I am furious. For a person to call themselves a parent, you need to have earned that title. Although the definition means a caregiver, to me it means so much more.
I have held many titles as a parent: photographer, nurse, engineer, cook, maid, teacher, therapist, referee, best friend, disciplinary committee, gardener, and that list goes on and on.
Aside from providing the basic needs, I also have to empower, understand, empathize, love unconditionally, have patience, and overall be like Jesus reincarnate to be a mother to my children.
As most of you know, my son is Autistic and has many other ailments. He, is not the easiest child in the world, but as with all things, it's a working progress.
A couple days ago, a neighbor came to me and showed me a letter that she thought Chris had written. I laughed because:
1. My son can spell at a 4th grade level and definitely his name.
2. He doesn't use hearts over I's or bottom of exclamation marks
3. He has yet to write me a letter, let alone show anyone how he really feels.
4. He wouldn't even attempt at drawing stick figures. He is more of an abstract drawer -if any-to say the least.
This letter -as one can see above, shows maybe a 1st grade spelling level. His name is misspelled. The only time I have ever seen hearts used or big bubble circles is by a female.
Not only this, but the letter was in an envelope and had a stamp on it, which guess what- I own not one of those things.
Another aspect, is the girl(s) who made this letter thought Chris couldn't spell. Which goes to show the IGNORANCE of the situation. My son is exceptionally smart and can memorize better than any child I've met, however; he has hiccups in math and doesn't write. This isn't due to his "intelligence" level but an actual term in which his brain prohibits him from doing 2-3 step processes. I don't make him write, considering college makes you type everything anyway. Which he is very proficient in.
Since there have been two girls in the neighborhood, that consistently act like the movie, "Mean Girls", I figured it was one or both of them. The other reason is because of what I had to deal with the weekend before.
The weekend before : I took my two children -plus one I was watching and another girl (whom I was not, but wanted to come) to the store. Aside from it being Saturday (worst day to go grocery shopping)-I now had 4 children to take 3 of which were girls.
Before I was even out of my driveway, the girl I was watching, gets up from her seat, because the other neighbor girl didn't sit there. Chris was. It was at that moment, I decided I was going to have to ask the little girl I didn't have to watch to leave. I was not going to have them gang up on Chris as usual. Ironically, the little girl I was not watching, apologized and moved up to the seat the other one had left.
On the way to the store-I had three girls singing, two of which are tone-deaf. Listening to how one child loved the song -while another hated it. Finally, I was there. I gave 5 rules before going in.
1. No game playing
2. No being mean to anyone
3. Don't ask me for things
4. If you want to help -great, but don't tell me what I should get
5. Stay in the isle and close to me
Wouldn't you know it-every rule was broken. Ironically, not by Chris. Three girls(mine included) decided to make a conga line. Aside from the fact they blocked people's ways, were the loudest thing in there-they also wanted to meander onto other isles, where I felt like a broken record saying, "girls, please". I also got to the point where I finally broke down and used a child phrase, "really?"
Finally, the girl I was not watching said she was done. I was smiling ear-to-ear, thinking it was done. Nope. I thought wrong. Two of the girls carried on. It was at that moment, Chris decided to join. It was also at that moment, the girl I was watching stepped to the left-shoved his hands off her waist- and said, "I'm done". Meanwhile, Chris was choo-chooing along and tripped over her feet. That is also the moment she decided to say, "That's why I don't like playing with him."
Now, the social worker in me said, "Julie, remain calm." On the flip side, the parent in me wanted to reprimand that girl until she felt as bad as my son felt at that moment. Of course, I chose the higher path.
It wasn't until we were in line, that Chris decided to break one of the rules himself, asking, "Can we all get a candy?" He included all -by saying "we". Due to me being impressed by wanting to include the girls, and the fact the girls started playing and not following 3 out 5 rules, I said "yes". I suppose I need to find a new word, "no". It would save me a lot of grief.
Everyone put up their candy and with Chris beaming ear to ear how he just made everyone happy, one of the girls begins singing. The one -I have to watch-the tone deaf one. Remember, it's Saturday and the noise, commotion, and now this girls singing has finally caught up with Chris's high sensory issue. He now begins making a sound to try and drowned it out.
Without missing an ill-toned note, the little girl (I have to watch) says, "shut up chris" as she rolls her eyes and then proceeds to say, "you are so annoying"-emphasis on the "so". Next thing you know, two other girls (mine included) are about to say something to him, also.
Parent was back in full force. Clearing my throat, I said, "Don't even think about it." The two girls lowered their heads. Wouldn't you know it, Mrs. Janet Jackson wanna be decides she will still continue. "God, Chris, get away from me". Parent was now gone and officially "MOMMY" was in full effect.
"Listen here. Chris has Autism and has done excellent up until now. His noises are to drowned out all the noise-including your voice. Truth be told -it sucks."
Of course, this is while loading the bags into the cart, the cashier asking for coupons, and me swiping my card. I'm sure she thought I was the biggest bitch in the world, but truthfully-I don't care.
Once home, the little girl I don't have to watch-left. I shooed my children away and sat down with the little girl -who I was watching and said,
" Now. Personally, I don't care if you can sing or not. My point was-your voice was annoying to me in the entire 20 min. car ride to the store and when checking out, however; I didn't say one thing until you decided to say how "annoying" Chris trying to calm himself was to you. I know you don't care to be here because you find the very presence of "Chris" annoying like another neighboring child who has a little brother, but you also come over to play when everyone is mad at you."
I then began to ask her, "Do you know why people get mad at you?"
Of course everything I said was "No" or "don't remember". I finally told her- asking her to remember something she got in trouble for telling my kids. Her mom was mean to the little girl who had left , and one night my kids prayed that her mother 'wasn't so mean to that little girl'. I said, "Either your calling your mother a liar, or this did happen and you are going to tell me, 'you don't remember."
Six hours later, her mother comes to get her and I relate the "good-bad-ugly" of it all.
Which brings me now back to why I figured it was one or both of the girls who had their fun at Chris's expense that past Saturday.
So, of course...I want to track down the children who did this. Even though I would've been elated that my son wrote the letter.
1. It would show more progress than anyone can fathom.
2. He would've gone out of his way to do something correctly-out of feelings.
Unfortunately, due to it not being him-I understood that the culprits wanted to make Chris look even more weird than he already does himself. I mean, c'mon-a 10 year old wanted to make out with a 60 year old. That is definitely weird.
I also took it as a personal insult that a child couldn't just understand the depths of their brutally mean demeanor towards him. How hard was it to "suck it up" that you are being a "mean girl"? Apparently, very hard.
So, then parent kicks in again and I text both parents of the children as such:
I don't know if (name of child) had something to do with this- but I would probably say yes, based on her laughing and being disrespectful. I told you the issue over the weekend when she was here-not the first time, also.
I understand about children from my degree as well as being a mother myself, however; I don't approve of the things I have seen the kids doing and how they act.
I will not allow Chris to go there and play and would appreciate it if (child's name) do the same.
I then went into what the "this" was -the letter. then I proceeded to say
This letter-even as a joke-is rude and disrespectful to not only Chris but to me as a parent. To act as if Chris would like to kiss a 60 yr. old woman-ensuring he looks even more weird is absolutely appalling. He does a fine enough job himself-showing is "different" or as I like to say-unique.
This last part was to the child I "had" to watch that Saturday.
Your daughter thought it was funny as well as being rude to both kids as we waited for your husband to return to see if you had the same stamp that was on the envelope. I don't condone this disrespect from my children, so I definitely will not from a child that is not mine.
Wouldn't you know it- her response shows me the lack of parenting in that household. It also shows me that the lack of concern for any child to be disrespectful to an adult -especially I, one who has and been making her mark in the world-who has worked with special needs, vs. this woman has no understanding of what it means to truly be "a parent let alone understand the hypocrisy of her actions (mean girls mom)
"You should get your facts straight because it wasn't (child's name). She hates writing and spelling and will barely do it for school let alone go out of her way to write a fucking letter for the fuck of it. Furthermore, I don't own envelopes OR stamps...I live in the 21st century and do everything electronically. But I will MORE than gladly keep her the hell away from YOU. If you wonder where Chris gets it, look in the mirror.
HERE IS WHAT I HAVE TO SAY TO THAT
1. I already know where my son got his Autism-through genetics we have eliminated me, but since my mother's brother had a form of MR, it is safe to say it came from my mother's side.
2. Might want to look in the mirror where your daughter gets the notion to be disrespectful to others.
3. I -unlike you don't say things in front of my children -to where they think I am mean to other kids-as mine have prayed for you to not be so mean.
4. As a parent, one shouldn't speed knowing other kids could dart out in front of the car-apparently you don't care.
5. I will be glad to take the fact I care and deeply troubled by this, over a mother who called another child, "A slut in the making". Don't worry, I won't ever tell the mother what you said-unlike you I don't enjoy making waves.
6.The kid who wrote the letter, obviously couldn't spell-didn't your daughter get held back a grade?
7. My son didn't seek out your daughter nor anyone else..they came knocking on my door.
8.Since no child wants to come forth and show what they are capable of (as I have seen it)-it is easier to keep everyone away.
9. Living in the 21st century doesn't mean you don't have stamps-last I checked, they are still being sold and bought. I do believe being the 21st century-stamp prices have gone up.
10. This letter wasn't written for the "fuck of it"-obviously it was made from spite-vindictiveness-revenge-and plain old being "mean".
11. It's a good thing you want to keep your child away from me-lord knows I might teach her a thing or two about respect, empathy, understanding, caring, and above all LEARN HOW TO TREAT A SPECIAL NEED CHILD AND QUIT BEING A LONELY CHILD SPOILED BRAT.
THANK YOU- UNLIKE YOU, I KNOW ABOUT ME AND MINE-THE GOOD, BAD, AND UGLY.
As I was an only child-as your child is- I never treated people like this. Actually, as some people on this page already know, if someone was being made fun of-I became their friend so others would leave them alone. Also to show that not everyone is an asshole in the making.
I have earned my title-------clearly -you are still a working progress.
Please note, the child I DIDN'T have to watch -who can sing a tune, came with her mother later that night. She told me how they (her and the other girl whose mother responded as such above) were about 50/50 in writing it. Unfortunately, I only heard her side as to why it was done- she told me, "Chris wouldn't share his computer".
That mother and daughter is worth their salt. The other ones-NOT AT ALL.