Friday, March 25, 2011

Negative Nancy's annoyed by Bissfully Ignorant People

I'm really irritated by ignorance right now.

It's not even personal ignorance, it's like anonymous ignorance, the ignorance of strangers, dumb things people say online, etc.

Usually I am not irritated by such things.

I mostly encourage the moms in my support group to have compassion for the people who make rude, but for the most part, innocent comments about how they are raising their children.

And yet, I'm just a little annoyed right now because I've been coincidentally bombarded with the wrongheaded notion that Good, Hardworking, Attentive Parenting yields Perfect children with no emotional/cognitive/behavioral issues at all. I'm not even really annoyed with the opposite axiom, that Bad, Lazy, Neglectful Parents are the only thing that would lead to a child that is uncontrollable, spastic, and behind in his developmental skills. I get that upon first look, a young mom with the style sense of a grungy teenager kinda gives a certain impression when her 2 year old makes a dart down the salad dressing isle, knocking over every bottle in the process. You are just wrong, and I know, and so really I laugh it off inside.

What's irking me RIGHT NOW is that people often talk as if... there is not a possibility of a child still being in diapers at 4 or 5. That everybody gets to have a conversation with their preschooler. You hear comments such as "How dare you put a child on a leash- be the parent! Teach them to stay put!" like all kids quickly understand and obey such a command. People talk like it's... always... so easy...

Rar. I'm annoyed with myself, I think I just realized that deep down this is kinda a bit of a pity party on my part. Maybe I'm even being a little smug. It's really unfair, and yet worth it, so I try not to dwell. But it's crazy how until days like this, I don't even realize- already, there is this big difference. My life is completely different than the life of your average mommy with a 2 year old. Everything is hard. And I don't mean that to whine, I mean, little fucking things are HARD. You know. You show a kid how to use a utensil, you give em a spoon, a fork, you show em, with practice, hey they use utensils! I literally had to stand behind him with every meal, using hand over hand, walking him through every motion. Every single time he wants something, there is a good chance it will take me several minutes to figure out what it is. We go from class to class, to therapy to therapy, to specialist to specialist... I send emails to his teachers, make calls to the insurance companies... respite care/daycare/relatives watching him for even a little while makes me nervous, because Wylie is unpredictable and hard to contain... and through all this chaos, some days Wylie offers NO affection, no words... he does not call out to me, he does not know my name... Do not misunderstand me. He brings me so much joy. But it occurs to me that this would be a whole different ball game if things were a little easier/calmer/safer and every day I was able to engage emotionally with my baby. I'm being honest and vulnerable here when I say sometimes I'm at work and I miss him soooo much, and then I get home, and I walk into the room he's in, and he won't even look away from what he is doing at me, and it breaks my heart.

...uh. Wow. I don't know how I got here. I didn't even know that was in me. I just... was really irritated by blissfully ignorant people. Goodnight.


  1. I hear you! Some comments you hear are so ignorant you don't know whether to laugh or cry. I try to remind myself that once I was just as ignorant, and made equally hurtful judgements. I cringe when I remember some of the things I believed back then. All we can do is try to educate the world, one ignorant person at a time. You're doing a great job.

  2. Thank you so much for your kind words. I really didn't know what was at the bottom of my emotions until I started typing it out. I, too, have been less than sympathetic to some people in the past. I guess I get jealous of the ability some people have to take everything they have for granted. I just feel like both Wylie and I work sooo hard to accomplish things that take such little time, effot, and commitment for other kids and their parents. Ah well. That's life. My life, anyway, heh.

  3. Hi Sunshine, I think your feelings are perfectly legitimate. One thing I remind myself of, is that just because they have a seemingly perfect 2 year old now, and I have this kid with all their challenging behaviours, things can change. In another 10 years I may have a well behaved adolescent and they may have a brat who is wagging school and smoking down at the local shopping centre. Parenting is a long journey with lots of twists and turns (I say this as the proud parent of an almost 19 year old).