The Pinto Bean Fire Hose

I think my daughter is trying to kill me.

Melodramatic? Maybe.  But the fact remains.

It started off innocently enough.  She came home from school and things were as usual.  She ate when she got home, and she ate at dinner time.  She ate pinto beans, her favorite.  She ate a lot.  A lot. She ate some other stuff, too, but primarily it was beans.

I noticed she was fairly quiet, but it was close to the end of the week, and sometimes she is pretty much worn out by the time the end of the week rolls around.  Fine.

Let me offer a brief preface before continuing.  I have one rug in my house.  One rug. I have no carpet.  I hate carpet.  If I was ever to be elected as the supreme ruler of the universe (unlikely, my college days would haunt me) my first official act would be to ban all carpet from the planet.  I figure we could reinstate the space program just long enough to launch all carpet (especially shag) into outer space.  Anyway, there is no carpet in my house.  One of the primary selling features of this house was that it was one hundred percent carpet free.  But I do have that one rug, right at the top of the stairs.

(Note: I like to show off my literary chops whenever possible.  Have you picked up any foreshadowing yet?)

Bedtime rolled around, and I remarked on my daughter’s paleness.  My husband uttered the now infamous words: “I hope she’s not getting sick.”

She was.  She did.

At the approximate moment her feet felt the rug at the top of the stairs, her digestive system shifted into Full Reverse Thrust Mode.  Remember the pinto beans?

Yeah.

If you ever have the opportunity to see semi-digested pinto beans shot at high velocity from a fire hose, don’t.  It isn’t as fascinating as it sounds.

When my husband cried out “Bring a towel!” I knew we were in trouble.

As it turns out, one towel wasn’t quite enough.  The rug was a write off, as was every article of clothing both my daughter and my husband were wearing.  If I may, I’d like to pause for a moment to offer a little advice to all you new or soon-to-be parents out there.  You know how parenting is depicted on television commercials (usually for diapers) as this warm, fuzzy experience, with lots of smiles and gleaming white carpets and shiny counter tops?  And how even a “dirty” diaper isn’t really dirty?  Well, watch those commercials closely.  Hold on to them.

You’ll need some sort of pleasant memory to focus on when your child vomits into your cupped hands.

(Why do I do this?  When I see she’s getting ready to puke, why do I try to catch it?  Do I think, somehow, by holding out my hands I can actually stop the puke from hitting the floor?  Please, please tell me I’m not the only one who has this reflex reaction.  Some of you out there have done it before, right?  RIGHT?)

Anyway, the carnage continued throughout the night.  I did laundry all night long.  Once, I heard this lady I know talking about how all of her grand kids had a stomach virus at her house at the same time, and they were getting to the point where they thought they were going to have to start using curtains as blankets.  At the time, I thought this was a little odd, but after the other night, I see her point.  The puke mechanism was working much faster than my washing machine.

Also, my daughter has this uncanny ability to completely miss whatever pad or towel I put down in a vain effort to catch the mess (which had also migrated south, if you get my meaning.)  Seriously, there will be mess on every other available surface except the towel.

We survived, and the symptoms were actually pretty short-lived.  Of course, I suffered from PPSD (Post Puke Stress Disorder) for a day or two.  You know what I’m talking about–every time someone coughs or burps, you twitch.

And if you’re like me, you hold out your hands.

 

I’m linking up this week with a group of outstanding writers over at Yeah Write. Go check it out!

 


 

Why I’m Pro-Life (Put Away Your Labels)

I’m getting ready to break one of my own blogging rules.  I’m going to talk about one of the three forbidden (by me, anyway) topics.  I feel like maybe I should put some sort of disclaimer on here, but the fact is I believe wholeheartedly the things I’m getting ready to say, and I’m not going to start by offering conditions or exceptions to keep from offending someone.

I’m going to talk about abortion, and why I am against it.

Now, one of the reasons I don’t like talking about abortion is that it’s a very frustrating subject to talk about.  Why? Because as soon as I said I was against abortion, BAM!, many of you slapped a label on me.  You immediately assumed many things about me that, in reality, may or may not be true.  You probably assumed that because I am against abortion, you know how I feel and think about everything.  You probably called me a conservative, and you probably accused me of being in a “war on women.”

Let me start by saying I absolutely am NOT in a war on ANYBODY, and especially not women.  I am, in fact, a woman myself. (Who knew, right?) I love women’s rights.  I believe in equal pay for equal work, equal educational opportunities, whatever.  In fact, I truly believe that ALL people should have equal opportunities, just like those PC disclaimers say on job applications.  You know, “regardless of gender, race, religion,” etc.  I consider myself a very open-minded person, but sometimes I think you SHOULDN’T be open-minded.  In fact, when you know something is wrong, it’s okay to be close-minded.  I can be open-minded about having equal rights, because having equal rights is not wrong.

What I don’t understand is why we, as a culture, think that a woman having equal rights means she has the “right” to have an abortion.

There is really only one major reason I oppose abortion, but I’ll get to that in a minute.  For now, I’ll give you the minor reasons.  For starters, if you believe in God, can you honestly say He would support abortion?  This usually brings up the argument of when life begins, and therein lies one of my biggest complaints about the pro-choice argument.  Consider the following: if I was 26 weeks pregnant, and my baby died of natural causes, it would be a family tragedy.  The baby would be delivered with the utmost reverence and sensitivity.  There would be a funeral, and for the rest of my life I would speak of my deceased child.

Now, let’s look at this scenario in a different way.  Let’s say I decided to have an abortion at 26 weeks.  The baby would be aborted, and tossed out like a ball of used paper.  That’s it.  It’s over.

So it logically follows that, based on this example, it is the choice of the mother which decides whether the baby is, in fact, a living human or not.  This is quite a power given to mothers!  In fact, we are almost deifying women, because ultimately they are deciding if this baby is worthy of life or not!  I can’t go along with this.  It makes no sense.  We can’t have it both ways.  Be honest with yourself.  Is it a baby or not?

Another example for you to consider: if someone kills a pregnant woman, and the baby dies, too, our judicial system will charge the killer with TWO counts of murder.

This is why the pro-choice movement is lost on me.

Every single pro-choice person I have ever spoken to is so versed in political bullshit that it is frightening.  They start in on how it is impossible to legislate, and how pregnant women would have to register their pregnancies or some kind of crap like that.  They want to argue with you about contraception and sex education.  Smoke and mirrors, people.  That’s all.  Abortion is not a political issue.  It is a moral one.

And there is another problem.  People say you can’t impose your morals on others.  Okay.  Let’s talk about that.  What is ANY law but the imposition of the morals of others on the citizenry at large?  Marijuana is illegal, right?  It’s illegal to smoke it, grow it, and sell it.  However, there is a whole population of people who feel like this is ridiculous.  It’s my body–if I want to light one up, why is that anyone’s business?  Right?  The only difference is that the “legalize it” group doesn’t really have time to organize big demonstrations or anything.  They are all at the 7-11 buying pop-tarts.

But I digress.

My point was we all live by laws that are based on a certain moral code.  We all know you shouldn’t kill others, or cause them harm in any way.  So how can we exempt our most innocent from this basic right?  Don’t believe in God?  Fine.  Forget the “moral” aspect of it.  Let’s talk science.  A woman’s body, from top to bottom and all the way around, is designed for one purpose–to conceive, give birth to, and subsequently nurture offspring.  Sorry if that upsets you.  Blame millions of years of evolution.  Or God.  Or whatever force to which you attribute creation.  We are the only species who systematically destroys our own young as a matter of convenience.  The survival of any species hangs on the raising of its offspring.  Didn’t any of you ever watch “Wild Kingdom?”

By the way, please, please PLEASE don’t insult my intelligence or yours by saying “What about rape and incest?”  Look up the statistics of abortion and tell me what percentage of abortions are performed for those reasons.  Let me know what you find out.

Also, I’m not going to address people who think it’s okay for a woman to get an abortion because she finds out she is carrying a “defective” baby.  I have no use for this argument, and if someone believes this, I don’t want to talk to them, I don’t want to see them, and hopefully they won’t ever bother reading this blog again.

To make this a little shorter, I think we are on a dangerous, slippery slope.  We think we are qualified to choose who gets to live and who gets to die.  And what’s worse, we have allowed ourselves to be numbed to the horror of abortion by years of political language and media distraction.  We are inoculated against reality by phrases like “reproductive choice” and “the war on women.”  The truth, though, is that abortion is ugly.  It’s barbaric.  Look up partial birth abortions, which are perfectly legal in this country.  They aren’t common, it’s true, but they are still legal.  I won’t put the graphic pictures on here that show what abortion looks like.  It makes people angry, and disgusted.  It’s upsetting.

As it should be.

So here it is, after everything else I’ve said, the real reason I’m against abortion: it is murder.  Period.  Life begins at conception.  If not, when does it begin?  At birth?  Well, then we go back to that previous scenario I described.  And since I believe life begins at conception, I have to believe that the purposeful and willful stopping of that life is murder.  That is the most basic definition of what murder is–the destruction of life.

Don’t kid yourself.  The 55 million babies that have been aborted since Roe versus Wade were alive.  Way back in the beginning of my first pregnancy, I remember laying on the little table and listening to that thumpathumpathumpathumpathumpa that was my son’s heartbeat.  Make no mistake–that was my son in there.  The same one who is sitting over on the couch now, eating lunch.  The one with the coarse, curly hair and the gap between his front teeth.  That was him.  And if I had “chosen” not to have him, if I had “chosen” to get an abortion, it would have been no different than if I pointed a gun at his head right now and pulled the trigger.

Look at your own child–it’s the same.  Your spouse, partner, best friend, mom, dad–all of them, they all started just the same.

To those of you who don’t support abortion, but who feel like you shouldn’t tell others what to do, I would offer you this quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., from his Letter from Birmingham Jail:

“Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.  Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”

And this one:

“More and more I feel that people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will.”

For me, it all boils down to one thing.  Thirty six years ago, my mother was pregnant.  She was fifteen when she found out.  Abortion was legal.  She could have done that.  She could have finished school, went on to who knows what.  Instead, she quit school and got married.  She ended up divorced.  But still, she chose life.  She chose me.  That’s not all–the notion that our choices affect only us is self-centered and absurd.  Her choice has trickled down through the years, right up to this very moment.

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Ian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m so glad the choice she made was the right one.

 

 

********I welcome and enjoy discussion and even debate.  But to all you trolls and antagonists, don’t waste your time and mine. 


 

The Other Brother

There are volumes written about special needs kids.  We talk about them on the news, on television shows, and on blogs.  There are speculations about what causes Autism, and stories about the lives of families who live with various challenges.

There is another population, though, that we don’t hear much about.  In my mind, I’ve always thought of them (us) as “the others.”

These are the kids who don’t have special needs.  They are “typical,” or “normal,” or whatever word is the PC norm these days.  They are the brothers and sisters of the special needs kids that we hear about on the news.

They are part of the background.

I think I have an unusual perspective.  I am both a sibling and a parent of a special needs individual.  I know the demands–emotionally, physically, and time-wise–of parenting a special needs child.  I also know what it’s like to be the “normal” part of the special needs equation.

It’s tough.

Now I have a son who is in the same position I was as a child, so I know.  I know a lot of how he feels, and how hard it can be.

Even though you know your parents love you, and you know they provide for all of your needs, it is hard sometimes to deal with the fact that your sister needs so much more.  It isn’t anyone’s fault, or choice, but the situation remains the same.  Looking back as an adult, especially since I have a special needs daughter now, it is very clear.  But I remember what it was like as a kid.  I remember how it seemed like I wasn’t as important as my sister, how everyone was fighting for her educational needs, and how I felt like everyone just assumed I was okay.

Here’s the kicker: I was okay.  I just didn’t think so at the time.

Like I said, now I can see that I was wrong to feel that way.  The simple fact is, my sister’s needs were greater.  She couldn’t fight for herself, so someone else had to.  If I hadn’t been such a selfish shit, I could have fought for her, too.

My son is so much better than me.  Already he is very defensive of his sister.  Don’t get me wrong–they have their moments, just like my sister and I still have our moments.  I’ve written before about how our relationship was a very typical sister relationship.  My kids are the same–she’s in his room, he changes her TV channel, she’s touching his stuff, she hits him on the head with a spoon–you get it.  But I digress.  My point was that he is very understanding of his sister, and he watches out for her.  He told me a while back that she was going to live with him when he got older, so I could have a break.

Yeah, I know.

I have tried very, VERY hard over the years to make sure my son always knew that he was just as important as his sister.  I have fought tooth and nail for his education.  We load up just like the Beverly Hillbillies and head off to soccer games.  We camp, and go to the beach, and the zoo, and anywhere else we want to go.  Sure, it would be easier to stay home.  It’s very tempting, especially as the years go by and I’m getting a little older and a little slower.  But it isn’t just my son who gets to experience all of these wonderful things–it’s all of us.  And so it’s worth it.  It’s important for ALL of us to do things besides run to the doctor or the therapist.

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This is all of us, with the exception of my husband taking the picture, walking back from a sort-of local nature center.  That’s my daughter riding on my sister’s lap, and my son riding on the back of her wheelchair.  I’m driving.  My sister’s sight line was impaired by the large child in her face.

Even though it can be challenging to be one of these “other” siblings, there are benefits, too.

We others have little or no difficulty accepting people with various levels of challenges.  It’s no big deal to us.  We can talk to people with special needs without discomfort or doubt.  We like to look at various wheelchairs people are riding and chat with them about speed and handling.  We can see beyond what is on the surface, and realize the beautiful people who lie within.  These other, (not so) normal siblings are more kind-hearted, and courageous, and understanding.  They despise bullies, and most aren’t afraid to stand up to them.

My son is all of these things and more.  He has the capacity for amazing kindness, and a tolerance that outshines most adults I now.  He has cornered the market on compassion.  I would have a much more difficult time making it through my day if it wasn’t for my son.  We would all do well to learn from these other siblings, the ones who stand in the background.

Do these others have special needs?  No.  But can we call them normal? Ordinary?

No way.

 


 

Welcome to the Short Bus: No Jerks Allowed

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about people, and how they think, and what they think about others.

I’ve also been thinking about the short bus.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been reminded that being told you “ride the short bus” is an insult.  It means you are stupid or crazy.  But my daughter rides the short bus, and my sister always rode the short bus, and neither one of them is stupid or crazy.

So I started thinking, as I was standing outside and waiting on the aforementioned short bus with my daughter, that riding that diminutive mode of transportation is awesome.  Way more awesome than, say, riding a regular bus.  As proof, I have compiled a highly scientific and accurate list of reasons why the short bus is the coolest bus in the fleet.

  • The short bus has adult supervision.  My elementary age daughter is being watched over by qualified adults, not high school kids with piercings and dirty mouths.
  • My daughter wears an actual seat belt.  If the regular bus has an accident, your kid is going to be bouncing around like a pea in a can.  Sorry!
  • In general, the short bus drivers are kinder, more patient, and far more accommodating than regular bus drivers.  Sorry again!
  • Sure, the kids on the short bus have problems, but I’ve met the regular ed kids on the regular bus.  I think you’d better be more worried than me!
  • Yeah, some of them might lick the windows.  At least they aren’t making out with each other and “experimenting!”
  • Lots of them still color with crayons.  But they aren’t smoking cigarettes. Or drinking.  Good luck!
  • Most of the kids are dressed pretty conservatively, but I’d take that over the “gangsta” look, male skinny jeans, or the little girls who look like they got their clothing out of the discount bin at Hal’s House of Hookers.
  • The kids on the short bus have lots of issues, but my daughter will never tell me she hates me, hit me, roll her eyes at me, or call me a bitch.
  • Also, I don’t ever have to worry about my daughter coming home with a guy who looks like he just escaped from work release, telling me they are in LOVE and they are going to have a BABY!
  • Likewise, I don’t have to worry about her becoming the most “popular” girl in school, if you get my meaning.
  • I ALSO don’t have to worry about naked pictures of my daughter popping up on the Internet because of “sexting.”
  • My daughter and her peers on the short bus don’t judge people.  They don’t make fun of others because they are different, or use them as the butt of a joke.  They aren’t racists, bigots, or just general assholes.  They aren’t bullies.  In short (get it?), they aren’t jerks.

See, riding the short bus isn’t so bad.  It doesn’t make you stupid, or crazy.  You won’t catch a disease from riding it.  In fact, I’d take the short bus any day.  I’d climb on, and sit in the back, and as we passed the regular bus, I’d hold up a sign:

 

SEE YOU LATER, LOSERS!

middle-finger-retro

 

 

 

 


 

Lists. Movies. What’s not to Love?

Today I am linking up with The Northwest Mommy.  It’s Monday Listicles, and everyone knows how I LOVE lists.  Even better:  it’s a list about movie quotes, which I speak fluently.  I even did a post before about how my mind is constantly conjuring up movie quotes and song lyrics in response to everyday situations.

The job today is to make a list of my top ten movie quotes.  Baby, I could make a list of a thousand movie quotes, but I’ll spare you.  I’ll just give you a list of the ones that pop into my head the most often.

  1. “I’ll be damned!” “You may indeed, if you get lucky.” This is from Tombstone, in a conversation between Doc Holiday and Wyatt Earp. Every time I hear someone say “I’ll be damned,” I think the response.  I can’t even help it.
  2. “Put the f—— lotion in the basket!” from Silence of the Lambs.  This ones comes up every time I see anyone holding a bottle of lotion.
  3. Also from SOTL, “Hey you don’t know what pain is!” This is also something Buffalo Bill yells down at his captive in the pit in his basement.  This is after she manages to set a trap and get his little doggie down the well with her.  She yells up at him that she thinks the dog is in a lot of pain.  He yells this down in response.  For some reason, whenever someone is whiney, this pops into my head.
  4. “There is no normal life, Wyatt.  There’s just life.  Go. Live it.” This one is also from Tombstone, which I have seen many, MANY times, in case you couldn’t tell.  Doc says it at the end.  It’s sort of cheesy, but I like it.  I don’t really believe in the word “normal,” and I guess that’s I especially liked this one.
  5. “I’m gonna lean up against you and you just lean right back up against me.  This way we don’t have to sleep with our heads in the mud.” This is from Forrest Gump.  Bubba says it to Forrest while they are in Vietnam.  You’ve gotta have friends, man.
  6. “Screw ’em! Screw the government!” Anthony Hopkins says this in Legends of the Fall.  He’s speaking in the context of Prohibition.  I particularly love this one, because it’s part of the inner vernacular of my marriage.
  7. “I feel like I’m babysitting except I’m not getting paid.”  I use this one a LOT.  It’s from The Goonies.
  8. “Un-be-LIEVE-able!” It’s hard to get this one without hearing the way she says it, but it’s from Cold Mountain. 
  9. “If you’re gonna spew, spew into this.” This one is from Wayne’s World. Garth holds this teeny little paper cup up to his inebriated friend and says this.  Any time someone says they feel sick, even if they are just speaking rhetorically, this one pops into my mind.
  10. “I promise some day I WILL repay you.  Unless of course I can’t find you or if I forget.”  I have no idea why I like this one so much, I just do.  It’s from Shrek 2.

Making this list made me realize something–I have a strange mind.

Huh.  Who knew?

 

Check out the rest of the awesome lists!

 

Monday Listicles


 

 

 

 

As an aside, my site is now entirely in italics, which I hate.  I did not do this.  Any thoughts or suggestions from the blogosphere?

The Sleep Factor

The cogs are slipping.

I read that expression in a Stephen King book once before, about how somebody was starting to lose his or her mind, and King said that the cogs of reality were wearing down and starting to slip.  It was a neat expression (and visual image) that stuck with me.  I always sort of thought it was cool.

Until now.

Now that my own cogs are starting to slip, it’s not so cool anymore.  See, I’m not sleeping very well.  This happens to me sometimes. It seems like every couple of years my internal clock starts slipping its cogs (See? Neat expression!) and I start having insomnia.

I read once that some enormous percentage of the population suffers from insomnia.  So, in reality, it isn’t that big of a deal.

Unless it’s me.

Or you live with me.

See, not sleeping starts to do things to me after a while.  My usually sunshine-y personality dims. (Hey, it’s my blog, okay?  I can make any claim I want.) I start to have a rather dark view of life in general.  I grouch, even though I know I’m doing it and I hate it and I try not to do it. In short, I start to feel a little crazy.

Not this kind of crazy,

silence

but more like this kind of crazy:

silence2

While people are talking to me, I’m having uncharitable thoughts toward them.  I’m not even going to talk about the people I have to encounter out in public.

I also start to lose my motivation.  House needs dusting?  Who cares.  Laundry piling up? Oh well.  Dinner needs cooked? Big deal.  I guess my give-a-damn runs on sleep, and it’s all out.  People seem especially whiny to me.  (How ironic, since this whole entire post is basically one, big, protracted whine-fest.) I have to squash the voice in my head that is screaming I don’t care!” when people are telling me terrible things about their lives.

I also think my decision-making is hampered.  My son could come in and ask for my permission to take the van out the road for a spin, and I’d be like, “Sure, that seems like a good idea.”  Or it might be the opposite, like he might ask for my permission to, oh, I don’t know, eat, and I’d be like “Why? Why do you need to that?  Do you need to do it right now?

So you see.

So, if I grouch at you (worse than usual) or seem unresponsive, I’m sorry.  Right now I need to go.

I’m craving fava beans.


 

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