You know that squeaking sound that windshield wipers make when there's not much rain? Can't stand it.
And how about stepping in water with socks on? Ugh.
Or taking the lid off the butter tub and seeing crumbs all mixed in. Yuck.
But you want to know something that really, really sets me off?
When people use the r-word in a totally derogatory way.
You know which word I'm talking about.
Even before I became the mother of a special needs child, I never used the r-word.
And when I had my two older daughters, I never allowed them to say it, either.
Of course, since our precious Lily Bird came along, I am especially sensitive to it now.
The word "retarded" has become such an accepted part of everyday language. Click here to see just how many times it shows up on the world wide web.
I completely understand that most people who choose to use the word "retard" or "retarded" are not directing it towards someone with an intellectual disability.
But even so, the word is a constant and cruel reminder to those with special needs (as well as their family members) that they are considered stupid, idiotic, and just not worth much in our society.
A person with intellectual disabilities already feels different from everyone else. Using the r-word isolates them even more.
The sad fact is that many people in this world look down on those with intellectual disabilities and using the r-word in our speech is proof of that.
And there's simply nothing at all funny about that.
Together, let's make a change. Let's start a movement of the heart.
Let's all remove the words "retard" and "retarded" from our speech.
And let's replace it with a better r-word: respect.