Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Did someone mention adoption?

I don't like know-it-alls. Well, let me clarify that. I don't like certain kinds of know-it-alls. I don't mind people that really do know it all and have interesting things to say. I don't mind know-it-alls like myself who sit back and quietly think "I know more about this than anyone here but I also know enough to know that not everyone wants to hear every single thing that pops into my head". The know-it-alls I can't stand are the ones who think they know it all and when they sense that they're around someone who knows less than them it makes them feel all puffed up and important. I've found though that if you give this type of know-it-all enough rope they will almost always hang themselves.

One of the dads in the parent/child class Elle and I go to is one of these obnoxious know-it-all types. He seems to consider himself the expert on all things relating to adoption. His daughter is adopted and that seems to be all he wants to talk about. I heard him bring it up 7 times in the first hour of class. And no, I am not exaggerating at all. It makes me a little uncomfortable. Don't get me wrong. I think adoption is wonderful and it's ok to talk about it. But when it becomes more about the adoption and less about the child, it makes me very uneasy. A lot of people that we have known for a while don't even know that Joseph is adopted. It's not because we hide it but because we don't relate everything about him back to the fact that he's adopted.

This guy though...... I don't know. I feel like he's showing off. He seems more interested in filling everyone in on all the aspects of raising an adopted child than he is actually raising his child. Today his daughter had a poopy diaper for nearly an hour and he never even noticed. He was too busy blathering to anyone who would listen (or rather, anyone who found themselves unable to escape). Finally another mother and I clued him in to the fact that his kid needed to be changed by making a big show of checking our own kids diapers right in front of him and saying lots of things like "Uh-oh! I think someone is poopy!"

During parent discussion time we were talking about mealtime difficulties. Mr Adoption decided to fill the group in on how feeding an adopted child is different than feeding any other child. He said "One thing that anyone involved with adoption will tell you is to always eat with your children. Every expert we talked to has said that it doesn't matter if you adopt your child when they're 10 days or 10 years old. You never let them eat alone. Eating together is a good way bond so if you have an adopted child you always eat with them, even at snack times. That's just how it is with an adopted child."

I tried to disguise the look of disgust on my face and I turned to him and said "I've never heard that. I have a son who's adopted and I've never once heard or read that we should eat with him every time he eats. I think we're pretty bonded even though he sometimes eats snacks on his own."

Adoption guy backpedaled like crazy and claimed that's just what his family did and not every child needed that even though just 30 seconds ago he had claimed that exactly. I don't think he thought there were any other parents there with adopted children. (And why would he? I hadn't mentioned it 50 times at that point.) He probably thought it was safe to play the all knowing adoption expert because no one would be able to refute what he was saying. I also think I probably came across a little rude but I was just grossed out by listening to this guy and his weird adoption fixation.

After the class one of the other mothers and I were talking and she said she was glad I said something. It seems that she and a couple of other people in the class are sick of this guy too. We agreed that if one of us noticed the other getting cornered by the guy we would try and help each other out. It's nice to have someone like-minded in the class with me. It's nice to know that not everyone thinks this guy is the bees knees. Just knowing that I'm not alone in my dislike of him makes him a little easier to bear.

But he's still a dope.

Edited to add: Just to be clear, if this guy really thinks that siting with his daughter every time a bite of food goes into her mouth will help them be more bonded than more power to him. I think it's kind of a goofy theory but it doesn't bother me at all that that is what he believes. What bothered me was the way he said it. "Everyone who knows anything knows that this is the way it is and if you don't eat with your child every time they eat then they will grow up to hate you and adoption adoption adoption adoption and my daughter is adopted!"


StickyKeys Says: said...

You should tell him the baby you're carrying is for a gay couple. And then relate everything in the next three hours to that.

"Oh this baby kicks a lot, but I hear that's normal for women who are carrying babies for gay couples."

"The baby seems to be really gassy, I think that's because I'm carrying it for a gay couple. Is your adopted baby gassy?"

I don't know, it would just be humours for me to think about, heh.

Ferdinand the Duck said...

Teehee, I love Sticky`s idea.

nell said...

First, I also love Sticky's idea.

And second, man, this guy is obnoxious! Just wait until his adopted kid is old enough to be embarrassed by him, he'll be rationalizing in all kinds of new ways: "It's normal for an adopted kid to be totally embarrassed by her dad, it's not me, it's her." Boy, won't that be fun for his adopted bundle of joy.

Beany said...

And you could say, I'm really hungry for a yummy melted cheese and ketchup sandwiches, but I hear that's normal if you're carrying a baby for a gay couple.
And does that mean you don't have to eat with a child you gave birth to? Is this guy sucking helium (or something else?) before classes or what?

Judy said...

I agree with stickykeys and should just dominate the conversation with your surrogacy (but first clue all the other parents into what you are doing!) He sounds like a real jerk. He is probably uncomfortable being an adopted parent, what a shame, he is missing alot...and Nell is right, the time will come when his daughter will be embarrassed by him. Oh the joys.... I wonder how he will feel about that!! Judy

CamiKaos said...

I always wonder why someone who has that impulse to know everything and be "the expert" feels that way. That and I want to slap them.