"What lies behind us, and what lies before us are small matters
compared to what lies within us."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Name the Culprit

Here's the line-up. Which of these sweet angels totally embarrassed their mommy at the rec. center today?

Who me? Couldn't be!

Little Catherine has been pleading with me for months to sign her up for gymnastics class. Since she is a tad bit clingy, kind of like a boa constrictor with a ponytail, I waited for a while to make sure she was ready.

Today was the big day.

She was thrilled. She practically bounced into the building on her hands.
She was so excited!

Then, all of a sudden, she wasn't.

She started slowly walking backwards, planning her escape.
"I think I changed my mind Mom.", she told me. "I don't want to go."

The only thing I could think of to do was scoop her up and walk towards the teacher. I really didn't know what I was going to do when I got there, but it seemed like a responsible mother thing to do. Everything would have probably worked out fine if Victoria hadn't decided at that exact moment to start freaking out for no apparent reason. (this picture is post-freak out)

Victoria's crying seemed to give Catherine the permission to get hysterical. She shrieked as I tossed her into the teacher's arms. I waved at her from the window while Victoria tried to fling herself into the arms of a complete stranger, while making her "special" noises.

(By the way, Francesca was eating, so of course, she was a happy camper)

I was chagrined.. All the cool moms were trying hard not to stare. Then, I felt terrible that I felt embarrassed about my kids. But just for a moment, I wished we could be a little more anonymous.

I wished that everywhere we went I wouldn't have to brace myself for weird looks and strange questions like, "How did you happen to have so many kids with lots of problems? Do you have bad genes or what?" (someone really did ask me this.)

Has anyone else ever felt like this or I am just a big wimp? You can tell me, I can take it.

Then someone threw up. And it wasn't one of my kids! We may not be cool, but at least we can hold our food down.

When I tucked Catherine into bed tonight, she told me, "Mom, I am very serious about gymnastics. I had so much fun today!"
Ahhhhh.....sweet perspective. Tomorrow, I'd better put on my super mom panties and get tough.


  1. I'm right there with you on wishing we could be a little less obvious sometimes! Probably the best comment I overhead was some over manicured lady seeing me push our stroller with our little one who just happens to have quadriplegic cp and then our screamer that I was pulling by the hand as she was screaming "I need to poop" (She just would do that as she loved checking out bathrooms in public) oh and yes said child also has special needs and then I had two other littles and my oldest who overheard the woman say "that lady needs to stop having kids". Crazy how people don't think a bit more about what they say - the fact that I am in my forties and probably look it and am toting around several kids with all shades of hair colors etc... anyways, I love my life and kids, just hate all the perfectly put together women who think they know it all and dare to comment - I am betting I have better stories to tell then they do and I get to laugh at some really absurd things! :)

    1. What a great way to look at it - we do have better stories! Thanks for making me feel better!

  2. Miss Catherine warms my heart! You are a rockstar! Don't let any other parents make you feel bad. You've got an amazing heart and kids that love you. That is so much more than lots of families out there. Keep the stories coming.

  3. Catheine-Once again your honesty just delights me. There is a woman in our neighborhood who walks everyday and to this day, is convinced that we are horrible parents because we wouldn't force our boy (now 5) into a jacket every morning when we would drop my husband off at work. People have so many opinions. Right now I am struggling with others' quiet questioning of my decision to send my oldest to the local public school, since I refuse to drive on LA freeways to take my kids to school each day.

    you know what? We are great moms and we need to remind one another AND ourselves that this mothering journey is about the trying and the love...not the outcome or how we look.

    Hang in there sister!


  4. Oh, definitely had those days! Particularly with my older son who would beg and then freak out. My younger son just threw a minor sulk in 2nd karate class and I was mortified only to be more so when he shouted out loudly upon getting his uniform at end of class 'can I put my costume on now'. Then an older boy cornered us in the shoe corner with 'why doesn't he have hands? when he was born I bet you wanted to throw him in the trash'. I thought I'd heard it all: I heard bad genes before too along with such advice from a stranger passing on a bike who assured my then 4.5 year old that if I'd press on his head for 4 hours in one specific spot that his arm would grow back the next day. I can laugh about it now but mortification followed by rage is quite the feelings to have all in less than 40 minutes.

  5. This has be cracking up! Sometimes you just wish you could shrink away! Love you and your beautiful family!


  6. People are jsut idiots. Of my five the 3 youngest are all within 21 months. Two of them are dwarfs and our little guy is missing his tibias. I am so tired of people telling him to stop walking on his knees and walk like a big boy - um I am sure he would love to but his freakin feet are on backwards. Heehee but yesterday takes the cake - I had the three with me and someone asked if our little girl is a dwarf. "Yes," I replied "we jsut got home with the both of them from China in Dec." She actually asked "Oh, which ones?" Really, um I'm thinking the brown ones LOL - and here's your sign!


    1. My guy gets comments about his arm being inside the coat. They don't realize its missing and they say 'so, is your arm missing?' which is great to see thier reaction too (a lot of cashiers say this to him), or older ladies will say 'put your arm in your coat!'. His lower prosthetic makes him 'strut' walk though and he gets lots of comments on how cute that is. 'oh, look at that strut'

  7. I had a really bad mommy day at the park today. I was trying my best, but it is just so hard sometimes. I think the hardest thing for me is wondering what other moms think about me. I actually was praying no one would say anything to me because if they did, I would have lost it and I really did not want to! So, yeah, totally get you!

  8. My daughter, who is now 16 has CP. When she was around 4, we were at an eye dr appt for her younger brother. I will never forget overhearing an old lady commenting to her friend about the way my daughter was walking!!! My husband rushed me out of there for fear of what I might say to her! I did give her the evil eye, but so wished I could have said something to her!!!

  9. I totally understand. I now have three little ones with Down syndrome...I had two at Walmart with me (one looks Asian, but actually Ukrainian and the other white as I am)...this lady told me I should stop going to Africa and getting all these defective children. I should have been really mad, but she was so stupid that all I could do is laugh, I mean bend over, holding my side laugh and ask her "Do you really think they are from Africa?" She REALLY didn't like my response.

  10. Wimp? - that definely doesn't describe you.

  11. Oh my word! Again, we could swap kids and you would never know the difference!! Victoria was most likely having sympathy for Catherine. She thought she would help her out a bit! Or maybe... she thought by freaking out she was helping you! Hmmm... Either way she is a helpful little soul!

    The older I get the less of a filter I have when it comes to rude/ignorant people. I have more than once said something to a stranger who was making nasty comments about another persons kids (whom I didn't know) who obviously have their share of challenges! My response is usually to throw out a positive comment to the kid so the rude person can hear it but lately I have just been letting loose if I see so much as a dirty look! Just let me know if you need to go shopping with you!! HA! Sheri

  12. So when do you start your career as a writer of "life humor"? You really are an outstanding writer!

  13. I can relate. I had a weekend like this. When T first came home she was malnourished. 25 lbs, 34 inches at 3-1/2. Her hair was so thin I used to blow up the referral photos and count hair follicles. Any way the first day of a 3 day holiday weekend I took her to the neighbors 5th Birthday party. There was a mom there that came over and said "What's it like to raise a kid with CP?" I told her I wouldn't know.. my daughter doesn't have CP... she said.. "Yes she does" I responded No no she does not. She again says "yeah.. she does" I wanted to smack her and was tempted to say "What's it like to raise a fat kid?" As her 5 year old was truly huge but being that she took after her mother I held my tongue. Grrrr... Next day my husband and I took T to the pool store. I run into a Russian Grandmother and her grand daughter. Mind you this was when the Russians were bombing Georgia. I heard her accent and asked where she was from.. started chatting and this idiot insisted that my daughters bio mom must have been a heavy drinker. What she actually said was "I bet her mom drinks a lot" To which I responded .. No.. I really don't drink enough. With a smile :-D . Day three we're in church it's the 2nd week we're there with our daughter and a woman I had never met before comes over and compliments me on my daughters wardrobe and... " Your daughter always dresses so nicely.. so what kind of disability does she have" All in one breath. UGH!!! I said none.. she said "Oh yeah she does.. what's her problem?"
    Before we adopted I asked one of my friends what it was really like to be a mom. She said. "It's like wearing your heart outside your body" It's so true. Suddenly you feel vulnerable like never before. Always trying to protect,heal and nurture. When you have an adopted child who was somehow neglected, hurt or disabled your strength is tenfold that of a normal mother as is your sensitivity level. Hang in there Catherine. You're doing an amazing job with your girls. You're ten times the mother those other women hope to be when they grow up. (((HUGS)))

  14. I love reading your blog. You make me laugh a lot and your kids are so beautiful :)

  15. LOL.... oh my have we ever been embarrassed before! Probably my worst moment. 4 little BOYS (long time ago) one in a body cast laying in a wheel chair. I am grocery shopping. SO one is walking, 2 in the cart and I'm pulling a wheel chair. We are on the cereal aisle and the only other person on the aisle is a man in a suit. A NICE suit. I look all hag like..... As he passes our group..... he looks down and my six year old in the body cast says, "Are you my daddy?" I nearly fainted in place! WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD HE SAY SUCH A THING!!!! The man LITERALLY RAN. I stood there laughing and crying at the same time. Then we went home and had cereal.

  16. Thank you for the chuckle tonight. Sometimes we would like to look a little more anonymous too; we probably would have been the vomiting crew though- baby boy leaves his GI mark in many places. Blessings, Jennifer

  17. I will be laughing at this line for a long long time! Thank you!!

    'Then someone threw up. And it wasn't one of my kids! We may not be cool, but at least we can hold our food down.'



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