Monday, June 4, 2012

Special Needs Moms: the reality show!


A new reality show debuts tonight, Push Girls, about four attractive women in wheelchairs who live in LA. It could raise awareness about how much women with disabilities rock, how typically shallow they can be, or both. (It's a reality show, after all.) It's on the Sundance Channel, at 10 p.m. ET.

How awesome would it be to have a reality show about special needs moms? Because we are utterly awesome and wholly fascinating and very, very feisty. Right? Think of the possibilities!

Episode 1: The Restaurant Scene

Special Needs Family goes out to dinner. At the restaurant, Kid screeches because the hostess has given them a table in the middle of a room and he only wants a corner table, where it's quiet. Once finally seated, Kid is placated with an iPad only there is no Internet connection. Kid has a secondary meltdown, and gets dirty looks from other families. Kid throws a bread roll at a nearby table. It hits another kid's head. Chaos ensues. Later, family drives home in exhausted silence. [Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely non-coincidental.]

Episode 2: The IEP

It's that time of the year to decide on an Individualized Education Program for Kid. Special Needs Mom is seated at a table, surrounded by Kid's teachers and therapists and the district special ed coordinator. Everyone takes turns discussing Kid's progress. Mom alternatively beams and looks worried. Then Mom suggests her son needs more therapy. Chaos ensues.

Episode 3: First word!

Mom and Kid are in speech therapy. Kid is four years old and has never said a word. He makes sounds, and nods yes and no, but doesn't try to say words. "Come on, put your lips together," says the speech therapist. "Mmmmmm. Mmmmmm. Mommmmmy." Kid sort of says "mmm" and smiles sweetly. Mom looks dubious. Driving home, Mom slams on the brakes when a teen in a Jeep cuts her off. "SHIT!!!" she says. "ITTTTT!" says Kid. Mom turns around. "Did you just say 'shit?'" she asks. Kid nods, happily. "YEAHHHHHHHH!" says Mom. After that, every time Kids says "ITTTTT!" Mom says, "Cool! He's saying 'it!'" and looks a little guilty.

Episode 4: The Confrontation 

Mom and Kid are at the park. Kid has been seated on the matted floor of the jungle gym, playing with some rocks for an hour and occasionally drooling. Suddenly Mom notices another mom staring, blatantly. Mom stands up and approaches her. "I notice you're staring at my son," Mom says in a neutral, non-aggressive tone. Other Mom looks uncomfortable. "He's just a kid, you know, like any other kid," says Mom, shooting her a pointed glance. Then she flashes a peace sign and returns to her bench.

Episode 5: Mom Gets A Mani-Pedi

In this shocking episode, Mom actually gets out to have a mani-pedi.

Episode 6: Meltdown

Mom calls the insurance company. When a representative picks up, Mom explains she is calling for the fifth time to inquire about a batch of bills she sent in half a year ago that she was never reimbursed for. "I see you were asked to send in some additional information," says the rep. "Yes," says Mom,  "I mailed that information two months ago." The representative puts Mom on hold. Seventeen minutes later, she's back on the phone. "Ma'am, our system shows that those notes were received!" To which Mom replies, "OK, then why weren't the bills processed?" To which the representative says, "I can't tell you that, ma'am, but I do apologize." Mom breaks into heaving sobs. "I'm sorry, ma'am," the representative says. Mom: "Bwaaaaaaaaah."

Episode 7: Stop The Stimming 

Kid is seated at a little table in the playroom, knocking his knees up against it. Mom has asked him many times to please stop. BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG. Mom looks around, wildly. Her glance falls on a box of Ziploc bags [camera zoom]. AHA! She blows into two bags, inflating them; seals them; and attaches them to her child's knees with rubberbands. Cut to mom seated at kitchen table with glass of wine, smiling contentedly.

Episode 8: The Modeling Contract 

Mom has been having a bad week; her babysitter quit, Kid hasn't been sleeping well, and the co-pays on his anti-seizure medication have doubled. She and Kid are cruising around Target when a man approaches them. "I run a modeling agency, and I'd like to offer you a million-dollar contract—you are the face of the millenium," he says. "Sorry, sir," says Mom, "but then who will take my child to therapy?" And off she strolls with Kid and the shopping cart into the wilds of Target. 

Image/istock

28 comments:

  1. I'll star in episode 3.... Something similar happened to me only my child repeated the word as "dit!!" I was pretty tickled!

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    1. Ditto here; my child (who used fewer than ten words at the time) gleefully yelled "Sit!" after I dropped the S-bomb one time. Luckily it sounded like--well, like sit :).

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  2. Wait - what about the doctor's apt episode. "I'm very sure it's this." "and I'm very sure it's that" Now I'm going to cry and drive to a far off city to hear what they're very sure of and at the end of the day I'm going to have a glass of wine, cry some more, and diagnose my own kid. And the mom totally needs to be rocking some sexy scrubs in this episode.

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  3. i would totally tune in....er, tape it and watch at midnight when when everyone's asleep...if everyone goes to sleep :)

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  4. I could TOTALLY rock a reality show like this.

    Don't forget the episode about potty training...or the lack thereof.

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  5. Mo, I will surely let you know when casting starts. Heather, I had a doctor episode one and I cut it—just SO not amusing. And Sunday? Potty training way too close to my reality right now to touch. !!!

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  6. I totally have Episode 2 down. Just let me know. :) Oh and doctor episode including the 4 hour one way drive that makes my son stir crazy and I always have to plan extra time for some down time out of the car. Except when there are major car wrecks that take up that time and result in melt down time at the doctor instead.

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  7. I like the episode where the mom tries to take the effin' not-so-mini-van in to the shop and realizes there is no wheelchair accessible way to get from the drop off of the car to the rental car department, and she must navigate through a cactus garden with an over-sized special needs car seat, and a child in a wheelchair. She barely makes it without hysterically crying.
    On her return, the service man helps her by carrying the car seat and holding back a tree limb. She sobs that someone cares enough to take 48 seconds to help her, and has her faith in humanity restored.

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  8. I'll star in an episode: girl in wheelchair has awesome bling & the coolest raps :)

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  9. Episode One...can you put some stuff on the iPad hard drive against the possibility of no internet? I don't dare get 'em hooked on the net for distractions, because there's no wi-fi anywhere we go, nine times out of ten!

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  10. Jenny Davis BusseyJune 4, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    How about the overwhelmed heart attack bolt. I was taking one of my special needs kids to PT in her wheelchair, I also have an autistic 4 year old and a newborn. I am traversing the ramp with a baby in my arms, pushing a wheelchair. Autistic 4 year old bolts for busy street because the fire station is on the other side of the street and their garage door is open exposing the fire engine. Thankfully another special mommy that this mommy knows is in the parking lot. Overwhelmed mommy hands off wheelchair kid to other mommy and takes off after autistic 4 year old with new born in arms. Mommy catches him by the collar of his shirt just as his foot reached the curb of busy street. Mom gets back to minivan and adds hair dye to the grocery list next to gluten free chicken nuggets and rice milk, and vows to never take all 3 children out by herself again.

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  11. We would look like a crazy bunch with all the drama in our lives. They might even think we are all unfit parents and just don't get it.

    Maybe.... they may laugh and have more compassion when they see a kid having a meltdown.

    My episode would be a 9 yr old drops, flops, and screams in the middle of the parking laying face down. All the while the cars are honking and thinking I have the worst child in the world. Mom has to half drag 60# of dead weight so the cars can pass. Yep that was my day today!

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  12. Ok I am angry now.Reason: not included.I got my 8th grade yearbook today and no sooner I was flipping through it and my best friend Brielle comes up and goes,"Best Buddies is not in the yearbook""What?" I respond."I know, Ms. Alybryt(one of the advisors and best spainish teacher and school trip organizer ever)is mad."They are going to call the company.Pictures were summited,Ms. Kohl sent them." I sighed. I'll keep you updated :)
    -Kathryn

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  13. Scene: As his mother pays $3.99 a pound for non-organic grapes at the local fancy food shop, an adorable 4-year-old snatches a long stick of artisanal pink marshmallow and takes off. A madcap chase ensues, his mom in hot pursuit around and around the tight aisles. The boy laughs, the mom starts melting down. Finally, she traps the boy and quickly leads him through the doors for a time-out. It starts raining; mom stands, stone-faced, holding an umbrella over her full-tantrum son. Cut to neighbors and nannies staring and judging. Cue laugh track!

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  14. Episode entitled "Stereo": one twin recites the colors or the tiny characters in a given pattern while the other sings the theme song to "Sponge Bob Squarepants"--and that's it, no letup, no possibility of redirection with bribes or a peppy "That's great, Honey! What other songs do you like?" for the entire half hour. Or, hour.

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  15. Wow, you guys sure are creative about "coming up" with episodes!

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  16. i would just watch episode 5 on a continuous loop.

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  17. That would be totally awesome! MAybe it would do the world some good to see how hard life can REALLY be. I'm in!

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  18. That would be great to watch, only it probably wouldn't get screened here in New Zealand.

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  19. I LOVE this! Totally & completely LOVE this. Wow. So it's not just me, huh?

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  20. I want to play! Episode 7: Mom decides to treat herself to a monthly cleaning lady and gets recommendations. Recommended cleaning lady comes over to see house and basically runs screaming thinking it's a 'den of iniquity' as the sensory swing hangs from the ceiling, trampolines are scattered about, and funny mirrors hang on the walls. Mom looks in the 'thin' funny mirror and decides money would be better spent on purchasing more of the thin mirrors for all over the house.

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  21. UPDATE: It was confirmed that the yearbook club put in pictures of Best Buddies.So a call to the company was made.They said that they thought the picture didnot belong in the yearbook so they included a commemertive club page.It defeats they purpose of Best Buddies inclusion.It should be in the yearbook.We want to show everyone what Best Buddies is and how we have grown in a year from 5 buddys to 20 buddys.

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  22. How about a 6th grader with PDD-NOS complaining of a headache in math class and the teacher says s\he is lying about the sensation.

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  23. This is the best post (and comments) I have read in a long time! I am laughing the whole time. This series should so be on TV! I think I could star in many of the episodes, but the insurance one would be my forte!

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  24. This happened to me.

    Random 6th Grader: I have a math headache.
    Teacher: No you do not.
    Autistic Student: It's his pain to feel and yours to understand.
    Teacher: That's outrageous. How is it mine to understand? It's obviously a made-up sensation!
    Autistic Student: Imagine your brain trying to run a marathon when it is shackled to the ground.
    Teacher: Your brain cannot move independently.
    Autistic Student: I know, but that was a metaphor for (insert name)'s math headache. The truth is, I have one too. The excessive work makes me sick. I almost threw up.
    Teacher: Get back to work.

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  25. Law & order IEP Unit
    Officers arrest case mangers
    That don't enforce IEPs or try and
    Change them after meetings
    With Chris Meloni starring

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  26. I love the last one!! "Sorry, sir," says Mom, "but then who will take my child to therapy?" :)

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Thanks for sharing!