Friday, April 5, 2013

Oh.... I have a sign for you....

     My daughter signs.  She is getting really good at it, too... but no wonder as she refuses to speak.  And she can, speak that is, it's just that verbal communication is too boring... or beneath her.... or too frustrating.  Who knows, right?  At 18 months she only uses a handful of words consistently (by this point her brother was using complete sentences) but understands a whole lot of scary about what we say.  She gets it, but verbal communication isn't her bag, baby.  All Hubbs and I know is that teaching her to sign has been the difference between ear splitting shrieks of anger and frustration and fewer.  We are going with fewer.

     You know how some kids, when they learn that they can finally be understood by those lumbering food machines called adults, will use every opportunity to tell you as loudly as possible everything that they think?  Yeah.... she's not one of those BUT she WILL walk up to you, thump you on the chest with her fat little fist, and throw the "milk" sign at you like she is a Crip and you are a Blood and shit is about to go DOWN.  I have never been told "Now, bitch!" in such a quietly forceful way.  It is a little intimidating....

We have gotten no small amount of attention from strangers in public over this.  For example...

     Last weekend at the zoo, we had stopped to get lunch at their wonderful little cafe (with the badass hamburgers) but we had waited a little too long so the kids were completely batshit with hunger... you know.... because we OBVIOUSLY never feed them.  *sigh*  Hubbs went up to order and I sat with them at the table attempting to keep the situation under control.  Sass was his normal Speedy Gonzales of words and whining and Sprinkles decided to add her two cents.  "EAT!" she signed at me.  "EAT!  MILK!  FOOD NOW!", while thumping the table for emphasis and punctuation.  Being a natural hand talker I told her "Wait" and pointed to Hubbs in line up front,  "Daddy is coming soon." I spoke to her.  Not pleased with my answer she kept up with the signing with an angry face and a few guttural shrieks thrown in for good measure.  I began to roll my eyes until I noticed one of the Yuppie Moms (yeah, I judge like that.  When you have the perfect ponytale, a monogrammed and quilted diaper bag, with eight screaming and incredibly unruly kids, I am just going to assume you are hauling this hot mess back to a White Esclade and let's be done with it.) having one of those "that kid is "different" but don't stare" moments with her child.  Ponytale looked up and saw me watching.  She gave me a sweetly conspiratorial smile and turned back to her boy for a hug.  What the....?  Wait.  She thinks my kid is deaf?  And that was one of those "The More You Know" CBS syrup moments?  Huh...  

     It wasn't that she thought Sprinks was deaf that made me want to get all bitey (if she was, we would learn sign language and move on) it was the smile afterward.  It was... condescending and pat-you-on-the-head belittling.  It was "Aren't I Such a Good Parent For Explaining This Unfortunate Situation To My Sweet Baby Boy".  It made the hair on the back of my neck stick up and my hackles rise.  Is this how it is for families with children who have disabilities?  How do you not kill folks?  You are saints!  You are amazing!  Why are playgrounds and PTA meetings not covered with the broken bodies of parents like Ponytale?  I would call it justifiable ...   I was a hairs breadth from standing up and pulling something primal... but then the food came... so I didn't.  And because we are, after all, somewhat civilized.  *growl*


But you see Ponytale, it's not me you have to worry about....  She's fierce.

18 comments:

  1. She's so freaking awesome. And I hope she rips ponytale a new one...with her pounding fists of course ;)

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    1. I will ALWAYS put my money on Sprinks in a fight. ALWAYS.

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  2. I'm positive my youngest used to use that exact same expression - often. But yeah, I'm guessing parents of children who have disabilities probably get that a lot.

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    1. Does he still use it? If so, is it as cute now as it was then? ;)

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  3. Love, love love it! Keep up the signing and screw the moms like Ponytail. <3

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    1. Oh we will... little booger shows no signs (hah) of ever wanting to actually speak. He hands are so much more effective! ;)

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  4. I heart this so hard. So. Fucking. Hard.

    I have worked with adults with disabilities most of my life, and both of my boys are in speech therapy.

    Obviously, due to my job I know sign, and I taught the boys sign to help them communicate until they got better with speech via therapy...

    And you do get judged. It sucks. It happens. You know what? Learn the cuss words and sign those at the next ponytail bitch. You'll feel better.

    PS. She's adorable.

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    1. Any interesting ones you can teach me? Cussing in sign language would be a bass ass skill...

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  5. We all have our condescending Ponytail people in our towns. I just finished dealing with a handful of them who were opposed to redrawing the attendance lines for our middle schools. I won't go into detail, but let's just say GOOD TRIUMPHED OVER SNOBBY.

    And I SO want to teach dirty words in sign language to Sprinkles....

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  6. Rats, I know all about those pony tailed ones...Now your daughter well, she is fierce in deed! Thank you for sharing at the hop, your participation makes the hop extra special. Big Hugs P.S. the new giveaway posted yesterday!

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  7. I used some baby sign language with my daughter to bridge the gap between English & Dutch.. she's not deaf... it just helps the little ones communicate & be less frustrated. :) Danica

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  8. Being the mom of a disabled child who passed away, I can tell you that during his nine amazing years on earth we dealt with more than our fair share of snotty BS from moms who some how saw themselves or their children better than mine because he was in a wheelchair. Parents like that piss me off because they are honestly doing nothing more than teaching their kids to be the same way. LOVE this post
    www.mommysrambles.blogspot.com

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    1. I really don't understand how you folks show such restraint. My hat is off to you and I am sorry for your loss. I am definitely coming by for a visit!

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  9. OMG--LOVE THIS! You had me at Crips and Bloods. I wish I had something meaningful to say about the message here, but all I can do is look at that pic of your little Sprinks and say "She is the Shizz-nit!" That face is GOLD! Good stuff, Mama! Good stuff!! Write on!

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  10. I will not be in a dark alley with your little girl! The crips and blood reference was hilarious!
    Thanks for hooking up to the Hump Day Hook Up

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