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The Mudroom: When Other People Think Your Kids Are Apples

The Mudroom asked me to write about parenting kids with special needs and as I approached the article, I kept thinking about when the needs are harder to discern for the general public. When you walk around feeling like no one can tell what’s really going on and everyone just thinks you’re a bad mom. If you’ve dealt with that, too, solidarity, and this post is for you.

Today my kids got these . . . I don’t know . . . lip spreaders at church. You know the ones I mean? The plastic thingies that pull your lips away from your gums and make you talk funny like you’re at the dentist? As we walked out of church, my kids start chanting “Apple!” over and over, because without your lips, it’s alllll “asshole.” We died. We were a snort-laughing, asshole-chanting bunch of miscreants tripping through the parking lot. I have created monsters. Jesus take the wheel.

There was a time when this kind of behavior would’ve embarrassed me. “Kids, we have to learn to lock down the crazy when we’re in public.” But I think years of people not knowing what to do with us has finally forced me to surrender any last need for putting on airs. The general public will never understand us, and that’s okay. READ MORE