The battlefield of love

I came across this website post this morning.*

This kind of stuff doesn’t usually get under my skin, but today, Whammo! I have written my reply to the blogger, but as it awaits moderation it may never see daylight on that particular blog. Here, however, it will. But first I’ll quote the offending post in its entirety:

More babies being born with Down’s syndrome

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/children_shealth/3506668/More-babies-being-born-with-Downs-syndrome.html

This curious phenomenon suggests the following of British society:-

1. Increasing numbers of couples view the having children as similar to having pets. (We expect nothing of our pets except their ability to be obedient, grateful, forever dependent and never leave us. Pets, you see, have no use except to gratify the ego of the pet-owner and to stave off feelings of loneliness and uselessness that we all might have from time to time.)

2. These parents expect very little from their children, because they appear to have the luxury of being able to treat their children as pets.

3. The waste and purposelessness of such an unrewarding venture – that of bringing up a child who will never achieve full independence and who will always be a source of worry, particularly if they do not predecease their parents – is not being questioned enough by parents, because of the cushion of a welfare state.

4. More mothers are having children later and later.

5. The greater willingness of parents now prepared to bring up children with Down’s Syndrome is indicative of the unwisdom of indiscriminate compassion that now pervades British society. This may be due to the fact that we now live in a society that is morbidly over-feminised.

6. A society that unquestioningly encourages the unproductive at the expense of the productive in the name of compassion will find itself burdened with the unproductive and unable to compete with societies unburdened by such policies.

7. Insanity is but fundamental error compounded by persistent irrationality.

8. Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.

“It is like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre.”

pomeranian2

To all of which I replied thus:

The very second that I cannot hold my one year old son, who has Down syndrome, in my arms without pondering whether I am hindering society’s ability to ‘progress’ will be the same second that I get in touch with you to say you are right. In the meantime, I will allow my heart to swell with this illogical and irrational love and gratitude for all the things that he has revealed to me in his short while here on Earth.

I will not question where the burden lies heaviest: I and my family and friends will shoulder it.

I will not consider my son to be a pet. He will take his place as my third child and I will expect the usual range of difficult behaviour. The idea of abandoning him or dropping him off at the pound will not arise.

‘The waste and purposelessness’ of my son Jacob’s life – he is called Jacob – has heretofore not been revealed to me. What has been, quite graphically in the last twelve months, is that I myself will never achieve ‘full independence’ whatever that may mean, and I will always rely on some sort of welfare state just to avoid having to live in a cave and trap rabbits. Or did you have a narrower view of what independence actually is?

More mothers may be having children later, but the vast majority of babies with Down syndrome are conceived by young women under thirty. Find the statistics.

I cannot possibly say whether a ‘morbidly over-feminised’ society is a good thing or not. If it is you’ll probably have to get rid of all the women next. But I can vouchsafe for the fact that I myself am a man, think as one, act as one and regularly get into trouble as one. And I don’t exfoliate either.

As for your points 7 and 8, they don’t really seem to form part of your argument so much as give the appearance of a witty way to end a poorly constructed stack of nonsense.

If you are going to approach a subject of such emotive power as the right for people who have a chromosomal difference to exist, it is a noble idea to invest your strongly held opinion with first-hand experience. Go meet some downsies. Get to know them. And possibly when you’re at it meet a few blind people. They’ve been holding us back for ages too. The autistic ones are no better. And cancer sufferers are an insane drain on society as a whole. Idea: burn the hospitals altogether, and the clinics, and shut down any factories that make wheelchairs or crutches or other such resource-squandering gimmicks. Let the bastards with heart issues die off. The car-crash victims probably did it to themselves, so just pull the plug now and cut down on the greenhouse gas. Double win!!

And when they’re all conveniently out of the way we’ll sit down, you, me and Dr Mengele, and we’ll really have it all to ourselves. Because there won’t be anyone else left.

* Thanks to Miriam Kauk for posting this and bringing it to my attention.

Happy birthday to me. Hurrah etc.

So, a week ago I was a size zero. Then the goshest thing happened. I woke up and I was one! One what, you ask? Shaddap smartypants, I reply.


Anyway, here is a fabulous pictorial memory book of my greatest ever first birthday, last November 16th 2008. A day already legendary in my mind, let me tell you, and for no very good reasons. Read on, and prepare to have your innards churn…

junk-pressiesA whole year of me-ness. What could possibly be nicer for that bunch of yokels I live with, more life affirming and pleasant? That’s right dear readers, absolutely nothing. It is for you I write, because let’s us face it, they won’t get my pithy understatement. But they could have tried to get me some nice presents at least, no? Look at this tat. A boombox that lacks boom and could fit in my nappy undetected? A Thomas the Tank Engine camera THAT DOESN’T BLOODY WORK!? Where’s the iPod? The champers? The dancing girls? Bah!

cake

Well I suppose I should be happy that they stuck a candle on a cake that whatsername ‘baked’ for me. Digestive biscuits smothered in chocolate. Nice. Nice potential at least. If you happen to have teeth. I tried to give a few of the gathering vultures the evil eye but feh, they all love you when you have a big fat cake. There were ten people involved in this travesty of a party. I’ve got prizes* for anyone who can guess which one of the ten didn’t get a lick of his own birthday cake. Go on, have a go. Can’t win if you’re not in.

(* Prizes include fabulous mini-boombox complete with blue and also exciting branded camera with blue and black. In plastic only.)

Now I’m not bitter. Far from it. I take people as I find them. And when I find them proposing a train trip to a north Dublin seaside town on the SIXTEENTH of an arse-freezing NOVEMBER, then I name them as idiots.  Yes, a train trip. Won’t it be jolly! No it bloody won’t! It’ll be freezing my wotsits is what it’ll be. Get me in the gas-guzzling seven seater NOW you fools! I am a BABY! I cannot SURVIVE in these conditions. I DEMAND

Did they lend an ear? Gah. There is much I could teach you about the human condition, if you cared to listen. Not only did they ignore me, the beautiful birthday boy of needs most minimal and non-disruptive to their frankly puzzling lives, they also thought it would be fun to give ice cream to the brothers. Not me, of course. It was only my birthday after all. (You’re beginning to see the pattern here, I trust. Thank God you’re there because if it wasn’t for you nobody would hear me. Nobody at all.) (Also, there’ll be an address for donations for the rehousing thing somewhere at the bottom.)they-got-ic-cream

alien-babyAnd from there it went rapidly downhill. More freezing of rear in the pitch dark ‘playground’, all in the name of ‘fun’. Oh don’t mind me, I’ll just make like Monkey No 3 in this triangle of idiot. At least the upside of it is that not a single one of them noticed the arrival of Alien Baby in her trans-galactic Alien Baby Buggy there on the left. Oh God the pleasure I will have when she topples their pathetic world! And then we shall rule togeth- ahem, where was I? Sorry, I drifted there for a minute…

Oh yes, there was the mild compensation of this too:

hey-edge-er-dad-i-hafta-tell-ya

‘Hey Edge – er, I mean, you guy from the house I live at…’
double-chins
My double chin’s only puppy fat, dawg! What’s your excuse? Nyah hahahhahhahah!
aah
‘Heh.’

And don’t you lot dare pity him! He needs all the educational readjustment he can get! Jacob’s fadder* indeed. Want to see what he thought was the funniest thing all night? Go here. I’m not even going to do the dweeb the favour of posting it here. It isn’t funny or clever – and no sniggering there, you at the back. You know who you are!

* Thanks for that, Carl.

Christmas is coming…

magoo-scrooge…and I’m buggered if I’m devoting another single square centimeter of floorspace to cheap, plastic moulded toys that take up acres of room. Pesky kids. I need that space for my friend Sarah’s stuffed moose gift.

So here’s what we’re doing, and I hope it works.

We’ve started asking friends and family not to buy gifts of toys for Jacob this Christmas. Instead we’re going to be slightly less Christmassy and just say ‘GIVE US YOUR MONEY!’ Ok, not quite that chilly about it. But a SMALL donation in lieu of the usual €30/40/50 Fisher Price or VTech thingie, which we’ll then put towards more appropriate gifts.

It’s not that we don’t appreciate people’s intentions: we truly do, but we also appreciate how hard it is to get gifts for anybody, let alone someone whose needs are slightly different and not best met by off-the-shelf items from Argos or Smyths or Tommy’s World of Wonder. I’m not slamming Fisher Price or any other brands either. They can have good toys too. You can find good stuff in these stores, but you’ll have to look harder and think about it more, and anyway there’s better value to be had elsewhere. (And PLEASE don’t be fooled if the name of the shop happens to be the Early Learning Centre – they’re pretty much a toy store with lots of useless junk too, just with a clever name to make you think otherwise.)

The good news is that there are dedicated websites and stores that provide appropriate developmental toys and learning aids for kids ‘suffering’ with Down Syndrome (ha ha – thanks Cathal’s mam for pointing out the sufferance from the mainstream media on that particular phrase 🙂 )

Thinking Toys

Dee recently went to a Toy Show in St Michael’s House and was very impressed by what she saw from these guys. They’re called Thinking Toys and they’re based in Co. Clare, quite near Limerick. It’s run by a couple who are very much coming at this from a position of inside knowledge, and it’s worth doing a little bit of reading. It’s a huge shame that delivery is Ireland only, but I’d encourage you if you’re outside Ireland to get creative. If you want it you will get it. Within Ireland you can order from the website and – even better – they’re happy to come to you and do the show and tell thing.

We will also gladly demonstrate and display our products anywhere in Ireland to groups including therapists, teachers and support groups. All you have to Do is Ask and we will be there.

Isn’t that nice? It’s nice too if you want to include someone in the whole gift buying thing that you can do so and they have less chance to make a complete balls-up of it. Or you can just be Scrooges like us, tell everyone you’ll do it yourself, take the money and then spend it on Cartier watches, a yacht in Barbados and all the After Eight mints and Ferrero Rocher than one classy and well rounded couple with a reinforced sofa can possibly eat.

On a separate note, Cathal’s Mam also posted an excellent series of reports on a seminar held by Down Syndrome Dublin recently. Anybody who missed it or couldn’t make it anyway can still get some excellent advice thanks to Cathal’s ould wan’s note taking 🙂 It’s in two parts and you can access the first here, and the second one here. Well done Cathal’s mammy. It’s got great information on the superb work being done by Joan Murphy, the Clinical Nurse Specialist in Tallaght Hospital. Spread the links, anyone who can…

Yes we can!

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Ok, so you’ve got a black man…

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…and he’s moving into a white house

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…thanks to a lot of blue voters?

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Schweet.

My name is Jacobama and I endorse this message.

Note from Jacob’s campaign advisor

And well done to all you red voters out there who made your votes count too. Didn’t mean to exclude you all, and glad to see everyone making this whole voting lark work so well.