Eliza Grace was born on March 15, 2006, at 26 weeks, 4 days, weighing 1 pound 4 ounces and measuring just 11.5 inches long. She is the light of my soul and this is the story of our life in the big city.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Village Idiots (not to be confused with the Village People)

The past few weeks have been just chock-full of run ins with people who are just plain dumber than rocks. Perhaps my nerves were a bit frayed, what with the anniversary of Eliza's due date and her coming home date, both not-so-subtle reminders of my complete inability to keep Eliza safely in my uterus for 9 stinking months. Then again, maybe my recent runs really are proof that the village idiots have taken over the village.

In an effort to help Eliza "socialize" with other toddlers I have enrolled her in a few toddler classes. Now when Eliza is overwhelmed by life, in particular by certain sounds, she sort of moans repetitively. So here we are in one of these toddler classes when lo and behold some sound set off Eliza's sensory overload button and the moaning began. As I was trying to soothe her I heard this whiny-Carmella-Soprano-style voice say "Oh she's retarded isn't she?" I slowly turn my head to the metallic sound of this voice and am barely able to utter "what did you say?" Carmella (who also looked as if she had a taken a page from the Amy Whinehouse school of make up) advised that the only children she had ever heard make such a moaning sound were "retarded." Now I am no shrinking violet but I was so shocked by her commentary that I picked up Eliza, left the class and walked the half mile home crying like a blithering idiot.

It did take me several days to recover my senses and to realize I was not going to let this overdone Carmella win. So I took the photo of Eliza at 8 days old, by then weighing less than a pound, in the palm of the nurse's hand, with me to the next class. I asked for a moment of everyone's time before we began. This generated an exaggerated eye-roll from Carmella. I told the parents what had happened the week prior and why Eliza and I had left so abruptly. This was met with a resounding "who the hell said that" from everyone ... except Carmella. I told the group I was not interested in publicly humiliating the offending parent. Within a few seconds though it was pretty apparent that Carmella was the village idiot. The rest of the class was awed by the progress Eliza has made and stood in disbelief that she ever could have been so tiny. We were welcomed by the group, moaning sounds and all.

Oh and the following week ... Carmella was no where to be found. Hopefully she is back under the rock where she came from, surrounded by her cadre of village idiots and that she will never darken my door again.

Now really... who would you rather spend the afternoon with:


Amber said...

Absolute madness!!!! I can't imagine experiencing that.....you handled it very well. I don't know...I feel speechless...(but what a cutie your daughter is..) :^ )

knuts2knit said...

I wasn't sure whether laugh or cry reading about your run in with Carmella. It continues to blow me away how completely clueless people can be. Our 30 weeker (now 2) has had more issues than many born earlier than her. She had serial casting done early on which meant that she had a huge cast on her left leg for 12 weeks. She was still really little for 5 months old of course. You wouldn't believe the assumptions people made at such a tiny baby having their entire leg in a cast. **GASP!** We MUST have broken her leg you know. . Idiots.
At 10 months she had to get a DOCband (kind of like a helmet) to correct her plagiocephaly. (head was crooked/not round) She was adorable in it. I decorated it etc. I could write a book on the comments we got during the 16 weeks that she wore it. People would say things within earshot all the time. "she must be retarded" "she must be really hyper" "what's wrong with her brain?" "oh look! They got that baby a little helmet" (like it's for decoration) and my favorite "Geez-all kids fall down and hit they're head! You're being WAY to overprotective" Don't get me wrong, we had countless people approach us that were honestly curious and I was more than happy to educate them. My favorite was having kids come up and ask. They're so innocent and are happy with simple answers such as "her head isn't round like yours and the special hat is making it round" to which they'd reply "wow! that's neat!"
My choice is the cutie patootie in the bottom picture ;) Ol' Carmella can keep on looking for a clue under her rock.
Good luck to you and Eliza
Ellen in Ohio

Sarah Furlough said...

Hands down, I'd pick Eliza (and her hilarious mom, too).

I'm so sorry you had that encounter with that idiot, she sounds like a TOTAL moron!

Sending you hugs! Maybe we can run off to Saba to avoid stares and stupid comments about our miracle kids! Get to planning, Anne!

23wktwinsmommy said...

That was the best comeback I've ever read! Good for you! That was classic. I am stealing that should I ever have to. It beats the "jab, jab, hook" my hubby has taught me from his boxing profession!

Anne, Eliza Grace's mom said...

I really have to credit Barb Duffy, my Alpha Chi Omega big sister who I have not seen in 20 years (yup, the secret is out, I was in a sorority) with helping me to develop the life philosophy of "it is better to be pissed off than pissed on."

But if Edwin wants to teach Eliza and me a few "jab jab hook" moves, we're ready!

Natalie and Abigail said...

Brilliant - absolutely brilliant. I hope Carmella was turning thirty shades of red. Kudos to you for going back and not letting stupid people stand in the way of what's best for Eliza. Brilliant.

Mal said...

You may have my sister's line. When asked, "Is Katie 'special'?" she answers, "Well, she is to me as I am sure your child is to you." Usually shuts them right up.

Hang in there. If I believed in that God stuff I'd say God gave you Eliza because you are strong enough to protect her. Since I don't I'll just say that these people don't know who they are messing with!