This is NOT a quilty post here--but just an observation and sad commentary. So, you can move on if you like. In the last 3 weeks, I have had 3 different friends who know me/us fairly well and know about our Down's Syndrome daughter,(notice the 'pose', when I told her I wanted to take her picture, she immediately went into her 'modeling' mode--oh, the pictures I'm NOT sharing!)
and they have all made similar comments about someone doing something stupid being 'retards' or that 'retarded dog' or something along those lines. Have you ever made a comment like that about another person or animal that isn't being too bright at the time? Unfortunately, that term is used in a very derogatory and negative manner with no respect for the truly 'mentally retarded' population out there. It's something I have heard all my daughter's life. I'm an emotional person and I'm afraid if I would say something, I would start crying. I know they love my daughter--but they are TRULY demeaning her as a human being when they say things like that. I wish I were a witty, quick on my feet person and had a great comeback. After the one episode, my husband and I just looked at each other when the comment was made, but said nothing. Apparently someone saw our eye exchange and said something to our friend, who called and apologized. We thought about saying this comment when someone makes a rude remark.."Oh, do they have Down's Syndrome too?" I thought, that would be a great comment to kind of bring their attention to their poor choice of adjectives. So, when it happened just ONE week later, from one of my best friends, I stammered. It was said so flippant, she gave it not one thought. So.........does anyone out there have any great suggestions? I know it's a very important thing to me, having a retarded daughter, but to others, it doesn't even cross their minds. But please, if you have ever made a remark similar to that, think about what message you are sending--that you think they are the lowest forms of our human race. And you know what? We were BLESSED by having her, wondering what we ever did to deserve to have her.
So, now that being said--and thanks for listening to my little 'soapbox' tirade.....here's a little story about her day today....
I made a huge mistake this morning by not remembering in time to change my daughter's watch and alarm clock for Daylight Savings Time. She is very much a creature of habit, she LOVES structure and follows her watch to the second! Believe me, when it's 12:00 noon--you KNOW where she is! Asking about lunch. 3:00--same thing, only it's 'snack' time and then 5:30 it's dinner. For some reason breakfast doesn't 'have a time'! LOL She-She (affectionately called by her nieces and nephews) has Down's Syndrome (although if you ask her, she's over that! She doesn't suck her tongue anymore and so she must think that's all that means--and don't even argue with her about that!) and is 26 years YOUNG. She's not old, she tells us, she's young. Okay, whatever. Dhe doesn't 'get' the time change thing, so she refuses to let me change her watch or clock. So I'm going to have to sneak into her bedroom tonight and do it quick. She's just not happy--she kept changing MY clock to match her watch! I threatened no dinner to her if she did it again. She didn't.
update: I HAD to change something-either change MY clock or her watch, because it didn't match and she was not a happy camper. Well, these new-fangled watches confuse me and do I know where the little book you get with the watch is? HA! So, after almost 1/2 hour of messing with it--oh let's see, I first changed her alarm by accident, I convinced her it was a better time anyway (it was 4:27--probably set by me to start with accidentally, and I got it to 3:00--snack time!), somehow changed the alarm to 5:00 and told her it was quitting time at work, so that's okay. FINALLY got it to the right time, well, not quite--it was ONE minute behind her newly changed alarm clock. Easy fix--change the alarm clock! LOL BUT oh no--I somehow got it in military time and can't get it back! There is no way I can explain that one to her, so I kept playing. Somehow I got it all right and she's not super happy because it's all confusing her why we do this, but she feels right with the world again.
And again--I appeal to those who don't even think about the choice of words they use..to maybe come up with a better way to express your frustrations with someone. I thought of several comparisons of what it sounds like, but they were all too negative and demeaning, I didn't even want to say them. I would love to hear your suggestions on how you would handle it? Remember it comes out of the blue with no forewarning and I'm not the quickest thinker! LOL