My Ex-Boyfriend’s Kids

Whoever said the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach got things wrong: it’s through his children.9324397_s

I gave my heart to an amazing guy and he gave me his weekends with his kids. I climbed mountains to make an impression, taking untold abuse at the indoor playground in McDonald’s, bribing them with cookies and fading into an insignificant comma to make it all about them. My efforts didn’t do much to enhance my position on their popularity meter. Worse, I lived in constant trepidation of an insensitive observation about my Dystonia in a jarring reawakening of my childhood phobias. I wasn’t disappointed. While I can usually count on the politeness of adults, kids nose their way into my imperfections with a stream-of-consciousness bluntness: “You talk like your mouth’s full of marbles;” “I can’t understand anything you say…”

Packing years of therapy under my belt, I know these to be the ignorant squeals of piglets but my insistent inner child still longs for approval and dreads the punch packed by the uncensored honesty of youth. Want to know if that dress REALLY makes you look fat? Ask the kid next door!

16 responses to “My Ex-Boyfriend’s Kids


    Oy vey, sounds awful, did he do anything about it? Can’t read the whole thing on my bberry!!

    • Hey Mer, Oy vey is right! Nope, he didn’t stand up for me with his son. Looking back, that was more unfortunate for his son than for me. While I wasn’t thrilled with the references to my speech, I’ve fared worse. I don’t think his son truly realized the potential impact of his remarks, an important life lesson.

  2. Paula Schneider

    Kids can be brutal! Cute but tough. Good story Pam.

  3. I feel you. Some of those little angel are great at reminding you. You don’t walk etc, like everyone else.
    The skin is thick but sometimes it gets a little thin. Gotta keep going.

    ps; I am happy, that we have you, a talented writer, to inform and educate many of the uninformed.

  4. Thank you for the comment and the compliment. Certainly, anyone with a movement disorder needs that thick skin. I really don’t fault the kids, I fault their parents, who bear a responsibility for educating their children about the variety of human beings they will encounter in the world, not all perfect. Let’s face reality, our movements are a bit strange, but they don’t make us strange, that’s what kids need to understand. -Pamela-

    • Pam,
      It’s adults too. If they rudely stare and I’m up to it. I just stare them out.
      It’s really not worth the time, I just ignore them.
      Since I got divorced after 26 yrs., this proving a little more difficult.

      I try to maintain a positive attitude, but when they find that I can’t drive. Usually deal breaker, and I haven’t even mentioned the ST yet, lol.

      I do my best to maintain a positive and optimistic attitude.

      Thank you for all you do,
      @siralexman twitter

  5. Pepe, People tend to hold a curiosity for anything or anyone that’s different. I don’t even think they fully comprehend how their stares put the object of their attention on the spot. My problem has been that I long assumed the stares even when they may not have been there. Now I make every effort to look people in the eyes and I find that most are less concerned with my gait than I thought. Anyway, I can always rationalize that the men are watching my bum (lol)! Keep up that positive attitude, I’ll take a good man who can’t drive any day! -Pamela-

    • Thank you
      “take a good man, who can’t drive anyday”

      It’s not your imagination, men aren’t analyzing your gait.

      I’m sure they are checking out your “bum”
      As a Cuban-American, I can definitely tell you we are very big bum fans. 🙂


  6. Then I need to focus less on my walking and more on the shape of my bum (lol)!

  7. A nicely shaped bum, can definitely go a long way. 😉
    For example your bf has a couple of angels of his own. One states that his mommy doesn’t walk like you, you simply give him a smile, slap your bum and tell him “mommy would die for this a….”


  8. Yes kids can be so brutally honest without knowing it. I also enjoy watching their different little personalities. Some small children come right up to my son in his wheelchair and high five him without seeming to notice that he is any different while others keep their distance and just watch.

    • Dayna, Thank you for writing. Kids exhibit a variety of responses to human differences. Hopefully, they’re raised to understand imperfection is part of life. When I was growing up with Dystonia, there was a lot less information out there and no Internet or social media to share and educate. Sometimes, our best ally is a simple explanation. -Pamela-

  9. I am second of 3 generations of Dystonia that I know of!

    • Hello Sarah, Nice to meet you. I guess Dystonia can be considered a tradition in your family, hopefully stopping with the 3rd! My Dystonia is also a family affair but neither of the prior two generations manifested the condition. I’m the only grandchild on our side of the family to win the genetic lottery! I have a distant cousin with Dystonia but I haven’t seen him in years, wish we had kept in touch. Perhaps he’ll come across my blog one day and contact me. Would love to know more about you. You can write me on this site or privately at -Pamela-

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