Monday, November 26, 2012

The R Word Remix

I had a killer post about Thanksgiving and gratitude, but I'm going to put that on hold to respond to a comment on my first "r" word post. Here is the comment:

I do agree with you, however if someone like me uses the word as a put down, it is to say like that was a retarded statement i,e that is dumb. It doesn't reflect Down's syndrome children and their beauty in the least. Unless,there is something I'm not seeing. This society has become, because of the liberal agenda, too sensitive over semantics too. You must admit that. Hell, I am a blond and how many dumb blond jokes are out there? What if someone said a dumb blond joke in the presence of your beautiful blond child, would you take offense to that, as well? Just wondering. Also, a lot of Catholics take offense to the word asshole. At least putting it in written form. If it is spoken, accidentally in anger, that is one thing, but to put it out in the blogosphere is permanent and you want your Catholic light to shine and we have to realize what our written language kind of dims that light. I guess the same could be said about writing the word retard too. Just something for us all to ponder. You have a beautiful little girl, btw.

First of all, thank you. She is beautiful, and funny, and sweet and as jerky as every other baby with her biting and grinning when I tell her no. So, thanks.

On to what I think is the main thrust of your comment, which is that people are too sensitive about using certain descriptive words as derogatory (blond, retarded, asshole). Most of the time I get very eye-rolly at the idea of getting offended by something like a blond joke. A joke is a joke, we all get that. It is meant to be playful, not hurtful, so intention does matter. Also, most people can defend themselves, and that is a huge factor as to how appropriate something is. I don't like jokes about the sacred because I hold some things sacred. Hair color is not one of them.

However, in your example of using retarded to describe someone's statement as dumb, well, that is offensive. Why? Because the word retarded means something. My daughter's geneticist told us she would likely be mentally and physically retarded. That word was used to describe something about her. When my daughter grows up and hears that word used as a put down, she will associate that word with her deficiencies. She also likely won't be able to process a response fast enough to explain the offense. So, my daughter, who is a kind and cheerful girl, will be hearing people using a word used in her diagnosis, as something to put others down. And she will be unable to defend herself. And that is terrible.

Retarded doesn't mean dumb. It means slowed. My daughter's development will be retarded by Down syndrome. Her speech will probably be retarded by Down syndrome. Her cognition will be retarded by Down syndrome. What she won't be is dumb or ignorant. She'll be retarded. And no one should hurt her by using that description to call someone else a name. If someone were to do that in front of me I would defend her against that kind of ignorant treatment. If the person is a jerk, I'll tell her that person has terrible manners. Because those of us who can should protect the weak. 

As for the use of "asshole", yes, you are right, that is not the Light of Christ type word. It is vulgar, and I used that word to describe the vulgar people who defend the use of the word "retard" because they don't mean it offensively to those with Down syndrome. Except it is and all the semantics in the world will not change that unless we can no longer use the word for its intended purpose. Which circles back to my original point that I do not want assholes determining the lexicon.
To sum up, I don't think the words "retard or retarded" should be banned. I think anyone who uses those words as a put down are either ignorant, or complete jerks. My faith dictates that I help instruct the ignorant and love the jerks. I can do that, but I might accidentally call a jerk an asshole on occasion. Please forgive my vulgar mama bear moments.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Post Election Awesome

Lands, I'm tired. Refraining from being a petulant sore loser is EXHAUSTING. I tried to go to bed before the results, but I tossed and turned all night wondering. At 4 I finally checked. I really really wanted to behave like the little boy in my daughter's class who said he would would break Mitt Romney's arms if he won. (No, I don't think his parents are to blame for that one. I have a 3-year-old boy who recently told me how I was the "billain" and Daddy kicked me in the face and stuffed me in a closet-none of those things have ever happened-so yeah, boys and stuff.) I did not tell her to tell that little boy that if the president has a heart attack and dies JOE BIDEN IS OUR PRESIDENT, so there!!!infinity! But I did tell her to pray that Barack Obama is a good president and put it in God's hands. Which is what I would have said if "Mitch Romidey" won. Why couldn't my kids remember his name anyway? WAS THAT AN OMEN?

Yelch, I'm punchy today.

On to more pleasant subjects, at least more pleasant for half of the voters; Mariana. She slept like a boss last night. Slept like she was getting paid per minute. A dear friend of the family, Keith, stopped by on his way to the OSU basketball Carrier Classic and spent the night last night. He came in time for dinner, so he was there with our pastor, Fr. John, who ate dinner with us and blessed our new home. Fr. had offered to come and bless the house when he heard we were moving, so that was a very nice thing to share with Keith. Father John blessed the back yard and every room saying a blessing for each. He also blessed our front porch and our doorway, our closets, our stairs, the windows and cars. If you've never had your home blessed, I highly recommend it. The kids really appreciated it, especially the prayers for safety. Anyway, Mariana went to bed shortly after Father arrived and then slept as he went into my (embarrassingly messy) closet to bless it. She slept until 6:30 this morning, and she is napping now. God is so GOOD!

Today's work is more laundry thanks to a midnight accident, gift purchasing and popping by the old digs to grab more stuff. The never-ending protracted move continues. We are headed to Disney this weekend, which is going to be epic. We are staying at the Art of Animation resort, Scott is running the half marathon at 10 p.m., which is crazy, and many of his side of the family will be there to hold babies and wrangle stray children. I believe the park we have chosen to explore is Hollywood Studios, and I pray that no one is crabby that we aren't doing "something else". There is going to be a lecture, or several, on gratitude and the limits of time and being gracious in a big group. I'm considering bringing a kid-leash to threaten them with if anyone gets out of hand.

I should mention that Molly voted for Mr. "I" in her class election and he won! So, at least one of our family members has the sweet taste of victory this week.

Crap-Gotta go, see below....

And this is what happens when you ignore your 3 year old and you have crappy builder paint.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

October- The Revaluation

October turned out to be the shortest and longest month of the year so far. The first part, waiting to close on the house, was agonizingly long. The last part, and our protracted and never-ending move has been swift and busy as all get out. I don't have time to write this post, but I always have time to shirk my responsibilities.

Mariana is sleeping beautifully at the new digs, which so far has been my gigantic closet that has no excuse for being so large. I painted her crib a gorgeous shade of purple, but we've had many guests (Hooray!), and I'd like to wait until it slows down to screw up her sleeping arrangements. My mom pointed out that my closet is very dark, which may account for her ability to nap better. Blackout shades are in the works!

Why did no one inform me that when you buy a house you might as well withdraw all of your money and dump it on the front lawn? The more you know!

Because I am starting to feel guilty for the unfolded pile of laundry that has grown eyes and begun to stare at me with judgement and disappointment, allow a list of cool and amazing things that are going on in Mariana's kingdom:
  1. Sitting up!!!!!! This baby can sit up for 5 whole seconds before leaning too far one way and crashing onto her face. I have no idea how she manages to always fall on her face no matter which direction she falls. I call it a gift.
  2. EATING ALL THE THINGS AND FACES AND STUFFS- Oh yes she does. Rutabaga, peach and spinach mixture? Delicious! Daddy's scratchy chin? Fabulous! Paul's runny nose? That's gooood eatin'! She both fascinates and grosses me out.
  3. Her GI appointment is set for 11/20. Pray, please. Babies shouldn't be in pain, especially my baby.
  4. Scott's mom, brother and grandparents have all visited. My parents were here too. I love having a house I feel the guests can get adequate rest even though my loud family wakes up with the sun.
  5. Our pastor is coming to bless the new house. I hope this keeps the poisonous snakes in the preserve behind us from eating my babies and husband. And me. For sure me. Oh, and the dog. St. Francis, get busy! (Please and Thank you.)
  6. Mae also had an OT appointment at our home. In other words, I do not have to drag her to the snot smeared pediatric PT/OT office for her check up during flu/whooping cough season.  
  7. I voted today. I made an informed decision and followed through with casting my vote. I don't feel 100% thrilled with my choices, but I'm at peace that I tried to make the best decision I could. I pray we all did.
Now, off to get the laundry back in order-ish.