Jo is a mom to two boys; Superman, who is six, and a mitten and sweatband aficionado, and Mon-chichi, who is seven and has autism and epilepsy and a deep passion for big rigs and soup cans. She is married to Best Husband Ever, a Superhero in his own right who puts up with her panic attacks, OCD, and peanut butter addiction. In exchange, she cooks him dinner and lets him pick the radio stations during long car rides. A kindergarten teacher by day, Jo recently came out of the closet as a writer and is working on her first book, a memoir about raising a child with special needs.
Did I ever tell you about the time that I was an immigrant from Poland and spent the rest of my childhood trying really hard to fit in with my American peers, while my mother continued to undermine my efforts by packing soggy Polish sausage and tomato sandwiches on rye bread which would create an odor not unlike something you would use to evacuate a small country and I would beg her to please just make me some peanut butter and jelly on soft, fluffy, white wonder bread because after all, nutrition is so overrated so the next day she would add sprouts and horseradish to my food just to show me who’s boss and for some reason, no matter how hard I tried, no one ever wanted to trade their ding dongs for my homemade dill pickles (get your mind out of the gutter, geez) and while the other kids ran around the playground in their jelly shoes and velcro vans, I pranced around in Kmart sneakers that were too cheap to actually have a brand name and were held together by a dark yellow glue that had oozed along the seams and dried permanently and also my last name was Bartlomowicz, which was hard for anyone to pronounce so the kids took it upon themselves to rename me Joanna Barfsomemoreguts which for some reason made me feel like maybe I wasn’t very popular and on the off chance that I was able to land a playdate with some poor shmuck my mom would offer them tripe soup as an afternoon snack and by tripe I mean the stomach lining of a cow (in all fairness the soup actually rocks, but not when you’re nine and not Polish and allergic to anything that doesn’t come from a box and is made by Kraft) and have polka music playing in the background while trying to make small talk about the lush green landscape of her homeland in broken English and then my grandmother would come in and smile with her one gold tooth and offer to cure any ailment we may have been suffering from with a cheese cloth dipped in vinegar and honey and after my playdate was over I would lock myself in my room stuffing my face with alternating spoonfuls of neopolitan ice cream I had swirled together to create the ultimate blend of yumminess and cooked shrimp with cocktail sauce which brings me to my point.
I sure hope my diet isn’t affecting the quality of my posts.