Even thought it is still ice cube cold around here, February never fails to be the start of our busy season. Which means, Kenny comes out of his semi-retirement and actually works, leaving me to fend for myself everyday until about 7. I know. How do I ever survive? With homework and crazy children, I never have time to cook a decent dinner. Which is why I became friends with my crock pot. Dinner is just magically ready at dinner time. While I chopped green bell peppers and onions for a green chile verde chicken dish, I watched The View, a show I try not to watch because it never fails to piss me off.
Just like today.
Small mention was made of two things. One a four-year-old boy with leg braces who was made to take them off to go through airport security. The other an episode of Family Guy that depicted a woman with Downe Syndrome. And everyone was claiming injustice.
Except? I highly disagree. I think nothing wrong happened in either situation. Other than people looking for a reason to be mad. Let me explain, before you think I am a meanie and hate unicorns, too.
My daughter is deaf. Deaf. As in, can not hear. Profoundly deaf. That's an actually medical term, look it up if you wish. At two she received her first cochlear implant, a device implanted into her skull and inner ear that long story short allows her to hear ONLY in conjunction with an outer processor worn similarly to a hearing aid. It is way more complicated than that, but the point of my story is not cochlear implant education. It is that my kid has a dissablility and a hunk of wires and plastic and metal in her head that tends to cause some issues with airport security at times.
In order to fly, I carry a medical card for Emmi. The past few trips to the airport, we made Emmi present the card herself as we are teaching her what she should do, because we know that she may require special accommodation. Special accommodation that is our job to ask for and be educated about, not the job of some hourly employee told to adhere to strict set of guidelines. Prior to travelling with Emmi, I contacted our doctor, the implant manufacturer, and the airport to determine what exactly we should do going through security and during the flight, because it is my job as the parent of a special needs child to be prepared. We were educated on the exact process, and were prepared that we may need to request a hand search for Emmi should she set off the metal detectors. I wonder, did the parents of this little boy request a hand search? Perhaps. Perhaps this wasn't handled in the best possible way by the airport security. I wasn't there. But I do highly doubt that anyone intended to harm or belittle a four-year-old disabled child.
Nor do I think Family Guy was belittling people with Down Syndrome. The clip I saw seemed to poke more fun at people's avoidance of talking about disabilities in general. The woman told the man to ask her things about herself. And he outright avoided the obvious. That was the funny part. Not that she had a disability, but that no one will talk about it. The woman portrayed was assertive. She was witty. In no way was her personality, demeanor or intellect being attacked. Am I the only one that go the point of that? Maybe it comes from having a child with a disability. Try being in the room when someone says, "Ohhh what do you have on that is flashing, sweety?!" And you point out the flashing light is not actually a toy, but a medical device. Do they ask about it? Do they seem curious how it works? Do they want to know why it blinks? Hell no. They act like they never asked the question in the first place. Like hell did they mention that elephant in the room. Like hell.
I just have no clue when we as a society got so hell bent on being pissed off about everything? And why do we think that everyone has to be accommodated? Hell, while we are at it, perfume and bright lights give me migraines. I am going to ask that everyone stop wearing perfume and dim their lights. And if you could speak in a whisper voice around me that would be nice. However, you will need to speak up and enunciate when my child is in the room, because she is DEAF. Also, she doesn't like to eat much other than marshmallows due to her metabolic disorder. I don't want her to feel bad for this. Like she is some marshmallow eating freak. Please, send all of your children to school with only marshmallows. And, could you go buy them all hearing aids to wear around, so my kid doesn't look too different. But whatever you do, do not tell her she is deaf. That would be nice.
Except it is ridiculous. And we all know it.