Tales of a Misfit Mom: Special Needs...

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     I have a good, good friend. She is brave and amazing and kind and exceptional. She is the mother of a sweet and funny girl with the most beautiful red curls I have ever seen.      She is the mother of a daughter with special needs.      She recognized me when I did not recognize myself. And for that, I am grateful. But admittedly, when she pulled my hands away from my eyes ever so gently, I first felt shocked. And then enraged. Because my daughter, with all of her problems, was not a KID WITH SPECIAL NEEDS.      But she is.      And so I am a Special Needs Mom.      We are a Special Family.      We are labeled.      We are the topic of conversation.      We are the family...

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Serial Pisser

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Editor's Note: As we prepare to, heaven help us, use toilets at sporting and concert events, please remember Melissa's PSA. Be purty, y'all!       It’s summer. Time for picnics, swimming, and family vacations. Travel season is in full swing, and as usual, I find myself in a great deal of pain. The Commonwealth cut back on the number of rest areas it supports and so I find myself holding it a lot more than I should. And also visiting a lot of extremely sketchy gas station bathrooms.      Since this cutback started the summer I was pregnant (AKA full-on Moby Dick) and couldn’t go thirty minutes without peeing, I found myself having to make several stops whenever I’d go visit my sister, who lives ninety minutes away. So I began traveling with antibacterial wipes...

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An Open Letter to the Mother of the Year Selection Committee...

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Dear Ladies:      Thank you again for your kind consideration. Despite the fact that I was nominated largely as both a joke and a dare, the fact that you have actually considered me a viable candidate is somewhat flattering. I’d like to take the opportunity to address some of the “concerns” that you have mentioned, as your harsh judgment seems to invite a response.      It is a fact that I once locked my daughter in the car, along with my keys and cell phone, at a local Wal-Mart. Allow me to explain the circumstances by which I managed this rather foolish act: I got out of my car, opened her door, locked the car, put my keys and cell phone in my jacket pocket, and then decided to carry her in a sling....

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My Bloody Valentine

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     Most moms seem to have little to no gross-out index.  They take a chewed-up egg sandwich in their hand.  They will wipe a kid’s nose with their hand.  They will catch a poop that has escaped in the pool WITH THEIR HAND.  They kiss scraped knees, clean up puke, and are drooled on, spit up on, sneezed on, coughed on, etc.      I used to watch this happen with a mixture of horror and wonder.  I assumed when I finished gestating Lulu the Wunderkind, I would somehow become immune to being grossed out.      I was right.  I was also wrong.      Lulu hands me a half-chewed raisin.  I take it.  Lulu gestures for me to come closer.  I do.  She sneezes and laughs with delight at my “surprise” (read:  ew).  I have...

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How to Install a Car Safety Seat...

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Step One: Begin reading the instruction manual. Feel delighted that instruction manual has pictures. Be incredibly optimistic, and stop reading after page three, deciding instead to read as you go. Step Two: Straps must come up one notch to fit child satisfactorily. Begin strap adjustment to fit seat to child. Feel horrified to find that the strap adjustment section of the instruction manual is SEVEN PAGES LONG. Step Three: Discover on step eleven of the strap adjustment section of the manual that steps one through fourteen can be summed up for anyone with a high school education as follows: “Remove S-shaped Clip.” Bright side: You now have a perfect example of “Waaaaaaay too much detail” for your students regarding process analysis essays. Step Four: Remove S-shaped clip and adjust straps to fit child. Wish...

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