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Welcome to Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid

Therapy and sanity for ordinary parents of special kids.

Five Small Steps for Imperfect Womankind

The little things. If there’s one important thing I’ve learned during my vast experience parenting two special needs daughters and a special needs dog (he has eye contact and bilateral motor integration issues), it’s to celebrate them.  I’m not just talking about the little accomplishments of my children — the late adolescent shoe tyings, the days without calls from the school, or even those rare occasions when they remember to put toilet paper on the roll. I’m talking about the little accomplishmentsachieve as their highly imperfect mother. You see with two special children, two careers, and two serious Reality TV show addictions, my life can get very hectic and well…imperfect.  As a result, some of the things that come so easily to other women — cleaning, grooming, breathing — are not always so easy for me.  But in the spirit of embracing my imperfection and what little sanity I have left, I’ve decided not to dwell on the things I don’t do so well, but to celebrate the rare things I do do well.  So, at the risk of you telling me to Shut Up About My Perfect Little Things, I’ve decided to share five of my proudest accomplishments this past week.

Drumroll please…

1)   I wore real pants three times last week. Now before you go around visualizing  me pantless, (I wouldn’t wish that on anyone), I must remind you that we are a G-rated blog.  What I mean is that I actual wore real pants. For those unfamiliar with this phenomenon, real pants are those that come with zippers, buttons, and pockets as opposed to elastic waistbands. As a writer who works out of my home, it had been some time since I had to wear real pants. Thankfully, zippering is like riding a bicycle; you never forget how to do it. And given the difficulty I had with my zippers, I was also reminded me that I probably needed to spend more time on a bicycle.

2)  I styled my hair. I’m not just talking shampoo and conditioner, I’m talking blow dryer and round brush. My husband noticed right away. “Gina, you look great. Did you do something different?”

“Yes, I brushed my hair.”

“Well, that look looks great on you. You should do it more often.”

3)   I had a real date. Before you get excited about salacious gossip, it was with my husband. (If you really know me, you’d know that I am far to distracted to carry on affairs. I’d mix up who I was supposed to meet and where). Now, I’m the first to admit with one daughter away at college and another with a busy social life, my husband and I now spend a lot of time alone.  While we have had a series of dates recently  — shoveling the driveway, shopping for toilets — this one was extra special. We actually went out for dinner and a movie. I must admit, when he requested that we sit in the back row, I was a bit nervous. 

“Mike, why are we sitting way back there? You don’t want to make out do you?”

“No, the sound isn’t as loud back there.”

4)   I remembered my daughter’s therapist appointment. For once, I didn’t need the therapist’s reminder system — the email, automated phone call, missed appointment bill,  or singing telegram.  Of course, it may have helped that I asked the 130,000+ members of our Facebook page to remind me. Thanks to all who participated.

5)   I cooked dinner.  I made pork chops. And even though I set off the smoke alarm (special thanks to my City’s Fire Department for their responsiveness), I felt good that I was finally able to have my husband come home to a meal that didn’t arrive on wheels. He would later fire me for making the pork chops taste like “hockey pucks,” but he did appreciate the effort, especially since hockey season is in full swing.

So there you have it. That’s my special parent brag list for the week. Let’s hear yours.


10 Responses to Five Small Steps for Imperfect Womankind

  1. Jim Walter March 4, 2014 at 4:15 pm #

    Hey! nice job on the pants.

  2. Jim Walter March 4, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

    did your blog eat my comment. Or are you approving them. If you’re approving them, then don’t approve this one, which is just asking you about approval.

    Or do. It might actually be amusing.

  3. Jim Walter March 4, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

    I’m going to say you’re approving them. When three comments show up in 4 hours I’ll know. Until then I’ll keep checking back.

  4. Jim Walter March 4, 2014 at 4:17 pm #

    Did you post them yet? No? *checks back later*

  5. Kimberly Rieser March 4, 2014 at 4:22 pm #

    This totally made my day!! So funny and warmed my heart. Stay awesome Gina. Just stay awesome!

  6. Anita Morrison May 9, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

    I love your sense of humor. I am the sibling of a special needs child. My mother raised seven children, the youngest being developmentally disabled. I don’t know how she did it, how she kept her sanity. She is my hero. God bless mother’s and father’s of special needs kids.

  7. Anita Morrison May 10, 2014 at 4:29 pm #

    I just found your blog and I love it. I love your sense of humor. My mother raised seven children with the youngest being developmentally disabled. I don’t know how she retained her sanity, except like you she has a great sense of humor. Thanks for being real.

  8. Alba May 15, 2014 at 1:24 am #

    Love you, you are so down to earth;)

  9. Anne August 20, 2014 at 6:19 am #

    When I was a kid, my trip home was like the family circus cartoon. As an adult, sticking to things that are not done ‘ my way ‘ is hard. Sometimes self-employment allows people who think and process things differently provides a way of functioning…without having to fit traditional norms.
    Not everything fits in boxes in life. Going with what works for you gives sense of meaning and peace.

  10. Diane Adamo Cassellius November 5, 2014 at 10:36 pm #

    So true! We have had a long road ( 9 months in NICU) like so many special needs families. My son is 13 and I have begun to give up on the shoe tying thing. As many things as I have figured out about my Sam, I cannot figure out the root cause of this particular inability. Sam has many issues including visual impairment. I know that sounds like the obvious culprit but there are so many other times when vision doesn’t seem to get in the way. It was comforting to hear you can relate and that it is something to celebrate when an adolescent finally ties his shoes – something a mainstream parent cannot begin to relate to. These are milestones that typically developing kids just do. And I LOVE the title “shut up about your perfect kid.” I get that too!! thanks for sharing and I look forward to reading more from you:)

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