I have lived with Hart and Jeff a long time, and I grew up with my mother, so I am very tolerant of weird behavior. What I cannot tolerate is anyone who tries to convince me that aberrant behavior is not aberrant. To put it bluntly, don't piss on my head, then tell me it's raining.
I have gotten much less patient over the years. I have talked to many adults who deal with special needs kids and they all have horror stories about parents who forget to mention a few important tidbits about their children before sending them to summer camp, Boy Scouts, kindergarten. When the inevitable phone call comes, the parents either sheepishly confess that they thought Joey could try a summer without his medication, or become defensive and angry.
Frankly, I would love to try that. The constant due diligence I do on the boys' behalf is so tiresome. I used to case out any new place in advance taking Hart or Jeff there. I'd love to just put them on the bus like everyone else, wave goodbye, and hope for the best. But I know better. I am all for inclusion and diversity, but I practice full disclosure first.
So I have been ruminating about how to smooth things over with my mom and step-father after the imbroglio at their house. In the interest of full disclosure, I wish she had just said, “We have this freaky thing with our dishwasher. So just bear with me. If you want something to drink while you are here, bring your own glass or put your name on a Dixie cup.” What I resent is that earnest look to imply, “You use your dishwasher to clean dirty dishes after you use them. Now that’s really crazy!”