Mom Horrified She May Have Birthed A Better Human Than Herself

shutterstock_99661676__1382545050_142.196.156.251Urban Baby. Why do I even go there? I can’t help it – that’s why. Also, there are a ton of women on the site who make me feel like an amazing human being. It’s the little things, folks. If a bunch of anonymous “mean girl” moms make me feel better about my lot in life – so be it.

Here’s a little gem I read last night. It’s a story of a mother who seems to be distressed that her child is turning out to be a better human than she is. How can she make it stop?

No flames please, and hear me out. DS is in 2nd grade at a good public. There is a boy in his class who is clearly special needs – I’m not sure if it’s mild autism or what, but he is definitely “slow” and not quite socially normal. DS is well-liked among his classmates, and he’s a top student, but he’s very easy-going and good-natured. The teacher ALWAYS pairs my DS with this kid for class projects, field trip buddies, etc, I think because DS has a very accepting personality. The mother always wants to have playdates. I am getting a little bit annoyed. Why does my ds have to be the caretaker of this other kid? I am on the verge of saying something to the teacher.

Oh no! You’ve raised a child that is accepting of other people, even those you deem too “slow” to be friends with “socially normal” kids like your son. You’ve somehow managed to raise an “easy-going,” “good-natured,” kid with a “very accepting personality.” This is pretty much a miracle, since you seem determined to squelch those traits. You have mentioned nothing about your son actually having a problem with this, so maybe (gasp!) he considers this boy his friend. And if he really is a “top” student, hanging out with someone you deem developmentally slower than him obviously isn’t affecting his performance.

I would consider it the ultimate win as a parent to realize that my child treats other living beings like actual humans – even if they are a little different than everyone else. Special needs issues aren’t contagious, lady. Please don’t let your own fear stop your child from blossoming into the great human it seems like he is destined to be.

(photo: Everett Collection/ Shutterstock)

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    • Janok Place

      Big fat F U to the mom. My husband is a mildly autistic Physics Engineer and he’s what you’d call slow with some things. That never made him less successful and he never had caretakers but he DOES have friends and gee, a WIFE who all think he’s awesome.

      I could say so, so many bad words to this woman. Imagine her horror if her son decided to be a therapist or a social worker because he enjoys the company of others who are different, or helping people? And she’s avoiding the child’s mother because… What? You said it. That shit isn’t contagious and it doesn’t even mean that her “slow” kid won’t have more success and love in his life then close minded, bigoted, selfish people like this woman.

      Rage fest complete. Wife to a mildly autistic, super enthusiastic, massive nerd, incredible father and wonderful person. Mother of DAMN great kids with a genetic predisposition to the same “condition” that is a part of making my man awesome.

      • Annona

        Yeah, my youngest brother has mild autism…and he’s also a successful scientist and all around amazing human being. Also with friends and a wife and a nice life. This mom, on the other hand, fails at humanity IMO.

    • CMJ
      • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

        Love this GIF.

    • Annona

      What a bitch. Seriously. Is it so hard for her to believe that her Speshul Snowflake might actually ENJOY interacting with the kid she deems not good enough? And I thought raising your kid to be a better person than you was part of the point, anyway.

    • VLDBurnett

      She’s right, her son deserves better. I’m talking of course about a better, more accepting parent…

    • Zora

      I may be a unpopular in this opinion but I can empathize with the
      annoyance with teachers who always resort to the same type of pairing.
      As a child/teen who
      did very well in school I was always paired up with students who did
      not do so well so I could help them. After a while, I started to resent
      it: I was not being challenged and was always stuck with most of the
      work/responsibilities. As much as I wanted to help, it didn’t feel fair because it was never a true partnership.

      That being said the language and motives do seem atrocious.

      • CBillard

        That was me as well. I remember trying to teach my partner in kindergarten how to spell his name even though he didn’t know the alphabet. And I remember my science partner in 3rd grade eating our bean plant that we were growing. This didn’t happen beyond elementary school, so I never really developed any resentment.

        And as an aside, that mother is a giant asshat. I can’t even imagine my mother thinking that, but then again she works with special needs kids and actually sees them as people.

      • Leigh

        I was this kid too. I resented it mainly because I was paired up with people who *wouldn’t* pull their own weight even though they were able to do so. I think a special needs kid is a different story. I hope that I can raise my baby to be someone who would show just as much compassion and patience as this kid is doing.
        However, I think the teacher should be trying to give these two kids some extra support when they work together, just to make sure that one isn’t falling behind to help the other out.
        I do also wonder if maybe it would be good for the other kids in the class to work with the special needs kid at times too, there could be some good lessons in that.

      • Blueathena623

        Phillip Walker, 2nd grade. Looking back, I would say he had severe ADD. He was my partner for EVERYTHING. Pissed me off. However, I think my teacher did it to challenge me, making me help “teach” him.

      • Justme

        When I’m making groups or seating charts, I try to be so, SO aware of this phenomenon. Of course I WANT to break up the trouble makers by putting them in between or with the good kids, but over time that becomes incredibly unfair to the kids that are doing what they are supposed to be doing. I don’t have the right answer or solution, but I know that it can be equally as frustrating for the teachers as well. How do we balance good classroom management without doing a disservice to students?

      • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

        Me too. The higher level kids (especially gifted) often are forced to help others and resent it. But a lot of times the more average average kids are more willing and feel honored. If it happens your whole life, it’s a chore; if it happens sometimes it’s an honor.

      • C.J.

        Both my kids like helping students that need help, especially my older one. My younger daughter gets frustrated sometimes because she gets seated next to the super talkative kids all the time. She is quiet and won’t engage with them during class. I totally understand why the teachers do that though. I don’t really think it is a disservice to my daughter, it doesn’t affect what she learns. One of her teachers explained to her why she had her sit next to a disruptive child once, it made her feel better about it. I suppose some parents might not like that. I live in a small town and know the teachers rather well, the teacher told me the same thing she told my daughter.

      • keelhaulrose

        I was that kid, too. I think kids in this position go one of two ways, yours or into working with people with special needs. Either is fine. I went the later way, and I love working with that population, but I’m not going to lie and say it’s all sunshine and daisies, or that it’s for everyone.

      • CrushLily

        My nephew is in this boat too and he does get annoyed by it because he never gets to sit with his friends, only the kids he is expected to help and keep out of trouble. As he is a high achiever, he does all the work too. It might seem like he is 10 going on 45 to the teacher, but he’s still 10.

      • ElleJai

        I used to adopt the kids who were struggling. I was bullied shockingly outside of class, but I still helped the little brats with their schoolwork and sheltered a few from bad teachers.

        I’d also watch out for the little kids being bullied, and help them reintegrate with their peers.

        I remember at one school, the young man with an aide was best friends with one of the popular boys. They always sat together and played together, because they wanted to. It’s not always forced.

        The only challenged girl I hated being forced to play with was physically abusive towards me. I complained repeatedly but she’d cry and they’d still make me play with her. That was unfair. Otherwise it was OK.

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      • BBJim’s Mam

        I’m glad it wasn’t just me. Unfortunately not every teacher is as… considerate? conscientious? aware? as some of the teachers here. So I started putting in less and less effort so I wouldn’t be “punished” with the extra work load. It hurt me long term, but I was a kid and didn’t know what else to do. Thank you for posting what could have turned out to be an unpopular opinion, but doing it anyway.

        I once got a three day suspension because my teacher put a mildly special needs child next to me. I told him every day for weeks to stop touching me and made several complaints to the teacher. She did nothing. So I told him once, to stop touching me or I’d stab him. He did, and I put led through his hand. I was being sexually harassed and was forced to defend my self. So I was the one who got punished. WTH? (sorry only mildly related)

    • Tea

      Yeeeah, this blind guy (+Autistic Spouse-Person) are giving a great big Fuckoff Lady, because people like your kid made my life suck less.

      Same pairing is annoying, I remember it being annoying as a kid since the teacher liked to pair “Neurotically good student” with “Class Clown” and hope the best happened. But this whole post rubs me all the wrong ways. It sounds like they get along well, and maybe like they might even be friends, so who gives a flying fuck what’s “Wrong” with this kid?

    • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

      is “no flames please” the new “don’t be offended, but [insert something completely offensive]“?

      • http://twitter.com/mariaguido Maria Guido

        Looks like it.

    • Mystik Spiral

      Or it could be that the kids are… wait for it… actually FRIENDS who like spending time together. My oldest nephew, now 13, has always attracted the more socially challenged kids. When he was little, he would inevitably end up playing with the one lone kid who didn’t seem to have any friends. He’d get shy kids to talk to him. Kids, and adults, have always enjoyed being around him. He’s caring, compassionate, and honest. Thankfully his parents don’t see that as a burden… *eyeroll*

      Oh – and he’s smart as a whip too. Hanging out with kids of all abilities apparently hasn’t taken its toll on his intellect.

    • Guest

      My son has mild ASD and severe ADHD and this woman could easily have been talking about him. He has been mainstreamed because he is too high functioning for the ESE/ASD class but not high functioning enough to attend the “regular” class without special assistance. Some people definitely look at your kid as less than when they have special needs. Or they think you are just a shitty parent. I feel for the mom who keeps asking for playdates. She is probably thrilled that her son has been accepted by this boy and wants to make the most of it for her son.

    • Cee

      Ugh. Urban Baby…just when you thought The Stir was THE worst. You find this pile of shit

      • EmmaFromÉire

        I think the alpha parent gives it a pretty disgusting run for it’s money!

      • VLDBurnett

        Alpha Parent is the absolute worst.

    • G.E. Phillips

      Oh my. I had never seen that site before, followed your link and came upon another thread where people are judging other people’s children’s names as either “classy” or “trashy.” Which, yeah that’s kind of bad on it’s own, but then like, EVERY trashy name is being deemed a “black name” and therefore trashy. GTFO. I’ve never seen so much snobbery in one place in my life, and I live in Fairfield County, CT.

      • anon87

        Of course I just had to check it out and oh. my. I just sat there shaking my head. It was horrible but every title post was more intriguing than the last. Such terrible people though : /

      • pixie

        Why did I go to that thread? Why? I’ll admit there’s some names that I don’t like, especially yoonique spellings of names, but the few names I saw on there (before I rage quit) weren’t bad at all. Audrey, Aron, Nicholas, Sean: all deemed to be “trashy” and “low-class” by the majority. And all of them squabbling immaturely and resorting to childish insults: and they think they’re “high-class”?

      • G.E. Phillips

        Yes, I love the logic that naming your child “Kailee” means you’re trashy, but saying (under the name Latisha) “Go home, n*****, you aren’t welcome here” is somehow classy.

      • anon87

        Did you see the part where someone said Kailee sounded like “a mom that would murder her daughter one day”? Like who the fresh hell says that?!

      • G.E. Phillips

        I assumed she was confusing Casey Anthony and Caylee Anthony….

      • anon87

        Ooooohh! I totally didn’t even think about that. Good catch.

      • VLDBurnett

        Audrey? Hello? Hepburn? That makes no sense at all. (And, yes, the premise of judging names like that is awful.)

      • pixie

        I know. I had to stop myself from joining the thread to point out about Audrey Hepburn by reminding myself that there’s no point wasting my breath on these people. Sure the name might be a little “dated” today, but it’s still a beautiful name and not at all “trashy”.

    • C.J.

      My daughter and her best friend ask the kids that have trouble with their school work or have trouble making friends to be in their group all the time. Last year my daughter went to the teacher and asked her to put a couple kids that aren’t accepted by the others because they have some problems to be put in her group for when they had to do dance in gym. My daughter is dancer so she figured she could help them more. I’m proud of my daughter for including kids that need to be included. I can’t imagine being upset because my is accepting of everyone.

      • Emil

        That’s so sweet! If you have a secret for raising such a compassionate daughter you definitely need to share it.

      • C.J.

        I don’t have a secret to share, I think she was just born that way. She has always been her own person, never a follower. The other kids respect her because of that. She can be very headstrong when she thinks someone is being treated unfairly. She is the kid that stands up to the bullies for the other kids. She usually takes the kids that need someone under her wing. If she includes someone the other kids do too. Her dad and I are very proud of her. She is a great role model for her little sister too.

    • G.S.

      As someone with a best friend/brother-in-spirit with ADD and borderline autism, this lady’s really pissing me off. Being friends with a special needs kid doesn’t make your kid his “caretaker.” And what the hell does that even mean? Friends help each other out all the time regardless of how their brain works. Wanna hear something? When we first met, he was more MY caretaker than anything. I was almost 14 (he was 18), and I was suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder and panic attacks. He was honestly the best person I could have met right then. He was kind, and patient, and always willing to help me out the best he could, just because we were friends and I was hurting. He was an absolute sweetheart, and if I hadn’t met him, I don’t know where I would be right now. Just because someone is autistic or “slow” or whichever doesn’t mean they’re not wonderful, kindhearted souls, and they deserve just as much love as anyone else. And good on your boy for seeing that.

    • Katia

      She doesn’t phrase it very nicely, explain the dynamic or give a lot of details. My feeling is that the teacher repeatedly pairs them out of laziness so that she doesn’t have to deal with the child with special needs. If said child had a new partner the teacher would have at least a little bit of work to help the child with special needs and his new partner adjust. It’s probably best for the son of this lady, the boy with slightly special needs, and all of the other kids, developmentally /personal growth wise to be paired with a variety of other children, and the teacher is thinking only of her own workload.

      • Armchair-ette

        Or, you know, the “able” child is actually benefiting from the pairing, as well. We sometimes forget that the high achieving “great” kids can learn life skills by helping others.

    • Rochelle

      That site is so incredibly disturbing! I checked out the popular post about what names are classy and what names are trashy and the racism, rudeness, idiocy… ugh! I don’t even know what to say. I can only hope that the posters are actually just a bunch of 12 year old trolls screwing around and not actual adults in charge of raising other people.

    • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

      My brother is one of the most empathetic and compassionate people I know. When we were growing up there was a boy named Christopher who had autism, back when it wasn’t so common. He was the only child I ever knew who had it until I was a teenager. He was reasonably well functioning. He could speak (though often not when and where he ought) and follow directions (When he was ready). He read at an advanced level and did not have serious behavioural problems. Mostly he existed in his own world. He flapped his arms, made noises and was fascinated by minutiae.

      My brother befriended him. He taught him social things. For example, he’d give him a signal to share a hug and Christopher give an enthusiastic hug and would smile. My brother was so proud of his friend and figured out games they could play together, things that Chris could do.

      You know, this boy may or may not be annoyed about this friend. It may be he genuinely enjoys his company. He might have the sort of patience and emotional intelligence my brother has. Many people don’t have patience for special needs, but those who do possess a gift.

    • Jallun-Keatres

      My best friend in first grade was one of those mentally handicapped kids that grow up to be giants. He was new to our school, and everyone in my class was afraid of him except me. Once I learned that Alex was an absolute sweetheart who wouldn’t hurt a fly we were fast friends until I moved schools 2 years later. Heck, there were times he would listen to me over his aide and if he got in trouble there was no greater punishment than “you’re not allowed to sit with [Jallunkeatres] at lunch.”

      It helped that my sister has Down’s so I’ve literally grown up around kids with special needs and chose to immerse myself in the realm of “special needs moms” also. :P

      A big F-U to this mom.

    • whiteroses

      I sincerely hope- for the sake of the other mother- that she never comes across any of this. I mean, how dare she think that other parents might see her son for his heart and not his difficulties??!!!

      It’s amazing to me that some kids act more like fully formed human beings than the people that are supposed to mold them into… fully formed human beings.

    • Muggle

      God forbid a teacher assign a kid a partner who likes him, cares about him and is aware of his needs (as much as a kid that young can be aware of anyone’s needs). What a bitch.

    • Jayamama

      Okay, I confess I’m not one of those people who enjoys being around people with special needs. I don’t treat them poorly or anything, but I’m just not comfortable around them. I don’t know what to say or how to act, and I become very awkwardly aware of what I’m doing with my hands. However, this is only with people who have mental disorders. For some reason, physical disabilities have never bothered me in the least. One of my best friends growing up had spina bifida and was in a wheelchair. (She died from surgery complications at 19.) We hung out almost every day after school for years, and as I got older I realized that I was one of the only friends she had. Still, I admire people who can reach out to those with mental disabilities because it’s just not my forte. I hope my children take after my husband and have that amazing ability to be friends with everyone they meet. That kid sounds awesome.

    • pixie

      I wonder if maybe the son asks to be continually paired up with the other kid because: A) they’re friends, B) he enjoys helping and “teaching” the other boy, and C) doesn’t want the other kids to bully or be mean to his friend. There is no indication on what the actual classroom dynamic is between all the children (although the mom seems to know a lot about how the classroom runs by the little bit of that thread I read, or at least thinks she knows a lot), but if the special needs’ boy’s mom is continually trying to set up play dates with this kid, then I guess we can infer that he is not treated very nicely by the others or at least not as well. Or the mother could be hugely exaggerating.
      Either way, if the son isn’t bothered by always having the same partner, then why should it matter? It’s great that he’s so caring and compassionate and can see past certain things that his mother can’t. I was also told in school that the best way to really learn something and get a full understanding of it is to teach it to someone else. Sure the kid is only in the 2nd grade, but that still applies with things being taught at that age.

    • Tara

      That lady sounds very selfish on behalf of her son. Stupid.

    • Tara

      oh and by the way, how many times has she even met this kid in real life? How can she diagnose him like that?!

    • Meggy

      While I think this mum’s wording comes off as ignorant and aggressive, what I see is this: Her son is a great kid, accepting, easy going. She is aware of the fact that such people are often taken advantage of; we all are. Taking a moment to read through some of the experiences shared in these comments, and my own experiences of constantly being “counted on” in elementary school to partner/mentor/assist challenged students, it’s clear that these kids’ accepting personalities can start to be taken for granted.
      Sure, it’s a little worrisome that this mother is so “annoyed” about the playdate…but the basic message I read there was, “My kid is super sweet and I worry his kindness could be taken advantage of”. It’s a very real threat. I get it. It’s not nicely worded, but I think its ignorant, not pointedly derogatory.