If You Don’t Have Anything Nice To Say…

This blog originally ran in March 2012, but it bears repeating since lately it seems like our Thinking Moms have been encountering some insensitive/not-so-nice people who have said some very insensitive/not-so-nice things about people with disabilities. 

For years I’ve walked around with an invisible sign on my forehead.

“Please feel free to insult me and/or my children”

People really do shock the hell out of me sometimes.  I truly believe in the innate goodness of mankind, but come on people…invest in a filter for your brain.

“Well, you are just big boned. That’s all.”

WHAT?  No I am fat.  I weighed a buck-o-five in high school.  Skinny as a rail then.  Happened to gain some weight in college.  Pretty sure it isn’t my bones that are heavier either. Don’t call any woman big boned… EVER.

“How old is your son?  He is so SMALL!” 

Um, lady…he’s sitting right in front of you.  He also happens to live right here in the US and knows English so he understands everything you are saying.   You wouldn’t like it if I said, “Is that your daughter? She looks like a troll!”  See, sometimes you have to filter the truth.

“Those boys need sunscreen.  Are you their nanny?” 

Seriously?  No, I am their mother.  In fact they do have on sunscreen, but it is 87 degrees outside right now and they are RUNNING AROUND ON A PLAYGROUND.  Sometimes exercise will make your cheeks red.  Wanted to say, “Not that you’ve been exercising recently fat ass.” (see…filter here.  Don’t call any woman a fat ass…EVER).

“He has autism?  But he looks so NORMAL.”

And what exactly does NORMAL look like?  I am throwing out a challenge right here and now.  Someone explain to me exactly what normal is.  I have no idea.  My son who doesn’t have autism is the dictionary definition of typical.  He is extremely social, popular, cute, and as crazy as the day is long.  He dances naked at the top of our stairs after every shower.  He told his grandmother to check out his balls when he was two.  He adores every single Star Wars movie, but cries like a baby watching Curious George.  No way is he ‘normal.’  No way I am either for that matter!  Guess what? Neither are you.  Same goes for your kids.

Normal doesn’t exist.  Go ahead and remove that word from your vocabulary.  Erase the entire idea.  Every single one of us walking around on this magnificent planet is bat-shit crazy in one way or another.  If you get really honest with yourself, you know it is true.

Let me be perfectly clear…I like crazy.  Weird is interesting.  Different is fun.  If you don’t have some quirk, oddity or squirrellyness about you chances are we aren’t going to be friends.

The moral of the story:  Don’t tell a mom that her kid looks ‘normal’…EVER.  I’ll go one step further.  If you don’t have anything nice, intelligent, funny or inspirational to say…STFU.

Thanks in advance!

Sunshine ☼

To read more blogs by Sunshine, Click Here.

Pin It
This entry was posted in Blogs by Thinking Moms' Revolution, Sunshine TMR and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

67 Responses to If You Don’t Have Anything Nice To Say…

  1. Pingback: One Year, 24 Parents, 300+ Blogs: My Top Picks - The Thinking Moms' Revolution

  2. Jaci VW says:

    Brilliant! I have heard some of these things myself. I can feel the blood rising in my cheeks each time something insensitive is said to me or about my children. The moment I nearly lost it was when a dear loved one was talking about my cousin’s little boy, (who has been struggling significantly, but has yet to be diagnosed with anything) and said, “Well, he doesn’t look retarded or anything.” WOW. I set the loved one straight then and there, and I’m sure it wasn’t a very understanding or compassionate response; it didn’t need to be.

  3. Célia Salvador says:

    Nice cup of it! I love this! Thank you, sunshime!

  4. Célia Salvador says:

    Very good stuff! I love this! :))

  5. Shiri says:

    I was once told that it wasn’t the vaccines but that I was “just looking to blame someone for my son’s genetics”. I just said that they were welcome to come home with me and see some home videos of my son talking in 2 languages and socially engaged, coloring and pointing, before he regressed at age 2 and lost a lot of those skills. People are just plain ignorant.

    Also, love the “he’ll grow out of it, he’s just a boy”.

    My pediatrician told me when he was 2.5, “Oh he’s not autistic, I’ve seen many in my practice they don’t hug their parents and know their ABC’s like your son does. Stop trying to keep up with the Jones’s”. She ate her words a year later.

    Another one, “If you don’t feed him gluten and dairy he will develop allergies and intolerances and his body won’t be able to eat them ever”. Duh, he already can’t tolerate them, why would I do this crazy diet if he could?

    And my favorite, when he was little: “Stop doing everything for him, he has to learn -your spoiling him”. As if to imply that I was the reason for my son’s Autism, not the mercury toxicity that caused him to LOSE ALL FEELING in his hands, and not be able to grasp a fork!!!!!

    Now that felt GOOD to get out!

  6. Amanda says:

    I love when other parents stare at my son when he speaks or when he gets excited. I now walk over and say, “I know, he gorgeous. I stare at him all the time.” Then I give them a sad smile after I look at their child. It is a little mean but a girl has to do what a girl has to. One time a woman made a rude comment and I looked her in the eyes and said, “he has autism so his rudeness is not intentional.” She was so pissed and embarrassed when everyone looked at her the way she had been looking at my boy.

    • Sunshine says:

      Glad you called that woman out, Amanda. People should be filmed saying these things so they can watch themselves and realize how they look and sound.

    • Allie says:

      I love it! I need to remember that one. ” . . . so his rudeness is not intentional.”

  7. Love this, and love that it was written by someone dubbed, “Sunshine.” That just makes it more perfect.

  8. melissa says:

    “Are you sure he has autism?”

    My bank account is pretty sure.

  9. Arwyn says:

    Thank you for this one! I have friends that have perfected the “Smile and Wave” reply to anyone that makes comments about her ASD kiddos. Me? I walk around most days HOPING that someone says something about my son, so I have an excuse to relieve some stress 🙂

    When he is having a good day, and people say “Oh Autism huh? You’d never know. He seems totally NORMAL.” What the F–k are you talking about? I’m assuming what you meant to say is that “all the hours of therapy are really working! 6-8 sessions a week, you must love him enough to sacrifice and good for you! He is doing great!”

    Or my favorite one?

    “Autistic, oh really? Have you seen Rainman? How about that one movie about the scientist lady that has the autism? What’s her name?”

    “Her name is Temple Grandin and Rainman is just a movie.”

    Anyone that spends more than 30 minutes with my kids has already been told that they better learn a little more about autism than those two sources. You don’t “get it,” just because you watched a few movies.

    Good lord, I am hostile lately.

  10. Pingback: March 2, 2012: Feel Free to Insult Me… | The Thinking Moms' Revolution Starts Here

  11. Great post! At least your son is only dancing naked after the shower. I got called to my son’s daycare when he was about 3 because he’d decided to show his whole daycare his “Winky Dance”. Thanks son! As for normal, I’m the only normal person I know.

  12. MichaelEdits says:

    Excellent post. Funny, insightful, and your filter’s better than mine. 🙂

  13. aefountain says:

    ….You are so lucky that God has blessed you.

    Really, I am lucky. I am very spiritual but I am not religious. So if I was to believe as you believe, does that mean all the parents of normal children are not blessed?

    ….God wouldn’t have given you more than you can handle.

    Damn right he did and much, much more at times. I have concluded that talking to myself, isn’t much different than talking to God, except religious individuals believe I am crazy because I talk to myself.

    …….Why haven’t you bought him those shoes, he would be walking by now?

    Really, are they magic shoes? I thought putting food on my table was more important than a pair of magic shoes.

    …….I knew you kept him in the infant seat far too much a day.

    Hmmm, I thought it was a great idea personally, while his brother who is 14 months older was learning to walk. Stepping, tripping, landing on his brother would have a more catastrophic result.

  14. BethieC says:

    I LOVE this post, Sunshine! The crap people say continues to surprise me. My oldest son has autism, and some of the asshats at his school STILL say, “boy, he is SO much better than he used to be! When he first came here, we didn’t know what the heck we were going to do with him. Who knew he would EVER get this far?” I did, mofos.

  15. Ang says:

    Same thing as Helen…people ask if I am the mom or the babysitter. Yes, dumb lady, black haired, dark eyed people can have blond haired, green eyed children. Another one was: Does your son have emotional probs? No. He is just a bit high-strung. But, I do! And then I punch them!

  16. 3timesGaga says:

    Thanks for posting this. You touched on so many things that I’ve experienced in my 39 years of motherhood and thirteen years of grandmotherhood. But it’s not new–I remember stupid people making remarks about how many children there were in my family (six). In fact one woman condescendingly asked my mother (after inquiring if all of us were her’s) if she was a devout Catholic. My mom shut up the woman with, “No, just a passionate Protestant.” To this day, I remember the look on the woman’s face as our troupe moved off, and have followed my mom’s example to answering stupid, ingnorant, none-of-your-business questions and remarks about my children and grandchildren. And I agree with another comment: Normal is a setting on the dryer!

  17. AAAAHHHHH….my peoples. Thank you for the love. And for your stories. Keep telling them!! Your stories are our stories. WE NEED A VOICE! So shout it out. We got your back.

  18. A C Finley says:

    Normal is a dryer setting!!!!

  19. Helen says:

    I absolutely love this.You are amazing! I have been asked if I am my sons nanny too living in a prodominately white neighborhood and taking my blue eyed,and I mean blue like the sky blue,son with his Irish fair skin like my husband on outings.Thank God his little brother came out with color like me and brown hair,now I have stumped them! sometimes people will ask are they brothers or are they both yours? and like your son my 3 yr can clearly hear them and understand what they are saying.People are crazy!

  20. Maria says:

    “Oh, but I’m sure he has talents in other areas”… This is the one that kills me when people discover my son is “Dory” from finding Nemo (no lie, we nick-named him ‘oh, yeah’ because that’s his response to every reminder we give him hourly).
    What I say to these people when they say “Oh, I’m sure he has talents in other areas” is
    “Why, yes he does, He can skin a cat in under 4 seconds. Problem is he never remembers where he leaves the remains. Imagine waking up to THAT in your bathtub” Then I laugh the proud mom laugh and walk away.

    • Allie says:

      I shouldn’t be laughing this loud, this late at night, right next to the kids’ bedroom. Thanks for the giggle. “He can skin a cat . . .”

  21. LWSpotts says:

    Oh, I love this. My son does the naked dance thing after every bath, and he’s overly preoccupied with all things parts-related, poop-related, and fart-related. It’s the Y-chromosome, I swear. Funny, though!

  22. Walkerbait says:

    See I am a sophomore in high school and I like being different. Me and my friends hate to be like everyone else, because WE are not anyone but ourselves. Some may not understand why my friends and I are against everyone being EXACTLY THE SAME AND TRYING TO BE EXACTLY LIKE EACH OTHER.. This post is wonderful thanks 🙂

    • Blaze says:

      OH, I love this, Walkerbait! You should go on the road sharing this with other kids! On your tour, please come by and share it with my daughter and every kid we know! Such incredible insight!!!!!

  23. Joanne says:

    A woman after my own heart!! Thank you for saying what I have wanted to say 100 times over. Have you been asked “How did he get Autism?” yet? That seems to be the frequent question that people (yes grown folks) ask me about two of my children who are autistic. Almost as if it is a contagious disease that anyone can catch.
    Love this post!!! Definitely going to keep an eye on your blog! 🙂

  24. carmabella says:

    Loving you right now Sunshine!

  25. momofmandc says:

    My mom used to tell me (quite frequently,) “You can say whatever you to want, to whomever you want, whenever you want….as long as you never move your lips and no sound comes out.” It’s taken me a while to learn that lesson, a working filter is a wonderful thing to have,

  26. Normal is boring. Bring on the squirrely!

  27. Karen Milan says:

    Thanks so much for the laughs. My kids are half Caucasian and half Chinese, so I always get these rude Asian ladies coming up to me and waving their fingers at my kids asking” What are they”. I did loose it one day and told one of them, “Are you stupid or something, can’t you see they are children?” 🙂

  28. rachel says:

    I love this!!!

    I hate when people challenge my sons autism. Like I’m a hypochondriac or I’m lying about it. Or when someone says whats wrong with him? Or you just spoil him too much. thats why he doesnt talk.

    • Allie says:

      RIGHT!! The one I got recently, after detailing the itching-til-he-bleeds eczema, the lack of sleep, the scripting, stimming over anything with wheels, the wacky documented (though not yet video-taped) food reactions–including losing speech capabilities until whatever-it-is is out of his system–a loved one actually said, “Is it really as bad as you say?”
      (Seriously?!) Umm, no honey, I’m just making this up so you have something to gossip about. Jeebus.

  29. Candi says:

    I thought only my boys danced naked at the top of the stairs after every shower! And they’re both OBSESSED with their balls. I feel better knowing they’re normal now 😉

  30. Ha! Reminds me of one of my blog posts about my girls and the stuff people say.

  31. SOOOOO FUNNY–thanks for sharing!

  32. PB&Rooster's mom says:

    Sunshine – right on! Also, when I was pregnant with Rooster (you know who I’m talking about and I’m using their nicknames) a woman who I was trying a case with said “You know, we have friends who have a daughter who has Down syndrome (she knew Peanut Butter has Down syndrome) and they had two kids after their daughter WHO ARE PERFECTLY NORMAL.” I tell you, it took EVERY ounce of restraint to not punch her straight in the face – I was in a courthouse surrounded by police and Marshals. But, had we been in an alley it would’ve been on like donkey kong.

  33. Professor says:

    Sometimes people THINK they’re saying something nice, like, “He looks so normal!” Or, “You have the patience of a saint.” I had a little boy who died at the age of two days. On his second birthday, I was sitting at the playground next to a woman with two daughters climbing all over the huge apparatus in front of us. I happened to mention that it was my dead son’s birthday, and she brightly told me that “He’s in a better place.” Oh, really? Well, if it’s so much better then you wouldn’t mind if I happened to send YOUR children there, would you? Lots of people have no real imagination. They can’t imagine living what it would be like to live with the circumstances you/we live with day after day, so they make surface assumptions that sound ridiculous to people who DO live with those circumstances.

  34. LuvBug says:

    Weird IS interesting… and there ain’t nothing bad about investing in a good filter. I call it my “Inside Voice”. Your “inside voice” gets to say whatever she wants, but be careful you don’t get her confused with your “outside voice”. That’s the one that always gets you in trouble!! Thanks for the laugh on this gray Friday!

  35. Maggie says:

    Ahhhh I needed that laugh…thanks for puttin a little “Sunshine” in my day….

  36. Erin Taplin says:

    Hell to the Yea!!! Awesome Sunshine!

  37. Cat Jameson says:

    “You have your hands full!” Ugh! Worst response ever to a mother of five while trying to keep Ronan by my side in certain public settings.

    My reply? “I know my hands are full so get over here and offer me one of yours. Pitch in since you noticed I need some help, k? Thanks.”

    Oh to be brave enough to really say that! Thanks, Thinking Moms. Great post today!

  38. Poppy TMR says:


    Bravo, Sista Sunshine <3 xo

  39. charlie says:

    Good stuff

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *