The Neverending Story

I was going to post a really hysterically funny video of Vista today. At least Bil and I found it hysterically funny. But then again, it’s well known to the world that we have a sick and twisted sense of humor.

I know, you’re sitting there going ‘OK, well, if this video is so damn funny, where is it??’

Well, here’s the thing.

I’ve decided not to post it.

The video was something along the lines of this, with a little less Will Ferrell, less scripting, and a lot more of me doubled over laughing in the background.

But after having CPS called on us last November, we’re quite frankly a little gun shy about putting anything out there that might smack of anything less than perfect parenting.

And then I think about that and it REALLY. PISSES. ME. OFF.

I’m not perfect.  Show me a parent who is.  And yet, here I am trying to live up to some impossible standard because somebody who knows nothing about me decided he should get some say on how I parent my child.

Now every time I’m out with Vista, I’m crossing my fingers that she doesn’t have a meltdown, and that someone won’t decide to stick there nose into something that is, quite frankly, none of their business.

I’m finding a lot of things don’t get done these days.  If I drive somewhere and Vista falls asleep before we get there?  Rather than wake her up, take her in the store, and chance an outburst, I turn around and go home.  Because?  It’s not worth the risk.

I walk around on egg shells hoping that no one will find fault that’s not there.

And I thought at first it was just in this small town we lived in.  I even tossed the idea around of moving somewhere new.

But then I realized, it’s not the town.  It’s me.  This… thing… has pervaded to the very core of my parenting philosophy.

And now it’s invaded my blog.

It’s like I’m living in Fantasia and being hunted by the Nothing.

This need to censor is at direct odds with the person I am naturally.

I am irreverent.  I am risque, at times.  Ditto for controversial.  That’s who I’ve always been.

I’m not someone to toe the line or follow the norm.

And yet I find myself doing exactly that, because I will do anything to protect my child from ignorant people who think they know more about her than I do.

 The Neverending Story
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21 Responses to The Neverending Story

  • I know that fear all to well, the public school system makes it even worse. I am terrified Noah will lose control at school or I will do something to make myself look bad. I am scared on bad days to post how bad it really can get, because who the hell knows who is reading and judging. I hate it too.
    I know that this fear is not reserved only for the parents of kids with special needs. It happens to all parents. But the truth is for us, there is a magnifying glass, looking to place blame for anything other than norm behavior on us.
    Nine years into this journey I am pretty much to the point where I say, FUCK EM.
    I am doing the best I can and I think it’s a pretty freaking awesome job.
    .-= Jenni Williams´s last blog ..Lazy Parent=Good Parent? =-.

    Jenn Reply:

    @Jenni Williams,

    lol. Maybe in 9 years, I’ll be there too. Right now, I’m still in the ‘scared rabbit’ phase.

    I was talking with the other moms at V’s sensory/physio group one day, and one of them brought up how hysterical it was that people think we’re abusing our children when they act out, because it’s usually the other way around. I’ve had my fair share of bruises (I have a doozy on my leg right now where she hauled back and kicked me) and black eyes, and the kid’s only two.

    Jenni Williams Reply:

    @Jenn, Oh yeah I feel your pain. I have had a black eye more than once and stitches, from meltdowns. Scared rabbit sucks, and I don’t think it ever goes away totally.
    .-= Jenni Williams´s last blog ..Lazy Parent=Good Parent? =-.

  • pamela says:

    This is why I don’t post anything like that either. It’s not just small towns though its everyone. People are so judgemental. Like if my daughter is eating cheetos at the checkout lane before dinner, im the worst parent in the world. (I would love to see the video, BTW)
    .-= pamela´s last blog ..For my Birthday… =-.

    Jenn Reply:

    @pamela,

    Yeah, some people just doing get it. If they’d worry more about their own business and less about ours the world would be a happier place.

  • This is something I have lived with for 9 years.

    Some things are better now. We can go out in public and appear normal is the main one, but still there are those times that I have this over whelming sense of fear. Not only could I lose one kid, but I could lose all of them. That scares the shit out of me.

    I have never been investigated by CPS, shockingly. I did have police called on me. Luckily I was met with understanding and not condemnation.
    .-= Kim @ Beautiful Wreck´s last blog ..Random Tuesday Thoughts: Don’t Be Jealous of My Boogie =-.

    Jenn Reply:

    @Kim @ Beautiful Wreck,

    That exact thing (the fear of losing them all) has played into our decision not to have any more kids.

    I understand the need for CPS, but at the same time it makes me sad that we live in fear of having our own children taken away.

  • Bil Simser says:

    It really does peeve me that we live in a society that has come to this. Freedom of expression seems to be just a phrase sometimes and while people claim to be free yet we’re judged at every supermarket checkout and parking lot and drug store, usually out of context. People are perfectly happy putting labels on you or your child without knowing any back story or reason behind what you do or how you do it. It’s the equivalent of a journalist reviewing a movie they never saw, yet claim it’s the best/worst thing out there and telling people to flock to it. Sometimes it feels no short of the Salem witch trials. It’s a tough balance as we don’t want to limit ourselves in how we express ourselves and what we find funny or interesting, yet do we want to take the expense of going through investigations or inquiries? We know now by experience that when the facts come out we’re not putting our daughter in harms way or mistreating her or whatever the claim of the day will be, but is the hassle of going through all that worth the price? It’s a tough pill to swallow and I’m not sure we’ll find the correct answer. In the meantime we do what we can and do the best job we can at it.
    .-= Bil Simser´s last blog ..Integrity, Credibility, and the Social Collapse of Friendships =-.

    Jenn Reply:

    @Bil Simser,

    I love you. That is all.

    Lu Reply:

    @Bil Simser, Damn Jenn, you married one smart awesome guy….because he summed up just what I wanted to say, just with better punctuation and more sense. (And less slurring.) I am SO SO sorry that you (of all people, *snicker*) has to feel censored. Everything Bil said, get it to a T. The judging starts the moment we walk out our front doors, or when someone walk in. It’s ridiculous and disgusting. I am sorry it has it’s nasty tentacles all up in your life. UGH. Love you long time.
    .-= Lu´s last blog ..Today, right now, this very second… =-.

  • Michelle P. says:

    Wow Jenn. What you’re writing sounds like it could come straight out of the foster care adoption world (where I’m more familiar). Probably cause so many of them are dealing with different emotional, mental and physical needs. And they need to be parented differently then “normal” securely attached children.

    I even have these fears with my oldest, and like Jenni mentioned, often around the school system. I KNOW I parent right for my children (and differently for each of them), but there’s an ever-present fear (mostly irrational) that “they” will take him away.

    One of the suggestions I’ve heard is addressing things right up front. The mother who tells the hotel at check-in “My daughter screams and has excessively violent tantrums. If you’re concerned, instead of first calling CPS, you have my permission to walk in anytime to check in on us.” Or the parents who carry letters from their professionals in their wallets, ready to justify their parenting on a moments notice (document, document, document). Or the parent who tells the teacher “My child is provided with several jackets, but chooses not to wear any of them. We live a block from school, and it’s not cold enough to damage him. We’re hoping he learns from natural consequences, so please don’t enable him.” (I’m using this one next year, and I do carry around proof that I’m the parent in my wallet. Cause I’m terrified about that too.)

    You’re right, if you’re not putting kids in harms way or mistreating them, you shouldn’t have to justify anything. On the other hand, it’s unfortunate, but we live in a world where kids are mistreated, where kids experience and see things that they never never should. If someone honestly had a suspected I was mistreating my kids, I’d still want them to come forward. Cause in some cases, if someone would have done that sooner, kids would be in a safer place.

    So come on over (I’ll have lots of time after March!!). I’ll promise not to comment on your parenting style and you can promise not to comment on how well I ignore what seems like major emotional breakdown, and the fact that my son still sleep on the floor in my room.

    Jenn Reply:

    @Michelle P.,

    I know you get this in spades.

    Kim (Beautiful Wreck) who commented above, also is a card carrier. We are planning to make up cards to hand to people when they give me ‘the look’… just as soon as we figure out what to put on them.

    It’s stupid how opinionated people are. We’ve even gotten comment about V wearing her hat in a restaurant (how it’s inappropriate to wear a hat at a table). One of these days I’m going to take her hat off to please them and sit there and eat my dinner as she screams her fool head off.

    I think there is a fine line between protecting kids and forcing your parenting opinions on people. And I think people have JUMPED over that line in the past 10 years. Now, looking at your kid the wrong way and they’re screaming ‘Abuse’.

    We’ll definitely get together soon. Then we can both sit there and talk over the kids having a major meltdown on the floor. :-)

  • Heather says:

    FAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRRR!

    I no longer put many pictures or anything on my blog because my mother in law kept stealing them, so now I just won’t. (we don’t talk to her. She blames Jack for pretty much everything, and claims he’s not part of the family…but she’s the best “CHRISTIAN” on the planet.)

    Your words are more powerful than a video anyway.

    Love you.
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..The Truth Hurts =-.

    Jenn Reply:

    @Heather,

    Dude. I love you. lol.
    Your Falcor yell had me howling this morning.

    And Jack is not part of your family?? WTF?? Really? That is beyond fucked up. I don’t blame you for not posting pictures if that’s the case.

    Of course the bitch in me would probably post them with a BIG watermark across them that said something like ‘This photo is for everyone to enjoy except my skanky MIL’.

  • I happen to think you are a fantastic mom and people just don’t understand. And we as mothers have this drive and urge in ourselves to protect our babies. So while you KNOW you’re not doing anything wrong you don’t want to deal with Vista having to deal with it…makes sense. xo
    .-= Becky @TheRealBecks´s last blog ..Photo bliss =-.

  • Colleen says:

    Falcor was already taken so I’ll go with my next favorite quote from this movie.

    These look like such strong hands.

    I actually think the quote is appropriate today too. As parents we put on such a strong front. But good God if you threaten our children or our family? Well then in one big gust of something dark and evil, we can fall apart and our hearts shatter in to a million pieces. And it seems we can never put those pieces back together the same way ever again.

    Having kids makes us so fragile. I don’t care what anyone else says.

    I understand why you are pissed off. But do you realize how great of a Mommy you are that you put the welfare of your child above every other conviction you stand for? Not every Mom does that.

    Hang in there babe! You’re the best!
    .-= Colleen´s last blog ..Cough, Cough, Hi, Cough =-.

  • I can’t believe you have to tiptoe around, worrying what people might say or do. That just plain sucks. You shouldn’t have to defend your actions, when you clearly are a great parent and love your daughter tremendously.

    I’m sorry you are going through this, and I hope that it gets better.

    xoxo
    .-= Sara @TomTheGirl´s last blog ..The best sound in the world (6 mos) =-.

  • Laura says:

    My husband and I are the same way. If one of the kids is acting out, and luckily for us it doesn’t happen very often, we just tend to put our stuff down and walk out. My husband is always worried about that one person that’s going to see you and freak out. I was in the store the other day in a check out line, my daughter and I were playing a game. I bent down to kiss her and she turned her head, I said “fine, mommy doesn’t need kisses”, and then she said “kiss, pweas mama” and I said “nope, no kisses today, they are out of service” and the lady in front of me turned around and said “how can you deny your child kisses, thats not very nice”. I was like, WTH, it’s a game we play and mind your own damn business. It’s people like that that don’t mind their own business that make the rest of us “worry” all the damn time. It’s rediculous, and yes, it’s EVERYEWHERE!

  • i hate that this happens to anyone, but especially to you because you are NOT a walk on eggshells like of gal. that being said, what i DO love is the way you write when you are writing about vista and your day-to-day life with her. she is so fantastic, as are you and when you write about her and protecting her from the ignorant asshats of the world, it is proof positive of the wonderful mother you are.
    .-= nic @mybottlesup´s last blog ..i quit my sorority and i don’t do clubs =-.

  • I hate shopping trips and such bc of stuff like that. And my children are only slightly more prone to fits than the average child.
    .-= thepsychobabble´s last blog ..Lemony Snicket, The Lonelies and Mental illness =-.

  • punkinmama says:

    Wait… are you trying to tell me I’m not a perfect parent? Oh right, I already knew that.

    So sorry you’re feeling stifled and restricted. I just don’t get other people. If I see a kid having a major meltdown, you’ll likely see me giving the mother (or father) an understanding and sympathetic look.

    Hopefully, you’ll be able to get past the scared rabbit feeling and more like yourself soon. Practice saying, “What are you looking at? If you think you could handle this better, I’d love to see you try…”
    .-= punkinmama´s last blog ..sweet shot: winter favorite =-.

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