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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know I have mentioned before about a "friend" who went into business doing an online boutique, and was going to have my handbags on it. Then turned around and had other ones instead of mine. Well, I've been painting a mural on the room that is going to be for the special needs kids. And since DH and I were "part" of the parent group, I offered to paint the mural for free provided the other parents helped paint it. I think I mentioned this before as well.

Anyway, the parent group meets at thier church. Most of the parents in the group attend this church. DH, DD and I attend a different church. And I've beginning to feel distant from the group since more and more its seems like its getting "clique" and honestly I feel like Im being taken advantage of since only one parent helped me paint one night. The mural is 22 feet long by 9 feet high. The church paid for the paint.

Anyway, this "friend" who I've had issues with over the handbags, etc. I'm beginning to feel does things just to impress people. Fine. But its getting on my nerves. We've been invited to her DD's 3rd birthday party and she told everyone how she's rented two bounces for the party. Her son's birthday party was held at a Jump Zone and she kept saying how much that was costing her.
I told DH this morning I didn't feel like going, since half the time we just end up sitting there and the other moms seem to overtake the conversation half the time. And more so, because DD being in a wheelchair can't bounce on the inflatables anyway. So I mentioned to him, that why does she invite us to a party and have things for the kids knowing our DD can't participate?? When we had DD's birthday party we made sure that ALL the kids would be able to particapate, so we had a pool party. I take DD into the pool myself.

I just needed to vent...............and maybe I am just being too sensitive.
 

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Don't feel too bad, just remember that some people haven't a clue that they're being stinkers and even more don't take the limitations or abilities of their guests into consideration.
I am not saying this woman is wrong in having the kind of party she wants for her child;as long as she can afford it, if she wants bouncers for her kids so be it-not my idea of fun but I'm old. :p
I do think she might have at least put a not in the invitation acknowledging the fact that she realizes your DD may not be able to play on the equiptment but she'd like your family to come for the conversation and cake.

Cliques are not good but for some reason it seems to be part of human nature-an unattractive part. :nono:

Rise above it, hold your head high and considering they sound like snooty folks you probably don't want to let any of them know that their exclusionary actions are getting you upset-for some people the pay off is knowing they've hurt someones feelings. :grump: Just start finding some new friends with whom you have more in common & let them become your new social circle. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's the other thing, the conversation half the time is usually revolved around a few people and it seems like the discussions are always the same.

But your right KY, I should rise above it. We have friends from our church, when they had thier kids birthday party, always made sure that our DD could do things and be involved with the other kids. Even DD's girl scout troop said they won't do an activity if DD can't do it. Which I thought was very nice of them to do!
 

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FiddleKat said:
Even DD's girl scout troop said they won't do an activity if DD can't do it. Which I thought was very nice of them to do!
FiddleKat,
I am sorry to hear about the social difficulties you are experiencing. My advice would be to just cut ties with the hand bag lady. From what you have said your relationship with this woman is unsatisfying on several fronts. What, if anything, are you getting out of it? Do you even like this person?

I would like to comment on the remark you made about your daughter's Girl Scout Troop never embarking on an activity that would exclude your daughter. I agree this is so nice of them to offer this but you should really ask yourself, is this the best and most realistic solution for all the girls involved, or is it the just best solution for your daughter?

I have three children; a son, who is developmentally disabled and two daughters who have no disabilities. My son was an only child for 11 years and so I do understand the isolation that one can feel with having a disabled child , especially when one is trying to mainstream their child into social situations with regularly-abled children.

When my son was involved in groups such as Boys Scouts, I never expected the whole program to be catered to his level of involvement. I had to be honest with myself and my son that there would be certain activities that he probably would not be able to participate in due to his limitations.

My own daughters have participated in Girls Scouts and both have had fellow troop members with disabilities. My feeling is that this experience did much in the way of exposing the girls in the troop to ideas such as inclusion and tolerance. Everybody in troop benefited from being a part of a group with varying degrees of ability.

I would have had a problem though had all of the troop activities been set to the lowest common denominator of abilities. How fair is this approach to all of the members of the troop? One of the purposes of Scouting is to help girls grow and reach their fullest potential. In my daughter's troops, this included activities such as rock climbing and canoing and, as insensitive as this may sound, sometimes not everyone was able to participate in these activities with the group. In my experience the parents of the more challenged members of the troop in no way wanted to hold back the troop as a whole based on their own child's limitations.

From what you have posted, I believe your daughter is fairly young ( 6-9 ) and may still be more in the "gluing macaroni onto margarine tubs" of scouting. But as the girls get older the tone of Scouting can change. It might be wise ( and generous! ) of you to consider the troop as a whole.

Good Luck with it all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I understand what your saying huntergather. But it was the troop leaders idea, not mine. And they did go camping, and we were perfectly fine, but we didn't go because of the fact of DD needing medication. So I certainly don't feel hurt if they do some activities that DD can't participate in. I just thought it was nice that the troop leaders didn't want my DD to be treated differently and left out. Most often the girls usually ask the leaders if DD can parcipate before they agree on stuff. Which is another thing, these girls have already learned exceptance and wholeheartedly welcome her in.
 

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FiddleKat said:
And I've beginning to feel distant from the group since more and more its seems like its getting "clique" and honestly I feel like Im being taken advantage of since only one parent helped me paint one night. The mural is 22 feet long by 9 feet high. The church paid for the paint.

Anyway, this "friend" who I've had issues with over the handbags, etc. I'm beginning to feel does things just to impress people. Fine. But its getting on my nerves.
First off, you have to very different issues here. Yes, you are being taken advantage of, but you are letting it happen to yourself. Don't paint one more stroke until you meet with the church folks, or whomever, and say it will not be done until you have some concrete help. Stop being a doormat. Keep in mind, those kind of groups, even Church groups, get very cliquey...(sp?)

Second issue, I remember the past threads about this friend. Why do you continue to let her into your life? SHe obviously doesn't respect anyone. Are your children friends? Tell her you won't be able to bring DD because, as everyone knows, folks in wheelchairs can't participate and DD would be crushed...etc. something to that effect.

But, still, this is old news. Decide what is best for you ad DD in your heart and make a plan and stick to it. Complaining about it again, without doing anything about it won't get you anywhere. Don't let her negativity suck the life out of you anymore.

Pat
 

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I agree with Pat...two entirely different issues, maybe 3.

I am not familiar with the handbag saga, so I have no idea why she changed her mind about having yours. There may be a perfectly sound business reason there and it might have nothing to do with your friendship.

As for the mural, if it really bothers you to paint alone, tell them you are going to have to stop if you don't get some help. Personally, I have no artistic talent whatsoever, and would not help paint a mural. If you just want other parents to participate, why not say something like, "if you don't want to help paint, you can bring refreshments, clean brushes or just hang out and visit."

As for the party, I don't think the mother did anything wrong. If your DD were diabetic, would you expect them not to offer cake? The day is not about your DD and her capabilities - it's about the birthday child, and maybe that kid really wanted the jumpers. I have a son who is fanatical about horses - I have thought about renting him a horse on his birthday. The day is about making the child feel happy and special. Did you ask if there would be other activities? There might be something else there your DD could enjoy. Comparing your DD's party activity to theirs won't work simply because it is the same thing. You chose an activity your daughter could participate in and enjoy on her birthday, just like they did for their child.

I can see how it might be hurtful for your DD to not be able to enjoy the jumpers, but it is a sad fact of her life that there are going to be many, many times that she can't join the crowd. One of the people I admire most in life is a man who had a car fall on him when he was a teen. He is paralyzed from the waist down and can not do many of the things he always enjoyed. When we go camping or hunting as a group, he is right there. he can't hike, or stalk Deer, or alot of other things, but he is a great campfire cook, ties amazing flies, and he enjoyed teaching my son how to shoot a bow and arrow, and rejoiced just as much as my son did when he got his first wild turkey. He has learned that his limitations keep him from doing some things, but bitterness will keep him from enjoying anything.

If it were me, I would ask DD if she wants to go. If she does, I would try to help her foster the attitude of our friend.
 

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I've got a variety of opinions here. If you persevere, you can read them all! :rolleyes:

First, I think the handbag lady is just a waste of your time. As someone once asked me when I had a relationship issue...What are you getting out of this relationship? If your purpose in this relationship is to feed her ego, then you can find something better to do with your time!

Second, I think some things are simply a matter of perspective. The bouncers and the pool party, for example. I know only that your daughter is in a wheelchair, not what her limitations are. I assume this person does know them, however, and the bouncers will exclude your daughter. Does she have other activities planned that do include your daughter? Or is that the only thing? I don't see why she shouldn't have the bouncers if there are also other activities to suit all levels. Now here's the perspective part...you mention your pool party as something all can take part in. But that's not necessarily the case. There are children who can't swim, who are afraid of the water, who have health issues due to the chemical exposure in a pool, etc. So, at a pool party for children, I would expect there to be other activities so that those who can't do the pool (for whatever reason) have something else to occupy themselves. Anytime you've got a bunch of kids, one single activity just isn't going to cut it for all of them, no matter how much fun some folks think that particular activity is. The bouncer party is liable to have a bunch of kids with motion sickness, and nothing else for them to do!

Third, the painting thing. I missed how often you're supposed to meet, and how many people are supposed to help you. You just said that once, only one person showed up. I assume that means that usually, there are more people helping. So call a meeting. Tell them nicely that you've realized the need for scheduled help, since 'drop-in' type just isn't working, and you sinply don't have time to do it all yourself. Make them set up a schedule of who is to help when. Offer to do the 'reminder' calls...but if they don't come and paint, neither do you!

Just my assorted opinions,
Meg
 

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The only part of your post I feel comfortable addressing is the part of the party. A lot of times people unintentionally leave out the disabled. In situations like this I usually tell people that my ds would love to come to their party, but I don't think he would be able to do the planned activity. This may help them to realize that not everyone can enjoy the same things and just maybe they will have a few other activities planned so all of the children can enjoy themselves.

I'm a children's pastor, plus a den mother for my ds's cub scout den. My ds is learning disabled, so we try to find activities that will challenge the boys, but also have some that are just for fun that everyone can participate in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks all for the input!!

To answer some questions.....

She only has bouncers. Just like at her son's bd party, it was only at Jump Zone. Both times it was a very limited activity. This woman has known us for a year and a half and knows fully what my DD can do and cannot do.
When we had DD's party, we choose the pool because all the other parents said thier kids loved going into the pool. In fact, it went over well since they all said thier kids loved the pool. If anyone of them, couldn't go in, I would have definitly planned other activities so that each child would have been able to participate in something. We also have a swingset, and a large yard for kids to play in.
Now, if this mother had a swingset I could have brought DD's special seat and hooked it up and given her something to do at the party. But she doesn't. But she does have a tree house. Again, DD can't go into the treehouse.

To answer the second question about the mural, right now I've been going and painting during our parent group meeting. Otherwise I have to plan another night. All of them come up with excuses as to why they can't paint. Family time. Special Needs Child. Work. Well, I have the same issues. I don't think its right that I give up family time either to paint. I also have a special needs child, plus my own little home based business that I am trying to build. I have to say only one couple actually helped paint during a meeting and sincerely feels guilty about me not getting the help.

And yes Pat, your right I should severe the ties with this woman. She's obviously getting on my nerves!
We decided to stay home rather than go. DD seems content watching her dvd's at the moment, and its too hot to go outside!
 

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Fiddlecat, I think you're right on track except in one area - the scout troup. As a former Scout leader (actually Girl Guides - the Canadian equivalent) I don't think the entire troup should be doing only things that your daughter is capable of. I do, however, think that whenever there is an activity come up that your daughter can't participate in in the usual fashion, that the girls be asked to come up with ways that your daughter can be involved.

(Reading back through past posts, I see that I'm expanding on a point first made by Hunter Gatherer - obviously I think it's a good point, and worth reinforcing.) Take rock climbing for example (not that I've ever gone rock climbing...). But, when the other girls are doing this, your daughter could be involved at the First Aid station, or marking records, or any other important task that needs to be done depending on the situation. Make sure that the girls discuss the situation, and that they come up with the possibilities for your daughter. See what I'm saying? It makes the other girls appreciate the facts of life on many levels. They need to appreciate the fact that they are not in wheelchairs. They need to appreciate that they must take all necessary precautions when they are rock climbing so they don't end up in a wheelchair. They need to recognize the fact that just because your daughter is in a wheelchair and can't rock climb, it doesn't mean that she is not a valuable part of society.

That's where the mother of the birthday girl slipped up. Doing the bouncy thing is not the error, not having something for your daughter to do is the problem. Simple consideration and respect for a fellow human being.

The mural is the one that really irks me. Keep your integrity and finish the mural. Calculate your hours just for your own satisfaction. However, when it's finished make sure that gracefully excuse yourself when other volunteer opportunities present themselves. You have contributed far more than your share. If anyone points out your lack of continued volunteerism - call them on it. politely state the number of hours that you put in on the mural, and tell them that you figure you're good until 2011!!
 

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I'm glad your DD is not upset by this. That would be my main concern, is her feeling either left out, wanting to go but knowing she can't participate, or feeling caught in the middle.

I think that Bernadette has the most reasonable answer of anyone. Sounds like good advice. Especially about the mural. I would have a great appreciation and respect for someone to fishing up a huge job like that.

Pat
 

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I'm not sure if DW planned on mentioning this yet, but when she finishes the mural she is going to paint a sign for the old country Church in it. And call it something like "Walton's Mountain Baptist Church". Nice touch, considering the mural's in a Methodist Church. :rolleyes:

Whenever someone new comes to one of the meetings, we introduce ourselves as the group's token Baptists. :p
 

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A bit more input on the mural situation:

Could it be that the other parents are intimidated at the idea of painting a mural? It could be that many of them have no confidence in their artistic abilities and are assuming that parents with a more artistic bent will step up to the plate.

Even as an artist, I have a hard time with the idea of assisting someone on a project of their own creation. I would feel that my work may not live up to the artist's expectation and standard. Do you see where I am going with this?

Just a thought....
 

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FiddleKat said:
Anyway, this "friend" who I've had issues with over the handbags, etc. I'm beginning to feel does things just to impress people. Fine. But its getting on my nerves. We've been invited to her DD's 3rd birthday party
Maybe she invited your DD just to be polite, since she is a "friend".

/VM
 

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Hey Fiddle..

I'd ease this woman out of your life. It sounds as if you've become her foil.. for some odd reason it makes this woman feel good about herself to have you in her life to "compare and contrast." Maybe it makes her feel more successful. Maybe you're her token "charity case." Whatever.. that's her issue and it need not be yours. Start making polite excuses and being busy whenever she calls and ease her out of your life.

As for the mural, for me it would be, as others have suggested, a self-respect issue: I'd finish the thing, but I wouldn't be very happy about it! That said, have you created a timeline that isn't realistic just to get it off your back? In other words, is there something in writing, or a drop dead date, that says it can't be completed in 2010? Because if not, don't worry about it. Treat it as a hobby and peck at it when you can.

I should tell you that another artist I know got into a similar situation. Her solution was to complete half the painting and outline the rest (sort of as a "paint by numbers" look). It is actually quite striking... the painting is all color and then tails off into this "paint by numbers" look. If you didn't know the history, you'd think it was done on purpose, like an unfinished child's coloring book (it is for a kid's center).

The artist's feeling was that if anyone wanted to complete the work, all they had to do was "color within the lines." The outline was there to work with. If nobody wanted to complete it, it stood as a completed piece as it was. And it stands as a completed piece to this day... by now only those in the know have any idea that the work is "unfinished." In fact, by this time I think anyone trying to finish it by coloring in the outlines would be chastised for "defacing a work of art!"

"Finished" is in the eye of the beholder!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Bernadette said:
Fiddlecat, I think you're right on track except in one area - the scout troup. As a former Scout leader (actually Girl Guides - the Canadian equivalent) I don't think the entire troup should be doing only things that your daughter is capable of. I do, however, think that whenever there is an activity come up that your daughter can't participate in in the usual fashion, that the girls be asked to come up with ways that your daughter can be involved.

(Reading back through past posts, I see that I'm expanding on a point first made by Hunter Gatherer - obviously I think it's a good point, and worth reinforcing.) Take rock climbing for example (not that I've ever gone rock climbing...). But, when the other girls are doing this, your daughter could be involved at the First Aid station, or marking records, or any other important task that needs to be done depending on the situation. Make sure that the girls discuss the situation, and that they come up with the possibilities for your daughter. See what I'm saying? It makes the other girls appreciate the facts of life on many levels. They need to appreciate the fact that they are not in wheelchairs. They need to appreciate that they must take all necessary precautions when they are rock climbing so they don't end up in a wheelchair. They need to recognize the fact that just because your daughter is in a wheelchair and can't rock climb, it doesn't mean that she is not a valuable part of society.

That's where the mother of the birthday girl slipped up. Doing the bouncy thing is not the error, not having something for your daughter to do is the problem. Simple consideration and respect for a fellow human being.

The mural is the one that really irks me. Keep your integrity and finish the mural. Calculate your hours just for your own satisfaction. However, when it's finished make sure that gracefully excuse yourself when other volunteer opportunities present themselves. You have contributed far more than your share. If anyone points out your lack of continued volunteerism - call them on it. politely state the number of hours that you put in on the mural, and tell them that you figure you're good until 2011!!
Let me clarify again, as far as the GS Troop goes, it was the leaders not mine to do activities that DD can always parcipate in. I have no problem with them doing something like IE: rock climbing, that DD can't do. But the other girls INSIST on wanting DD being able to do things with them. She missed the last meeting since she had a busy week and was wiped out. And the leader called me afterwards to tell me how much the girls missed DD. I am grateful for a great bunch of kids, who want nothing more than to include DD into thier activities. Next saturday they are going to the Zoo in fact. DD's job at each and every meeting is to hold the flag, and she does things all the other girls do.

And I agree, the mom of the birthday girl slipped up. I have no problem with the bouncy house, but it would have been nice if she included DD into at least one activity. But she only had one activity, and she does this quite frequently.This mom invites everyone to every function she has, and quite often comes up with excuses to have get togethers over at her house. Where she will point out from time to time how much she paid for this or paid for that. For me, I am not impressed by what she has anyway because its a person's character that I look at. And right now, she ain't saying much about herself.

I do plan on finishing the mural. Afterall, its not the church's fault that there are parents who lack some work ethics. The original deal was for me to sketch it out. At first I did two sketches until I discovered how big the mural was going to be, 9 feet high by 22 feet long and I combined both sketches into one. And I said I needed parents to help paint base colors. Like base colors for tree tops, trees, sky, pond, three levels of grass and two mountain ranges. Because of the size of the mural, base colors needed to be applied, which is a very simple simple task and does not take much or any at all artistic ability. Once base colors were done, I could go in and do detailed stuff, like go back over a tree trunk with several colors to shade and give it that lifelike look.
I'll have to post some pics of it!
 

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About mural - it's a volunteer work force. Great lesson in not taking on a job that may require too much of your time and effort to complete, when you hoped for more volunteer labor then has come though for you.

The birthday party - for a 3 year old. It's a party for a three year old, and his friends ... be honest with your daughter. Ask her if she would still like to attend, does she think it would be fun to be around children, have some cake or whatever refreshments are offered, and would it upset her to watch the other children having fun on the bouncing games. If she says yes she thinks she would enjoy the outing - take her, but let her know when she is ready to go home you will take her home. Then go, enjoy the time with your daughter.

Marlene
 

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Life is far too interesting and brief to voluntarily hang out with boring people. Unless you're really fascinated by how much she spends, you might find it more fulfilling to do other things, instead. Like watch paint dry.

Speaking of paint, life is also too short to spend it doing things for people who don't appreciate it.

And they apparently don't. Your deal was you'd paint the mural for free, provided they supplied the paint and helped. They're reneged on their part of the deal, as you're not getting any help. If they want you to paint it alone, they can make it worth your while by paying you. If they don't want to pay you, they can sacrifice some of their own time and help as they agreed to do.

Your time/life is as important as theirs. Tell them about it.
 
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