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I've talked about my youngest sister before, but for those of you who are new, my youngest sister (21 years old) has autism. I'm talking old school, Rainman is more communicative autism. She has about 10 words that she uses, and she only uses them for about three people. Okay, you're caught up. :D

My parents, younger brother and the aforementioned sister (there are 5 of us total) all went to Utah to visit the family for Thanksgiving. They went to the home of the aunt and uncle that have written me off for being opinionated about racism and cruelty. Interesting, that, since they identify as Christians who were on a mission... I digress.

Well, for long-time readers, you'll remember they're Mormon. You'll hopefully remember that folks out there don't discipline their kids, they just let them run "because they can!" Just like Elizabeth Smart ran. :) Wait, that was a bad example... Nutshell: everyone has a thousand kids each (literally) and that's a lot to tend, so why not just let them run around outside eating bugs and punching the neighbors like God intended? I mean, it's such a wholesome place, what could go wrong? Elizabeth, play your harp for the nice homeless man we've brought home to fix the roof. *cough*

And my cousins are no exception to this. "Cut that out," they toss over their shoulders in the general direction of their offspring before turning back to their stories while the kids roll their eyes and keep writing "FART" on the walls.

"You wet yourself, you wet yourself! Mr. McDonnaugh wet himself, Daddy!"

Bonus points if you can name that movie. Here's a little more help: "You take that diaper off your head, and you put it back on your sister!" (And I would like to remind you of the last lines of that movie: "...a land not too far away. Where all parents are strong and wise and capable and all children are happy and beloved. I don't know. Maybe it was Utah." LOL.

Where was I? Loud children, right. My youngest cousin has a toddler just peaking in the terrible twos. And they have decided that soft, loving (read: wimpy, lazy) voices are the way to go in raising babies. So "Jack" will evidently whine and cry and kick up a fuss and move from person to person, hoping they'll provide him with whatever he wants. Another cookie, the right to poke out the dog's eye, world domination, whatever it is two year olds crave.

And no one does anything, he just whines until he gets distracted.

Enter my sister, Annajoy. Apparently she was at the kitchen table drawing (she's an amazing artist, has been since she was three) and had enough after several minutes of noise. (Autistic folks have sensitive ears, typically.) She marched over to Jack, pointed a finger at him, and said quite sternly, "STOPIT."

And he did. For the rest of the night. <3 <3 <3

1) Children WANT discipline. They do. Trust me. I have children that behave, so I kinda know this stuff.
2) People with autism are not stupid, they are not tuned out of the world, they just don't want to talk to YOU. Lol.
3) I love my sister, and that made me laugh for a good hour, wishing I had been there. She's awesome.

Tangent: my mother in law got an earful from me over the holidays when she asked if my brother (who has Aspergers, just like my son, but in a more... strenuous amount) would have children that were "normal."


MY BROTHER IS NORMAL, YOU HARPY. [AS IS MY SON.] He just has a different view on how to behave socially than you, you rude, inconsiderate boob. Hint: if you have to ask someone a question in hushed tones, that's your INTERNAL SHAME METER trying to tell you to STFU.


I wanted to be sure and post about this to not just remember it for posterity, but to make a point about how normal it is for the residents of Mormonville to ignore your kids while they run all over the place. Like, say, to Italy to save their sparklepire. TO BE CONTINUED.... (after I get #3 off to school and get a mini-run in this morning.)


( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 30th, 2009 02:03 pm (UTC)
everyone has a thousand kids each (literally) and that's a lot to tend, so why not just let them run around outside eating bugs and punching the neighbors like God intended?

This is of course pretty much what everyone's childrearing was like until the 1970s, really. Grownups have a lot to do, there are more kids than you can pay attention to without going nuts, make them go outside, run and yell a lot, and beat each other up.

Habits that are considered "good parenting" nowadays were thought of as over-protective in the 50s and 60s (and before) -- they were part of this whole trope of "the only child, poor thing." Play dates, not talking to strangers, music lessons -- these were all signs of fussy, over-invested parents.
Nov. 30th, 2009 02:18 pm (UTC)
Well.... Maybe I'm not explaining myself well. That and I partially disagree with you, lol.

There WERE rules. Politeness, please and thank you, Ma'am and Sir, all of those things were old school. Parents disciplined their kids, neighbors disciplined the neighborhood kids, too.

But now it's a combo of "let them run around and play stick ball" like the old days PLUS the "if we tell them what to do, we'll hurt their little souls" with a HUGE HEAPING SIDE of "I'm lazy and don't know how to do this hard job of parenting, but I do know how to lose myself in my own endeavors."
Nov. 30th, 2009 06:14 pm (UTC)
I was raised in this way. We were allowed to run around unsupervised most of the time (which led to some pretty nasty bullying and abuse), but we were expected to behave impeccably with adults and to be responsible and independent. My mother used to take us to the university library while she studied for her PhD specifically so we could learn to develop our inner resources and sit quietly for hours on end.

Yay for your younger sister! Community parenting is so reinforcing. Of course, something has to be enforced first, but still. Yay!
Nov. 30th, 2009 02:54 pm (UTC)
Your sister is awesomesauce. HEE.

Also, I'd like to whack your MIL one on the ear. Sheez.
Nov. 30th, 2009 03:09 pm (UTC)
Isn't that a great story!? <3 <3 <3

And Suzi, I'm not even telling you HALF of the BS she said to my face as I tried t get Thanksgiving dinner on the table. UM, MY SON IS ASPIE. And he's within earshot, are you THAT STUPID, woman? Short answer: yes, she is. Boo.
Nov. 30th, 2009 04:29 pm (UTC)
I loathe parents like that. Hurt their little souls, my ass. Arrgh.
Good on your sister!
Nov. 30th, 2009 04:49 pm (UTC)
Thanksgiving 1998 I think. The table is set with maybe 12 adults and a couple of almost adults. Noise everywhere, yakking and laughing all over the place. The ONLY person who noticed that one of the table decorations was BURNING UP was my friends autistic mostly non-verbal but also bilingual, developmentally disabled son. Who promptly picked up the flaming paper, calmly walked into the kitchen and threw it in the sink. He was the hero of the day.
I used to babysit him and all I had to do to entertain him was try to speak German coherently. He would literally cry tears of laughter. I miss that guy! His mother had to move him to CA because the care in our state is SO bad.
Your MIL sucks green monkey dicks on her better days.
Nov. 30th, 2009 05:50 pm (UTC)
Hahahaha, I was nodding along as I read thinking, an autistic person would notice the fire because they notice EVERYTHING, and there you have it!! <3 <3
Nov. 30th, 2009 04:53 pm (UTC)
Your sister is awesome, and your mother-in-law is really ignorant isn't she? Also is she from planet No Manners? I really take issue with people not discipling their children I see it way too much, and no your five year old spilling their soda on my satin pumps, in a restaurant is not cute *doesn't go there* Just let me say I really respect the way you parent. Oh and I have been looking forward to your New Moon breakdown since it came out. :)
Nov. 30th, 2009 04:56 pm (UTC)
Raising Arizona?
Nov. 30th, 2009 05:48 pm (UTC)
DING DING DING!!! That's it!

"Are you just telling us what we want to hear, because we only want the truth!"
"Well, then I guess I am just telling you what you want to hear."
"Boy, didn't we just tell you not to do that? Okay, then!"

Nov. 30th, 2009 05:57 pm (UTC)
Hint: if you have to ask someone a question in hushed tones, that's your INTERNAL SHAME METER trying to tell you to STFU.

Yeah. I wish people would figure this out.
Nov. 30th, 2009 06:21 pm (UTC)
LOL, fer srious. Why don't people realize that SHAME is how we fix ourselves?
Nov. 30th, 2009 06:07 pm (UTC)
Annajoy should sound in my mind, but it's kind of like "Joyce" and "Radosława": they sound dorky until you realise they stand for "joy-bringer".
Nov. 30th, 2009 06:31 pm (UTC)
Ahahaha, good lord, those children must be a severe trial to deal with and make you want to get out the bad Kool-Ade just a blessing, a blessing, I tell you!

Good for your sister! And yeeesh to the MiL -- the "if you have to whisper" measure is a great one. Maybe we'll get her her own internal shame meter, that works like an applause-o-meter, but takes in the number of 0.o faces around her at the dinner table.
Nov. 30th, 2009 06:34 pm (UTC)
LOLOLOL at the blessing. SUCH a blessing, I swan!

I think a "shame-o-meter" would make a fabulous holiday gift for many, many people. I'll see if I can't whip something up... HEE.
Nov. 30th, 2009 07:55 pm (UTC)
Your sis is made off win. Hands down.
Nov. 30th, 2009 08:47 pm (UTC)
i love your sister!

i've been telling relations for years that no, my son does NOT need an exorcism.

i've often said that if you just put my kid and i on a deserted island, with food, we would be just fine. it's the people in the world who has the problem.
Nov. 30th, 2009 08:48 pm (UTC)
This is why I wish for the days of yore when it was okay to discipline other people's children, like running them over in the car and throwing them off cliffs.
Nov. 30th, 2009 08:57 pm (UTC)
God, how can we get back to the good old days? Hurry up, Spaceman Jesus and teleport us back to When Things Were Right With The World!
Dec. 1st, 2009 01:16 am (UTC)
I have to leave a comment. I live in Utah. I used to be Mormon, the rest of my family still is. I AM THE BLACK SHEEP, GO BLACK SHEEP. And yes, what you just described was my Thanksgiving, except for the awesome part about your sister. Kids running around, my kids kinda standing back and GOGGLING at everything like they've plunked down in some alien kindergarten.

Adult conversation -- I found out my BIL's favorite movie is Phone Booth BUT ONLY THE EDITED version. One good thing is that no one is a Twilight fan. My family may be Mormon but all of them are college-educated and recognize crap (unless its the Book of Mormon) when they see it. Or unless it's written by Gerald Lund.

Ugh, I'm rambling. I just... I recognize so much of the WTF is going on attitude you show in your posts that I feel every time I'm with my family. AND I LIVE IN UTAH.

And tell your MIL to gtfo.
Dec. 1st, 2009 01:32 am (UTC)

Sometimes I forget that I'm not embellishing this stuff. I tell people about my experiences and it's all SO CRAZY they can't believe it's real.

BUT IT IS. You know, don't you? WOE.
Dec. 1st, 2009 02:19 am (UTC)
Your sister is awesome.
Your Mother in law is an idiot.
Raising Arizona is one of my all time favorite movies.
Dec. 1st, 2009 02:46 am (UTC)
aaaauuugggghhhh labels! "Normal" WTF? What's "normal?" Magic underwear? Believing a writer of bad Jesus fanfic used magical rocks to translate an ancient text about a people for whom NO ARCHAEOLOGICAL/ANTHORPOLOGICAL/LINGUISTIC evidence exists? Unquestioning obedience and blind faith? Abstaining from everything that's fun?

Dec. 1st, 2009 03:08 am (UTC)
Good for you sister.

My kids were taught to be polite from an early age. They were also noisy as all hell, but tantrums/whining never got them anything.

Based on your family history, there seems to be a strong case for autism having a genetic component.
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )


Are You Actually

Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

Time Wot It Is

April 2017
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