An Invisible Disability

, , , , , | Related | December 11, 2017

(My youngest son is three. He has a severe speech disability. By three years old, he can only speak about six words. He is in speech therapy, but it is early on, and he does not communicate well. We are sitting for the neighbor’s kids, aged eight and ten. My three-year-old starts screaming uncontrollably.)

Neighbor’s Kids: “What do you want?” *picking abilities for their video game characters*

Son: “Fes-pa.”

Neighbor’s Kids: *confused* “What?”

Son: “Fes-pa.”

(As my son is screaming and having a fit, I place him in his room to calm down. Two minutes later…)

Me: “[Son], I want to understand. Tell me again why you are upset.”

Son: “Where is my DI?” *DSI, video game console*

(I give him his DSI. My son pulls out a game and pushes a few buttons.)

Son: “Yooka, Momma… See Thor?”

(I see Thor. He pushes another button, and Thor disappears. He turns invisible.)

Me: *realization setting in* “Son, do you mean ‘invisible’?”

Son: “Yeah, Momma.”

Me: *look of utter disbelief*

(Moral of the story: kids are smarter than we give them credit for. Take the time to really listen; they want to be heard! Oh, and, just because they cannot vocalize, it does not mean you cannot be astounded by their ability to communicate, I was!)

What?!

, , , , , , | Related | December 11, 2017

(While trying to get things settled with the lady at the desk, my three-year-old son is next to me, looking at a comments box that has five faces on it ranging from a big smile to a big frown.)

Son: “Daddy, what does this face mean?”

Me: *breaking a conversation to glance down* “What face?”

Son: “Oh! Really happy, really sad, kind of happy, kind of sad, what face!”

(He’s 17 now, and the whole family still calls the face with a straight mouth a “what face.”)

Pimping Out Your Understanding Of That Word

, , , , | Related | December 11, 2017

(I’m joking around in my bedroom with a friend and my five-year-old niece is sitting nearby, wanting to be one of the “big kids.” She’s usually very quiet and reserved, so it’s easy to forget she’s there.)

Me: “That guy is totally her pimp.”

Niece: “What’s a pimp?”

Me: “Uh… Pimp My Ride is a show that was on TV a long time ago. Basically, you take your car to these guys, and they make it look crazy.”

(I showed her some pictures to make my cover-up more credible. She was really interested and asked if she can watch some of the show. I agreed and showed her some clips. Now, she asks to watch “Pimp My Ride” every day, and she tells everyone with a car that they should get it pimped.)

Driven To The Same Conclusion

, , , , | Related | December 10, 2017

(My partner lives with my family, and he drives me to and from work everyday. One morning, there is an accident and his car is written off. After confirming my partner is fine and safe, my parents start enthusiastically searching for a new car for him.)

Me: “Could you maybe calm down with finding [Partner] a new car? It hasn’t even been 12 hours. He’s still upset.”

Mum: “Oh, calm down; we’re looking for a car for us, not him!”

Me: “Okay, fair enough. There’s one problem, though.”

Dad: “Yeah?”

Me: “Neither of you can drive!”

(In their 50+ years, neither of them got their driver’s license. They didn’t consider that to be an important factor and kept looking, probably because they expected my partner to drive them around in their car!)

Not So Highly Recommended

, , , , , , , | Related | December 9, 2017

(My husband and I are visiting his family for Thanksgiving, including his mother, aunt, and grandparents. His mother in particular is a very impatient and self-centered person. We’re in the open living room and kitchen area while his grandparents are working in the kitchen. They refuse to let us help out at all, as we are “guests,” so we are chatting with his aunt and mother when she interrupts my husband’s story:)

Husband: “So, we were trying to–“

Mother: “You know what?! I woke up this morning with a really bad pain in my neck!”

Husband: *caught off guard by the interruption* “Uh… Um, I’m sorry?”

Me: “Well, I’ve got some acetaminophen in my purse if you want some?”

Mother: *with a dramatic sigh* “No, no, no! Those just don’t work on me! They never make the over-the-counter stuff strong enough for me! I have to have a prescription for any kind of pain, but I left my pills at the hotel!”

Aunt: “Well, all I have is some muscle relaxant for my shoulder, but that won’t help much with the pain.”

Mother: *shouting across room at grandparents who are busy in the kitchen* “[Grandmother]! Do you have anything that might actually work for me?! It has to be something strong!”

Grandmother: “Well, I’ve got some leftover oxycodone from when they fixed my knee. Would that work?”

Mother:Yes! That will work! Where is it?”

Grandmother: “It’s just in our bathroom, on the top shelf of the medicine cabinet.”

Mother: *exaggeratedly rubs side of neck* “Oh! Can you go get it for me? My neck hurts too much to look up!”

Me: *starts to get out of chair* “I can go grab it.”

Mother: *waves her hand at me to sit back down* “Oh no, dear! Don’t you fuss over little ol’ me! [Grandmother] can get it just fine!”

(My husband and I just sit awkwardly while [Grandmother] has to stop working on a side-dish and wash her hands to go to the bathroom and retrieve the pills. She hands one to [Mother] who immediately swallows the pill without water.)

Mother: “Oh! I hope that helps! My neck is just so sore!”

(But, not even five minutes later, she’s still complaining about the “horrible pain” in her neck:)

Mother: *turning to aunt and interrupting my husband again* “You know that pill just is not working! Can I have one of your muscle-relaxers?”

Me: “It probably just hasn’t kicked in yet. You could try to give it a few more minutes?”

Mother: *in a snotty tone* “No! It’s definitely not working! I knew this would happen; I always have to take more than other people! [Aunt] please? My neck hurts!”

([Aunt] turns and pulls a pill out of her purse, while rolling her eyes so I can see, and hands it to [Mother] who, once again, swallows it without a drink. She finally stops complaining and we go back to chatting. About ten minutes later she is telling a story about her work when this happens:)

Mother: “—and they said I did such a good job with the display that they want me to…” *voice trails off and she just sits quietly for a moment*

Husband: “Uh… Mom?”

Mother: *softly* “It’s really pretty in here with all these lights!”

([Aunt] turns to hide her face as she quietly shakes with laughter.)

Husband: “Um, okay. You were saying? About the display?”

Me: *looking at [Mother]’s eyes, which have dilated considerably* “Uh, honey, I don’t think she’s going to finish that story.”

Husband: *whispering to [Aunt]* “Did she just get high off those pills?!”

([Aunt] just lost it and started laughing so hard she almost fell out of her chair, which just made the rest of us laugh! [Mother] was so out of it that we couldn’t get her to stand up, so we just let her sit at the table. She was so high she just stared at the lights and occasionally giggled to herself for the next few hours while we continued to hang out. She did mostly come-to once dinner was served. I don’t know if she realized what happened, or refuses to admit it as she has never mentioned it, but the rest of the family likes to joke about it every year!)

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