Dear Mouthy Housewives,
A group of us suspect that a girlfriend’s kid may be autistic, or at the very least have some major sensory processing issues, and it’s becoming more apparent as our children get older. However, it is also apparent that both parents are in some sort of deep denial and use comedy to brush off some of the child’s behaviors. It doesn’t seem very fair to the child and we fear the longer it isn’t addressed, the longer the child goes without help.
Is there an appropriate way to approach a friend/another parent about this without hurting feelings or overstepping boundaries?
I’m not a doctor nor do I play one on the Internet. However, I am a mom raising an eccentric kid, which means I not only have real-life experience with the autism/sensory question but I’m also highly qualified in the medicinal use of vodka martinis. (For myself, of course.)
First off, I don’t see the problem with using comedy to brush off some of the child’s behaviors. From your friend’s perspective (and certainly mine), humor may be the only thing keeping her from eating paper, sniffing glue, and making homely pottery in a convalescence home.
Second, tread carefully with armchair diagnoses. Dr. Google, along with his hunchback assistant, Media Hype, has an entire generation of parents hyper-aware and fearful of any variations in childhood behavior. We’ve become a society dependent on illness and disorders.
Besides, what Dr. Google (or professional doctors, for that matter) won’t tell you is that many of these same behaviors can also be signs of high intelligence and advanced creativity. Contrary to Media Hype, giftedness in young children doesn’t always show itself in the way of a 2-year-old playing Mozart or reading Beowulf.
For some children it can show in the way of a 4-year-old freaking out over noises or reacting as if button-waist pants are tools of the Devil sent to earth so we mothers can work his evil by making our child wear chinos.
But it could be your friend’s child isn’t a future (insert your favorite genius) and possibly has a developmental problem. The next time the child’s issues become apparent might be a good opportunity to ask the mom if she’s discussed any of the problems with the child’s pediatrician, and then let her take the lead in the conversation.
Either way, parenting a child who doesn’t follow the APA-approved developmental timeline is no day at the spa. Unless you’re getting 100 simultaneous Brazilian wax jobs, then it possibly compares.
Parents like us need positive support, not an intervention. We need to know the differing perspectives of atypical child behavior, not just the disordered ones, which means a lot of reading and researching both sides of the coin. That way insight can’t be confused with denial and we can speak with doctors and teachers as informed parents.
But most of all, we need the people around us to believe in the potential of our child.
At this point in the holiday season, you probably have had it with your own relatives. Must your uncle Bob eat cranberry sauce with his fingers ever year? So here’s a post from The Mouthy Housewives’ archives, that is sure to make you once again appreciate your own family.
My fiance went to West Virginia to visit his family and go on a hunting trip. I got a call a few days later from his aunt, who frequently refers to me as ‘damaged goods’, saying he had been killed in a hunting accident.
I went up there to help take care of things, and when I arrived, I was met by his mother, who took me to the hospital to see him. He had a gunshot to the leg, but was otherwise in perfect health. I’m supposed to become part of this family, when clearly, I’m not wanted there. What can I do about this aunt who will stop at nothing to keep me away?
Who’s Damaged Here?
Dear Who’s Damaged Here?,
She told you your fiancÃ© was dead?! Seriously? Let me tell you that it takes a lot to shut up a Mouthy Housewife, but I am momentarily struck completely speechless by the vicious behavior of this aunt. That woman is SERIOUSLY disturbed. But because I refuse to waste any energy on the completely insane (I gave up on my dog a very long time ago), let’s focus on what you can do.
You need to immediately have a candid conversation with your very much alive fiancÃ© about his commitment to you. If this guy truly loves you and respects you, he will deal with Miss Aunt Cruella de Vil. He needs to let his aunt know that her behavior is completely unacceptable and you are the love of his life. She must immediately shape up or she will be cut out of your lives completely.
If he is unable to immediately defend your honor, cut this guy loose. Crazy in-laws are forever. I had a friend who once put that bumper sticker on the back of her car.
My final advice is to buy your fiancÃ© a damn cell phone. I can only assume he doesn’t have one or why the hell would he not call you after getting shot in the leg?!! I would call my husband just to complain that the woods were a bit buggy. Maybe the reception sucks there. But I think at that point, even Bambi and her deer posse have found a cell network that works in the deep forest.
Good luck to you, and please don’t ever give your future aunt-in-law my email address. I’m paranoid enough without the likes of her scaring the holy crap out of me with her crazy lies.
My husband thinks foreplay consists of suddenly shoving his hands down my underwear. I’ve had his IQ tested and he surprisingly doesn’t fall into the mentally impaired range, so I’m beginning to suspect this is a genetic defect that resides on the Y chromosome. Is there any way he’ll learn the fine balance between foreplay that’s either too short or so long that I fall asleep?
Dear Frigid Midge,
Ah, foreplay. As in “the opening act,” “the warm-up,” “the ‘Jesus, Harold, let’s get this show on the road so I can get back to Grey’s Anatomy before Izzy dies.'” Unfortunately, it’s a dilemma that’s come between lovers for centuries. In fact, according to reliable sources, even fair Juliet used to get angry with her swain Romeo for suddenly shoving his paws down her reinforced chastity belt and grunting, “Thoust ready for the big one, baby?” (Note: Reliable sources = Wikipedia.)
My first suggestion is to try what’s always worked for me: Put on some lingerie that doesn’t highlight your “problem” areas, light a few candles, get some Marvin Gaye going, then, when the stage is set and you’re primed for a night of animal lovin’, simply close your eyes and pretend that your husband is a youngish, slightly more talented Brad Pitt without the seven kids in tow.
Another thing you can try, however, is Dr. Laura Berman’s “Foreplay Map.” Just print it out, write your name on one sheet and your partner’s on the other and think about what gets you in the mood. On your sheet, label body parts in the order you like to be touched. On the other sheet, label areas in the order you like to touch your partner. Have your partner do the same and compare the results. Then, simply lock the door and spend a few hours seeing what you’ve learned until you both get a passing grade.
So, good luck, Midge. Remember, when it comes to a night of love, it’s all about communication. And sometimes, three shots of whiskey when nobody’s looking.
Look, it’s the holidays, and we have a lot going on.
We’ve been giving you advice all week, but now we need a break. But we’re still concerned about your reading pleasure, so we’re presenting you with the best of our tweets! Enjoy!
(and follow us at @MouthyHousewife to have this and more instantly delivered to you!)
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Hot Tubs are the rage this time of year and well, there is a certain “Hot Tub” etiquette that needs to be followed. Who better than a woman who doesn’t own one to tell you, exactly what you need to do when your neighbor decides use hers at all hours of the night. This was posted back in the first week of TMH’s launch, but that was in May, much more relevant now. We knew you’d agree.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I have a neighbor, who, owns a lovely INFLATABLE hot tub. With jets. (Think…blown up balloon being held under running water. LOUD.) She uses this amazingly special one of a kind item only between the hours of 1:30 and 4. This would be okay, if it wasn’t A.M. I was talking about!!! Short of popping it with a pin while she’s not home, or installing a flood light to shoo her away, I’m not sure what to do. Advice?
Not So Hot Tub
Dear Not So Hot Tub,
Anyone who waits until the middle of the night to sit in their blow-up hot tub is either crying out for attention or a vampire. Now, I’m going to guess that you are more than a hop, skip and a jump away from the lovely town of Transylvania and therefore, I think we need to focus on her clear need to be noticed. That being said, I’m also going to go out on a limb and guess that this gal spends her time soaking in the nude, which means if she is over the age of forty, as I just so happen to be, her breasts have taken up residence much closer to her personal equator and the zoo keeps calling to tell her the elephants want their knees back.
Therefore, you might want to go ahead and purchase that floodlight and while you’re at it, some camouflage gear, a camera and a national marketing campaign. Then the next time you hear what sounds like rocks being tossed against a cement wall, all you have to do is jump out of the bushes, (thus setting the light to “ON”) snap your photos and then run on home to start downloading. When she starts to get emails from all her old boyfriends asking her, “What happened? Are you okay?” you’ll sleep through the night from then until forever, more than likely because she’s decided to move and take her “act” on the road.
Then again if ambushing isn’t your style or it seems like a too much energy to expend at that hour of the night, I would try and plead with her to have mercy on your sanity and stop. If she rents, have a little chat with her landlord and see if there is something he could do about her, as well as the twenty dollar bill that’s just so happens to be burning a hole in your pocket right at that very same minute.
Otherwise, I’m sorry to tell you, you’re out of luck, according to what the police told me,because unless she’s got loud music blasting along with those water jets, there is nothing they can do to help you, either.
Glad I could be of assistance. Merry Christmas to All.