Friday, June 23, 2006

File this Under: Shut Up, Bitch!

I can't believe this slipped my mind the other day when I wrote about my craptacular trip to school. I had the most inappropriate interaction with a lady who needs to have her jaw wired shut to keep her from ever speaking to anyone ever again.

It has been my experience that as soon as a woman announces she is pregnant to friends and family, or through her appearance becomes obviously pregnant to strangers, the population at large suddenly assumes the generally accepted rules of socially acceptable comments and topics of discussion are null and void. Anything goes. Please tell me about your 3rd degree vaginal tear. By all means, comment on how fat my fingers are and how relieved you are that I am pregnant, because you were afraid I was just "letting myself go". I want to hear nothing more than about how a co-worker's friend's sister-in-law lost her baby at 26 weeks. All opinions on, and condemnations of, parenting styles are welcome (especially if you've not asked my opinion about it before you rail against one technique and swear by the other).

But this, my friends, takes the cake...

As I was leaving the bbq, getting ready to pick up a few last things from my office, I was stopped in the hallway by one of the special education teachers I have worked with for the past 4 years. She's a nice enough lady, but apparently she has no internal filters with which to make socially appropriate decisions regarding her conversation with others.

She approaches me in all seriousness and waits for me to finish a bizarre conversation with another coworker who thinks that somehow I have the power to get another person fired (I was partially administration this year before leaving) and is trying to get me to exercise said power (which I don't really have to begin with, but especially not after 5 months off and my boss signing my year-leave-of-absence form). As psycho #1 leaves, psycho #2 enters and says to me....wait for it....wait for it...

"You know, Sarah, that he (points to Ethan like she's selecting a lobster from the tank at the fish counter) runs a high likelihood of being LD later in life." (for anyone not in education, LD means Learning Disabled).

Oh. My. God. Are you fucking kidding me? Did you really just say that??? Really???

Now, Husband tells me I have no poker face, but if anyone ever tried to hide her rage and absolute horror at the inappropriateness of something said to her, I did. My face hurt almost immediately from the fake smile I plastered on. Apparently she, as well as everyone else in the school, knows that he was 5 weeks early and as a special education teacher, she decided it was her duty (yes, this is how she described it) to let me know what we might "have to deal with down the line."

She seemed to realize a split second later just how horribly rude her little friendly "fyi" was and tried to back peddle by saying she hoped it didn't upset me to hear that and he might not have any issues, but that it was better to know early on so we can intervene before he hits school age, yadda, yadda, yadda...

Now, she may very well be right. Having a preemie does come with some baggage. Husband and I are prepared to have to deal with residual consequences of having Ethan at 34w5d. But is this really something you bring up casually, in the hallway, a total, "by the way..." sort of comment before saying, "Have a nice summer!"? My head was spinning. Since then I have spent an inordinate amount of energy fighting the urge to type "prematurity" and "learning disabilities" into a google search. My son is 7 weeks old; I don't want to worry about these things yet. I want to enjoy the cute little noises he makes and the faces that make Husband and I giggle without wondering if everything is the sign of some developmental delay.

These are the times when I wish I could come up with a witty sarcastic comment on the spot; I mean, this situation was begging for a pithy little retort, but I was tongue-tied. I am one of those people who is completely unable to come up with those sorts of comebacks when the situation calls for it, but on the way home I am a regular stand up comedian--with an audience of This time, though, the only thing I could come up with on the way home was, "shut up, bitch!!"


Anonymous said...

Oh MY GOD! I am in absolute shock. I might have said - "Wow you must have been born very early?"

As you know Sarah, my two little angels were born at 34 weeks 3 days and just reading your post has me fuming - what a completely inappropriate thing to say. Perhaps she should go back and do her research and she will see that if hit the 34 week point you are pretty much in the clear in this regard also. I think I would have strangled her.. such composure Sarah - god bless you!

Becci said...

LOL at the first comment.... "you must have been born early"

BUs seriously, my peri. said that even at 28 WEEKS, 90% of the kids that survive have NO long-term disabilities, so I say whatever! At almost 35 weeks he was so nearly full term, what an ignorant bitch.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely commend you for not slapping her in the face and telling her to stuff it without perhaps using stronger words that an "English teacher" isn't supposed to know :-)

The two of you are among the most informed, well prepared parents I have ever run across and that includes me definitely.

That you have dealt with all of the stuff involved with this pregnancy and Ethan's prematurity and being "owned" by the hospital for those days instead of by the two of you and that he is now a happy, poopy, tranquil baby well on his way is really fantastic.

That you have to deal with idiots like that just proves once more that my dear partner is right when he says that most people are idiots.

Those who say "sticks and stones may break"....etc. don't understand the power of words and they ought to keep their mouths shut. That woman should be muzzled.

Amy said...

People are jackasses, plain and simple. You know, we all have those thoughts to our ourselves. "Why isn't he/she doing (fill in the blank developmental milestone here) yet?" And then in the back of your mind, you wonder. But then, as a parent, you move on.

But to have someone come out and basically sentence your child to a life of LD issues is just insane.

I would have said "Well, you know, 34w5d is the new 37w0d, so we're feeling pretty cool."

BabyonBored said...

A) as a newish mom myself, I cannot even begin to tell you how many mothers I know who gave birth prematurely. More prematurely than you and have perfectly normally learning able kids. You'd have to be pretty damn early to have a problem with that. And isn't that something for a fucking doctor to discuss with you IF your baby was say born at 28 weeks or something? UHHHHHH. In other news, I've just added you to my blogroll so you'll be the most popular blogger in NO TIME!

Anonymous said...

Sarah -
I can not believe that this woman (if you could actually call her a specific part of the population) had the nerve to say such a thing. I am really proud of your compsure. I am sure that I would have said something totally rude and gotten myself into trouble. But hey that is just me:)

Having been born 2 and half months early and weigning 2lbs 8 oz I can attest that I do not have a LD and contrary to what most people belive I also didn't suffer any height issues. As you know I am 5'9.5. Your little guys is going to grow up with the most loving careing wonderful parents and he is going to the smartest kid in class.

Keep track of this woman and send her Ethan's acceptance letter to Harvard:)

Many hugs -