Living with Limitations

Munch’s dad is living with limitations. He’s disabled. He’s not in a wheel chair. He’s on a cane. He can still walk. I haven’t spoken about it. He has health issues that have caused a deterioration in his health. One in which he refers to as a “poor man’s Lou Gehrig’s”. He is almost 43 and has been living with this for some time now.

He falls. His legs give way. He has hurt himself because his legs gave way and he wasn’t prepared. There are some things that are quite difficult for him to do and some things he won’t be able to do in a few years. It is our new normal.

No matter how difficult co-parenting can be I’m always going to care about my ex-husband’s ability to take care of Munch. That being said, I’m an advocate for the acceptance and truth of a situation. He – not so much. LOL. My ex is not ready to accept some things. He doesn’t want his disability to define him. It doesn’t.

However, we can’t ignore his health issues.  For example, he was hospitalized last month. He interrupted his normal visitation schedule to send me a text to say that he needed to go to the emergency room and was going to go to a local hospital near my home and wait for me to get our son. Really? I’m at work a good 40 minutes away from my house during rush hour. The hospital would be another 1 1/2 hours away from my job during rush hour.

I sighed. I called my mother. She worked 10 minutes away. She met him and got my son. He went to the hospital. My life is about expecting interruptions. When you have a parent that has health issues you expect the unexpected. I’m not mad.

My mother has been a tremendous help with my son. I started a new job and I can’t take off as frequently and she’s adjusting her schedule for the unexpected. Our co-parenting is really not two adults. It is a triangle. His dad, my mom and me. We’re adjusting.

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Neither is greater than the other. We just need to recognize the integral part we play in Munch’s overall development. Including backing up and supporting each other at all times.

Munch knows that his dad’s health is not like everyone else. He worries which is probably part of his anxiety, but his dad wants to keep that at a minimum. Which means he makes the decision to not tell his son that he’s hospitalized. I accept it and adjust. I don’t like it. I just evade any questions and say “Ask your dad”.

His health was of major concern when we finally got him in the Before and After Care program at the school. This was a great win because we found out a couple of weeks after school. It was at Back to School Night that I discovered that the school sits on a hill with the cafeteria on the top level and the only access is from metal stairs on the side of the building.

This isn’t going to work I thought. My ex and I share custody and he can’t park down a hill, walk up a hill and then to the metal steps to get our son. I explained to both the principal and vice principal that I needed an accommodation because the cafeteria is not ADA accessible from the side of the building. No other doors are opened accessing the school prior to 8:45 am. He can’t climb the steps.

They were very understanding and said that the Before and After Care staff must send someone down to pick him up and bring him out. I thanked them. The thing I’ve discovered in dealing with administration is that sometimes they are slow as heck. I wasn’t pleased. They finally confirmed that they would do that.

I mean really? It’s the law. My son is navigating his new normal like a champ, sometimes too much. When I dropped him at school last week and we got out of the car and walked up the hill and stairs to Before and After Care he said, “Mommy, you don’t need to do that. Just call them and they will come and get me.” I laughed.

The innocence of children.

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Fat Jokes

So, last week I had the pleasure of going to drink at an establishment where my girlfriend was the bartender for the night. The bar was small, but nice. They had a comedy show whereby local comedians were featured. As I settled onto my bar stool with my drink I was immediately captivated by the talent of a black woman about my age and rocking a beautiful African head-wrap. Sister was funny. She was bringing the jokes and I was feeling the pain from laughing so hard.

But, she lost me. Why? She started to talk about how she’s 40 and never been married and doesn’t have kids. She remarked about how she is attractive and that she seems to be entering the dating field at the wrong time. For example, when skinny is in she’s considered too fat or when fat girls are in she’s considered too skinny. Apparently she had it rough (insert snarky smile). As she progressed through her routine she said that she was watching Discovery Health one day and it depressed the heck out of her. Why? Because she saw two women who were both married to attractive men with children.

The first woman had no legs and was pregnant. She mused, “I mean, why can’t I find an attractive husband and get pregnant. I have legs. What’s the problem?” She inquired. She said that a friend had told her that the legless woman can outperform her in the bedroom (too much for this post). Everyone laughed. Now disabled people are humorous? She then said there was a show about a 692 fat woman who was married to an attractive man and she couldn’t understand how she could get a husband and she can’t. What was up with that? Everyone laughed imagining this situation because the comedian couldn’t have weighed more than 160 pounds herself and was attractive.

She told a few more jokes and got off the stage. A few more comedians came up to do their act and I realized a theme forming in my brain…Fat jokes. Men and women both think that joking about fat women is funny (not even fat men). They all wondered how fat women can find attractive husbands, boyfriends or even date because we’re so busy being fat and eating.

Now, check it! I get that they were just jokes but as the only curvy sister in the establishment they were all looking at me and saying, “Not you sister” as I was giving them the side-eye that their jokes weren’t funny. I am a plus size princess, a curvy cutie and a full-figured feminist so how do the fat jokes don’t apply to me? Because I’m not big enough like the women you are referring too?

Man, kick rocks with that kind of backwards thinking. I asked my boy who was with me why did they do that? He said, “They’re just jokes. All fat women want to be skinny. Look at Monique.” Really? WTH! I was outraged at his insensitivity to the issues that big women face and I said, “Not all women want to be skinny and Monique didn’t. She wanted to be healthy and she’s not skinny.”

I guess I’m disappointed that we still can’t find humor about real-life things instead of picking on me and my plus sized sisters. I just wish that a true comedian would develop their craft by finding other topics. I mean fat girls like me like comedy shows and you just might have to spend your routine looking away when I give you the side eye when you make fat girl jokes. I’m not ashamed of my size and not everyone wants to be skinny. Just healthy.

My two cents…find other things to make us laugh such as politics, sex and religion. You would offend a lot more people instead of one group. I’m just saying.

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