Are you a mum of someone special?
Are you outraged by the title of this post?
Did you click through thinking: "Hey lady watch it. I don't have greasy hair. Au contraire. My hair is gorgeous. Thank you very much."
Or are you someone that clicked through thinking: "Hell yes. The moaning. For the love of all that is holy. The moaning out of these people."
Or are you just eating your toast and thought I'll have a wee read because Netflix hasn't loaded yet?
Obviously, I don't think that parents of children with special needs are miserable moaners with greasy hair. Well not always. As for the greasy hair, I mean it in the metaphorical sense. In the way that, because of our offspring, we are sometimes viewed to be a bit downtrodden, frumpy, burdened, the underdog, the one (gasp) who is not much fun to be around.
In fact do you think that sometimes we annoy the hell out of people? Here are just a few examples.
We make people tongue-tied
I remember when my friend's dad died and for weeks after I found I had some crazy form of death Tourette's. I'd say all manner of stupid things.
I nearly died when I heard the news.
It's dead sad.
It is killing me that I don't know what to do to help.
I was winning at being a mate. I find this happens a lot with special needs terminology. A friend was saying she looked like an imbecile in a photograph and then looked guiltily at me. It just means fool - I am good with that. Most of us special needs parents don't get too hung up on this stuff. You doofus.
We often kill the joke
I have a bit of a dark sense of humour and can often see the funny side of this life we lead. Whether that is sharing a giggle with the husband over an explosive nappy or joking about getting a good parking spot with the Blue Badge. Sometimes this gallows humour does not translate so well. People don't think it is okay to laugh at our kids. But all kids are funny sometimes. Even ones like ours.
One time a group of us were laughing at a fellow school mum's shoes (she started it). Taking the mick and being mock mean to each other.
"I've got new frumpy mum shoes. What do you think?"
"The boating club called and asked for their canoes back" my mate said. Heehee.
"It takes real skill to be this stylish at the school gate," I'd added thinking I'd like a pair myself.
"They look like special shoes." another said grinning.
"Arrhh that's well slack. My boy wears them." I threw back giggling.
I had been jesting but the laughter stopped and the topic was swiftly changed. Even putting on my boy's tiny built up boots and doing a funny dance with bonce boppers on my head wouldn't have got the joke back on track. Talk about sucking the fun out of a situation hey.
Our lives are quite annoying (and frustrating)
I don't really want to know every sentence of a document my friend is putting together for work or a run down of each brick placement of her house renovation project. But I am definitely interested in knowing if she is doing well and is on track for a promotion. Or whether the building work is going so badly that it is totally stressing her out and she's not sleeping. I guess that would be the same for our lives. We don't need to drown people in detail (no matter how tempted we are). Everyone has miniature and frustrations. We need to remember that sometimes.
Things don't always go to plan
I am always late. This is not always my child's fault. I was late for stuff before he turned our lives upside down. I am just not mad on rush. It stresses me out. I am also rubbish at returning calls and texts. More often than not for the simple reason that I am a lazy cow. So you see my bad bits were always there and he just exacerbates them. I have no doubt that this annoys the crap out of my mates. There was a meme going around Facebook that said "I replied to your text in my head". I thought I'd try it on one of my friends. She didn't buy it and looked at me like she wanted to punch me in my forgetful head.
We see your misery and raise it
You are having a bad day (a really bad day) and all you want to do is moan about it. You know some of your gripes are pretty irrational, but all together they have become A REAL BIG DEAL. You need to vent. I am with you sister. Let's work it out. Go...
Friend: OMG my child will only eat cheese sandwiches. And fish fingers. Nothing else. Sweets obviously. And crisps. It is starting to stress me out. What can I do?
Me: Jeez. Tell me about it - Gabe is just doing the baby mush. Thinking about tube feeding now actually.What a drag.
Friend: I am so worried about little Jimmy. He doesn't run as fast as other kids. Not sure if it's because he doesn't like running or there is something wrong. I'd love him to be more sporty.
Me: I know. I had a dream last night that Gabe could walk. It was epic. He was walking all around the park. But then I woke up and he was still in his wheelchair. Bummer.
Friend: Lilly-Jo just won't do anything for herself - what is she going to be like when she is older and at university. She'll burn an egg and wear the same clothes for a month.
Me: Haha. I was thinking the same about Gabe. About how we'll still be taking him to see Santa when he is 24 and living in his group home. Hahaha.
So special needs mums then?
Annoying? Probably (aren't we all).
Miserable moaners? Sometimes.
Greasy hair (metaphoric or not)? Perhaps too often in my case.
Same people we always were? Mostly.
Still like a good laugh? Hell yes.
Good at jokes? ... erm... working on it.