beat yourself up about it.

    Love you here and loved the article on Chery's blog!

    Congrats on being able to share over there too! :-)

  7. Perfect parenting, like hindsight, is always 20/20.

    Of course, we always know what to do, after the moment has passed.

    But who parents on their feet? Not me? I'm all in the moment, and learn later.

    That's where the joy comes in. Don't fill your head with preplanning, Tulp, let others see your humaness.

    That's where the beauty of the moment is: the adapting that aothers witness.

    Just this post here? Brought a lump to my throat.

    Because it's a true picture of parenting.

    Don't change.


  8. If you are an asshole then I'm a but-munch. It's OK to fritz every once and a it NOT OK to have stipid parents gauck and stare. Those are the true ass holes.

  9. stupid, not stipid, uggh, who's stupid now......

  10. So you're a rotten mom. If you really wanted to atone for your mishap, you'd have gone in there and performed a little gymnastics routine complete with cartwheels, back handsprings and double twisting what-the-fucks.

    What's wrong with you that you didn't? Don't you love your son?

  11. off to read you over there, too. and your tweet pic is also making me throw up a bit.

  12. You're awesome, you know that? You truly fucking are. You're my hero and I can only hope to be half the mother you are to my son. If I'm half the mother you are, then I'll be happy and think I'm doing a good job. You totally rock and I really admire you.

  13. ack! it is hard to prepare/predict for everything in life and to do everything perfectly. i am the type that has to live and learn. and i bet you learned from this and it will never happen again if you can help it. and no worries -- you fixed it -- and i bet he had a rad birthday. :)

  14. We all have off days.

    We are human even if we aren't suppose to be. :)

  15. I have been reading your blog for a little while and enjoy your irreverent bits and the straightforward way you deal with life experiences.

    I don't know if you need to characterize yourself as a bad mother because you did not anticipate every need. All kids need to develop skills such as self-advocacy and resilience...among others, to foster their eventual independence. Sometimes, you need to let them founder just to help them develop these skills. Problem solve later with him, what could he have done to change what happened.

  16. You are not an asshole. You are human, and a damned good mother to jump in the minute you read the fail of the situation. You would think that the instructor might notice the hearing aids combined with the deer in the headlights look and come to the conclusion that "hey, perhaps this kid can't hear me very well". The true assholes are any and everyone giving the pitying stares. God I hate those worse than an infestation of fleas in a place I can not itch in public! Pity is a far dirtier and foul four letter word than fuck.

  17. I'm not surprised that you forgot that you'd need to interpret.. Part of your success with Owen is due to the way you treat him as a totally capable and able boy. :-)

    Great post over in the other place too.

  18. Been there. Done that. Except with an extra chromosome.

  19. I look up to you, you know. It's the attitude I think. And yeah, one ball.. Off to see your guest post.

  20. The parents were giving you looks of pity? Screw them! I'd have been giving you looks of AWE. Sign language is hard, and something I've always wanted to learn.

  21. Loved your words at Cheryl's place. Love them here, too.

    Because we're human, and we beat ourselves up, it's good that you allow us to see that.

    And your sister is totally right.

  22. What else can be said but Ditto after all of those wonderful true comments! Suck it up Tulp - you are great and you're going to have to learn to take compliments!!

  23. That sounds like a fantastic party - I bet he only remembers the fun parts.

    (Though I do repress all my bad memories, so that might be my own bias.)

  24. I've said it before, I'll say it again: other people suck.

  25. That's absolutely heartbreaking, Tulpen - I can totally see how "having an absolutely great time" suddenly becomes the most frustrating event in the history of frustrating events - at least it doesn't sound like the day was salvaged.

    KLZ said it best, though, other people suck.

  26. If you had gone in and interpreted you may have regreted that decision as well. You made the decision you thought was best at the time.
    F the other parents.

  27. I love your honesty. I've felt like an asshole plenty of times, myself. Will read you at Cheryl's as well!

  28. You and I both know you suck BIG TIME

    Mia signs along whenever the F you song comes on the radio.

    thanks for that


  29. Sorry to leave a double comment, but I wanted to let you know I tagged you for an award.. **quickly ducks** Please do't feel like you have to do it though!

  30. You rock. Owen rocks. You're doing the best you can. Which happens to rock.

    I know, I know, fuck me.

  31. Hey. You cannot beat yourself up over this. You are human and the day turned out alright. I know it is easy for me to say, but throw this away and remember the smiles on Owen's face from a great day.



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