Military Special Needs Network

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Hurtful After Halloween: the Costume, the Witch, and the Mama Bear

photo (90)What started out as pieces of cardboard, random broom handles, and yards and yards of duct tape and Velcro, a magical transformation turned my daughter’s wheelchair into a Navy aircraft carrier!

Call it a labor of love or call it insanity, I wanted my Addie to feel like one of the “cool kids” on Halloween.  For two weeks, my friend Stacy and I measured, cut, taped and painted.  We hand shaded the runways, added lights, and bought die-cast military airplanes and helicopters to adorn the flight deck.  It was a huge success – Addie, dressed in her Navy uniform, loved it!  Teachers, parents, and students took photos and cheered her on.  She felt so special and it truly made Addie’s day a Halloween to remember.

 But….although Halloween was only but a day, an evil witch tried to cast a spell of darkness on me yesterday.

Another mom from the local elementary school was very unhappy about Addie’s costume.  She approached me and remarked how I should “tone it down” and shouldn’t create a spectacle of a costume for my daughter.  This mom ranted that, while creating a costume of that magnitude for home was fine, bringing it to school was wrong.  The typically-developing children in the mainstream classes weren’t given enough praise and adoration during the School Community Gathering; rather Addie was the “center of attention” and it wasn’t fair for her daughter or others.

Sidebar:  Now, here’s the part where as a special needs mom, you make a choice.  You can either politely smile and say, “I’m sorry you feel that way,” or go from zero-to-mama-bear in 30 seconds.  Although not one of my finer moments, I chose the latter.

photo (91)In front of a few school staff members, I proceeded to educate her about holidays and the effects they have on children with special needs.  I explained that, although Addie uses a wheelchair, that doesn’t mean she can’t have fun for Halloween, despite her disabilities.  How for one day out of the year, Addie gets to experience what it feels like to be a rock star.  I asked her if she had life-threatening allergies, aversions to textures, or if anyone in her family was non-verbal.  I pointed out that she should be ashamed of herself for attacking me and being bitter over a Halloween costume.  She left in a huff and jaws hit the floor.  And I walked away satisfied with the fact that sometimes, you have to be a bitch.

Hey – and I only used one cuss word.  That’s a big victory for me.


47 comments on “Hurtful After Halloween: the Costume, the Witch, and the Mama Bear

  1. rhechristine
    November 7, 2013

    I have to say the costume was spectacular, but as long as it didn’t break any kind of school rules (which clearly it didn’t) this woman needs to get over it. What kind of example is she setting to her daughter, and other children. I think you handled it better than I would have, LOL. You go mama bear!

  2. Niksmom
    November 7, 2013

    I would have used more than one cuss word. For sure.

  3. Holly Patton
    November 7, 2013

    I’m so proud of you! Wish I could have seen it. Missing you as always!

  4. Ellen
    November 7, 2013

    Go Mama!!!

  5. AutismWonderland (@LaliQuin)
    November 7, 2013

    GOOD FOR YOU!! Why do parents have to be jerks?

  6. KaTrina
    November 7, 2013

    Way to go!!! You handled it beautifully!! And she better be glad you didn’t have a few of your closest friends on the side of you. You should have ended it with a little Madre…. “I’ll see you at 3 o’clock if you have any more questions.”

    • militaryspecialneedsnetwork
      November 7, 2013

      Thanks KaTrina! Love it! She got real lucky that we were on school property when we had this confrontation. Otherwise, she would’ve gotten a lot more of my Sailor mouth. ~Wendy

  7. Millie Comber
    November 7, 2013

    The US Navy would be proud!

  8. Stephanie Guccimomma
    November 7, 2013

    RocK oN Addie & Momma Bear!
    Jealousy can be a witch.
    Aside from the witch, CONGRATS on such a great & creative costume
    and being the center or fun/posi+ive attention. :o)

  9. Gretta
    November 7, 2013

    This made me tear up a little.

    I am glad you said something, but I am sorry that you were put in the position to have to do so.

    • militaryspecialneedsnetwork
      November 10, 2013

      Blinders and narrow viewpoints will always sadly exist, but it is my hope that this other mom will think before speaking next time. Thank you for reading!!

  10. Anna Brindley
    November 7, 2013

    Go momma bear! Go!

  11. Kimberly A. Phillips
    November 7, 2013

    You made me cry and now I’m smiling ! The Costume is OVER THE TOP !! I LOVE IT !! YOU ROCK !! What you did for Addie for Halloween is amazing ! Handing that whiny woman her ass, PRICELESS !! Mamma Bears Rule !! 🙂

  12. Chris Prince
    November 7, 2013

    I think you should carry a taser 😉

  13. The costume is absolutely SPECTACULAR!!!!! Good for you!

  14. Camille Caldera
    November 7, 2013

    I love you & the amazing costume you created!!!! Amazing! You should be so proud of yourself!!!! You & your beautiful Addie are true rock stars!!! Hugs!!!!

  15. Mary Margolin
    November 7, 2013

    Good on you, Wendy. I probably would be arrested for battery! Nothing wrong with being a Mama Bear. You and Stacy (my cub) did a great job on the costume!!!

    • militaryspecialneedsnetwork
      November 10, 2013

      Hi Mary!!! Stacy did such an amazing job helping me with the costume – she is one of the most creative people I’ve ever met! I’m sooooo glad they’re back in the US and here in San Diego. When are you coming to visit??

  16. Renee
    November 7, 2013

    Wow. This really shows how the need for attention and the entitlement that we have in our culture is so excessive. Our “typical” kids get many opportunities for public praise and notice: scoring a goal, spinning on stage for a dance class, winning a spelling be, playing an instrument, or sometimes for simply participating. These “jazz hands” parents that can’t step aside to have another child, particularly one with special needs, whose chances to shine in public and to participate may be less numerous than those of other kids, really need to remember that other people exist. It is a good opportunity to build character by learning to be excited to see another child happy. I would guess that the schoolmate probably would get over it, the mom perhaps not…

  17. terry
    November 7, 2013

    god people like that really piss me off. i am so glad you answered back and didn’t take her insecure bullsh*t lying down. and why shouldn’t you stand up for your kid- she clearly feels the need to stand up for hers and everyone else’s as well. i am sure more than one of those staff members were secretly applauding you because i will tell you this- that parent is a pain in the ass to everyone. EVERYONE. not just about halloween costumes.

    • militaryspecialneedsnetwork
      November 10, 2013

      Thank you so much, Terry. I typically try not to add ‘fuel to the fire’ with confrontation, but sometimes, you just have to stand up and put someone in their place. I sincerely hope that this other mom will think before she speaks next time.

  18. Hannah @ Boots & Feet
    November 7, 2013

    Good heavens. Heaven forbid that her special little snowflake get deprived of one measly opportunity for some attention. And the audacity of even approaching you about it, like she was going to “educate” you. Good for you for standing up for yourself and your daughter!

    • militaryspecialneedsnetwork
      November 10, 2013

      Thank you so much! There will always be folks with narrow viewpoints and hatred of things they’re not aware of, but I sure hope that next time, this mom will think before she speaks.

  19. relativelynormalmom
    November 7, 2013

    I love it! Jealousy is ugly! I once had someone tell me “Don’t let the haters get to you. They only hate because they couldn’t do what you do. Special needs moms shine like super stars in a sky full of normal moms!” You are a role model for the rest of us who are tired of not speaking up! 🙂

  20. Pinki Lii
    November 7, 2013

    You go, Mama Bear!!

  21. Mark Hykes
    November 8, 2013

    You go mom, We have 2 grandsons with special needs, our daughter always finds something 4 them 2 do on every holiday, so i say, You Go Girl

  22. Jen
    November 8, 2013

    now THAT is something I would have liked to seen on YouTube!!

  23. gretchen
    November 10, 2013

    Wow, I just saw this, this costume is awesome!!! I probably would of unleashed my sailor mouth on that witch. God forbid her typical child gets overshadowed by anyone! 😉

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