Thursday, September 15, 2016

Puberty, I'm So Not Ready for You!



Okay, Dominic is still my "baby," isn't he?!?!?! He likes to sit on my lap and snuggle. Hmm, considering that he is almost as tall as me and will be 13 next July, that probably won't be for too much longer. I have a little bit of experience with puberty with a boy since I've known my stepson since he was six, but our relationship is like that of a really good friend, it's always been that way. If he had any questions about anything private, he didn't ask me.  Lauren's transition in and out of puberty I could understand, since we are both women. Dominic, so far, is totally unlike anything I've ever experienced before. With the Autism, developmentally, he is behind those of his "typically-developing," peers, but I can tell you from the physical and emotional standpoint, he is right on "track." Shortly after he turned 11 last year, Lauren was telling me that she could "smell" Dominic. That's not a good thing. I can still remember the smell of  "body odor," from the boys when I was in junior high. Ugh. I went to the Kroger right away and picked up some Old Spice deodorant. It took a handful of times for me to show him what to do, but he can do it pretty well by himself now.  It took many, many years to get Dominic potty-trained and at home we have had to teach him to close the bathroom door for "privacy," when he needs to do his toileting. So far, so good on the acne front. He gets a few pimples here and there, but I have explained to him what they are and seems pretty nonplussed about it. In the past month, hair has started to crop up in places there hasn't been previously. I won't go into details, but you get the "picture." I keep telling the hubby that he needs to have a talk about the "birds and the bees," with our son, but with a special needs child, it isn't quite as easy as sitting them down and telling them. They did have some talks about puberty in school and he received some handouts, but I don't think he fully understood. He definitely knows that someone touching him in a certain way or a certain place is not appropriate, thank goodness. I still take Dominic into the ladies restroom with me when we are out in public and he is always in the stall next to me. I don't foresee that changing ever, unless he is with the hubby or another male family member/friend. He is way too trusting and outgoing to go "solo," into the men's restroom. The emotional component of puberty has been "challenging." Yesterday morning, he got mad at me about something shortly before he went to school and he took the palm of his hand and hit the basement door. I was like, "I don't think so." I reserve a certain "tone," of my voice to use for when I have to reprimand him and I used it yesterday. He knew I was not happy. In the past, I've had to send him to his bedroom to let him "cool," down. Dominic is not a big fan of that, so I try to save it for when he really deserves it. He's slammed the door in my face more times than I care to remember. Lauren has said, "even I didn't do that!" Just like I wish there was a "manual," for raising a child with Autism, this is a time when I wish I had a "manual," for boys with Autism going through puberty. I'm so not ready for all of this, but I guess I better be!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Body "Shaming"

Back in July, I heard about a young, "semi-famous," young lady, Dani Mathers (she was Playboy Playmate of the Year), putting a picture that she "claimed," was meant for a friend on Snapchat showing an older gal undressing in a women's locker room. The picture showed her stifling a laugh with the quote, "If I can’t unsee this then you can’t either.” Wow. Okay, I have lots to say about this, so hang on tight for this soapbox "rant."  First of all, when you are in a women's locker room, it's PRIVATE. You don't sit there taking pictures of someone else, especially while they are undressing. The woman who got her picture taken could press criminal charges. I really hope that she does! Second, the older gal was in her 70's. I applaud her for going to the gym. Did Ms. Mathers know anything about the woman? is she married? have children? have grandchildren? That picture is out in the Internet forever. Did Ms. Mathers think about that before she took the picture with the unflattering caption? No, I'm sure she didn't. Taking the picture and posting it is bullying. When I was in high school, I was bullied by some of my peers. They thought it was the funniest thing in the world to make me cry. Even now, 35 years later, I still think of those women with disdain. The way they made me feel is something you never forget. Bullying is so much worse now with social media. Third, I don't buy the whole, "I'm new to Snapchat," apology. Ms. Mathers tried to apologize,

“I just want to acknowledge a photo that I accidentally posted,” It was absolutely wrong and not what I meant to do. I chose to do what I do for a living because I love the female body and I know body shaming is wrong, that’s not what I’m about and this is not the type of person I am. The photo was taken as part of a personal conversation with a girlfriend and because I am new to Snapchat I really didn’t realize I had posted it, and that was a huge mistake. I know I have upset a lot of people out there but please, please believe me this when I say this: This is not the type of person that I am. I have never done this before and I will never do this again, you have my word.”

Why would you send a picture of an older gal undressing to your "friend," in the first place? If Ms. Mathers thinks she has a beautiful body and it makes her feel good to mock someone else then I think it shows exactly the "type," of person she is. Finally, who is Ms. Mathers to judge anyone? She knew what she was doing wasn't right and she still did it anyways. I think she needs to be punished to the full extent of the law, which could be $1 million and time in jail. Unfortunately, no amount of money or jail time will help the embarrassment I'm sure the older gal felt when she found out. I'm sure she had no clue that Ms. Mathers was watching her, much less taking a picture of her. Okay, thanks for listening, I'm done now!