Thursday, December 4, 2008

Me, too.

When one human tells another something, it is pretty common to say, "Me, too," in one form or another. It's just human nature, and most of the time, it can create a sense of connectedness ("I want a big piece of chocolate cake." "Me, too! Let's get one!") or is simply benign ("I like the nice weather." "Me, too.") Though I know people are just trying to be nice, to sympathize, and to relate to our experiences, the "me, too" response is often not the best one. Here are some forms of "me, too" we hear a lot:

- "My kid is a poor sleeper, too."
- "My kid can't talk yet, either."
- "My kid has a short attention span, too."
- "My kid had a tantrum the other day, too."
- "My kid needed ear tubes, too."
- "My kid needed an MRI, too."
- "My kid drools constantly, too."
- "My kid wasn't potty training at that age yet, either."
- "My kid walked late, too."
- "My kid also needs lots of help eating with utensils."
- "My kid also won't drink from a normal cup or straw."

Parents of kids with special needs may experience all of the above and more all on the same day, or even in the same hour, with a low expectation that things are going to get better soon. So in this situation, depending on my mood and how much sleep I've gotten, "Me, too" can sound hilarious, ridiculous, irritating, or out of touch. EDITED TO CLARIFY: This does not apply to all cases of "me, too," - just the ones where the purpose of the "me, too" seems to be to suggest that Quinn is not all that unusual...

If you are a parent of a kid with special needs, then by all means, "Me, too" is very appropriate and will most likely be appreciated. If you are a parent of a kid whose development is roughly on target most of the time, then some more helpful responses are "That sucks" or "Here's a big glass of red wine."


WritingAllNight said...

Oh yeah. The minferrnal and eternal 'Me, too'. I think the worst of all is "Oh, I understand."

Depending on my mood, they might get back a.."No, the heck you don't." My mother gives me the 'I understand' quite a bit. Just a few days ago I went off on told her there was no way she could ever understand, I was completely typical.

Unless she was saying something about ME. Hm...

And I have a bottle of SoCo in the cabinet waiting for someone to share it with. It's been there for a year, should be nice and mellow.

Vicki Davis said...

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Bjetsey said...

useful! I often want to say "that sucks," or "here, alcohol!" but I'm never sure if that is the right thing to say.

Mrs. Smith said...

I LOVE THIS POST! I want to cut it and paste it. My girlfriend had her baby on the same day as mine and she is constantly comparing her "normal" kids to mine in an effort to make me feel better. I hate it.

Sarah said...

I'm glad some folks found it helpful or felt that it rang true. I was worried it was a bit too grumpy.