Tag Archives: parenting

I gave my kids a terrible present

13 Dec

Why do I always miss an opportunity to play mind tricks on my kids only to exploit their emotions on the world wide web?!?!  In the latest episode of Jimmy Kimmel’s ‘piss your kids off so we can laugh at your shitty parenting skills’, parents were told to give their kids an early Christmas present, but it had to be a terrible gift.  I got a few chuckles, but the last little boy was clearly perturbed….well here you just watch:

Is Kwanzaa Still Relevant?

29 Dec

Growing up we didn’t celebrate Kwanzaa and I didn’t know too many families that did.  Every once in a while my aunt would pull out her kinara and would decorate her shelf with plastic props to symbolize the harvest.  Of course I learned the diluted version of the meaning in school, but the true principles were never really taught to me from someone who was knowledgeable about the history or its practices.  I remember asking my mother to celebrate it because I wanted to get more gifts in the days following Christmas.  Kwanzaa was like a trivial made-up holiday.  I remember in the fifth grade, during our Kwanzaa “teaching” one of my black classmates yelled out “My mama said real Africans don’t even celebrate Kwanzaa, African Americans made it up to try to be like them”.  And trying to be like someone else was definitely something I was not.

Though the sentiment stuck with me for many years to follow, this year was a tad different.  I researched the meanings and teachings myself and I wanted to give my daughter an accurate view of what Kwanzaa was really intended to mean.  I don’t even think my 6 year-old’s school even acknowledged Kwanzaa within their Christmas and Hanukkah teachings.  In my attempt to expose my daughter to the principles I didn’t want to overwhelm her.  I’m sure she would have gave me the extreme side eye if I came out draped in kenti clothe and I’m sure my twins would have used the kinara to either gouge out an eye or burn down the house with the lit candles.  I wanted to keep it simple but still teach her about our culture and heritage.

Kwanzaa was developed by professor and activist Dr. Maulana Karenga, during the black nationalist movement in the 1960s.  This was a time when blacks began to stand up and advocate for their rights as Americans.  Kwanzaa commemorates it’s seven principles from December 26-January 1, they are: Umoja (Unity), Kuji-chagulia (Self-determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith).

After giving my daughter a crash course on the seven principles I took her to a Kwanzaa storytelling event performed by the Grios at our local Maya Angelou Public Library.  There was standing room only at the event.  There were old folks and young ones and the Grios entertained them all.  Sharing creative stories, songs and poems that related to the seven principles.  This exposure led my daughter to ask questions once we left.  She was curious about the stories that were told, the wardrobe that was worn and music that was played.  It was the perfect teaching tool.  So as I remind her each day about the principles she can apply in her everyday life, what’s most important that she takes away is the desire to want to learn, the pride for her cultural heritage and the commitment to her community.

First published on http://www.notoriousshe.com/

This Goes Out to the Baby Daddy’s

9 Sep

Someone close to me has a baby’s mama who abides by the trifling baby mama handbook.  You know the rules:

1) Get him for child support

2) Don’t allow him to see the child (despite a court order)

3) Use the child to control  him to do the things that benefit you

This trifling baby mama club is a true sorority and these chicks will have you shocked at their crazy antics.  Here’s the background: they were young and dumb and in lust and not knowing it wasn’t love.  At current they aren’t together and their relationship is a tumultuous one, but he tries to man up to his responsibilities while she tries to thwart any attempts he makes to be a constant figure in his child’s life.  “What kind of woman would do such a thing?” you ask…we all know the importance of a father being in a child’s life–especially a black child.  Not to mention the child is selfishly stripped from experiencing an entire side of her family.  You see, I empathize with the child because my father was missing in action (his choice) but my mother made sure I spent time with my paternal grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins.  Even though he wasn’t there, some of my fondest and most memorable experiences were with them.  To this day I still have a loving and close relationship with my father’s mother.

You would think, only someone of unsound mind would put her child’s necessities last.   Baby mama syndrome runs deep in this chicks blood and you could easily blame it on ignorance and nature.  But she too grew up without a father.  She personally knows and pain that comes with having an absentee father…so why would she resort to perpetuating the vicious cycle?  I’m no therapist but I’ve already diagnosed this chick with a few psychological disorders: pathological liar, multiple personalities, bipolar, narcissism, trichotillomania (I don’t know about this one, that’s just my over-zealous psych 112 from five years ago trying to impress you ).

Here’s my point, I can’t help but to feel pity for men who encounter this problem…wanting to be a positive figure in his child’s life, but are put through the ringer by selfish bitches chicks.  See I can’t even call her a woman, because real women know despite the grief and heartache you may have experienced in your relationship with him, that should never impose on his relationship he has with his child.  Suffice it to say if it there’s violence and abuse that’s another case but that’s not the situation here.  We praise women for putting the ‘S’ on their chest and being baby mama’s (yes thank you Fantasia for the theme song), but we overshadow and negate the efforts and presence of the fathers who are actually there…or at least trying to be.

So this blog does not go out to my baby mama’s ( I was one…until he put a ring on it) this goes out to the baby daddy’s.  Who work hard to (try to) keep up with that child support.  And who picks up an extra job to pay those attorney and court fees where he had to advocate for himself and his paternal rights.  And to those who cherish the time he spends with his little one despite the adversity that may come his way.  Fellas, I hope you all continue to take care of your responsibilities and showcase just how important fatherhood is to you but most importantly to your little one!

//

7 Friends A Mom Needs

20 Jul

A woman needs her friends.  Whether she’s  married, separated or divorced.   There’s a  sanity–or insanity depending on the friend–that comes along with having other empowering women in your life.  I have been blessed to have a diverse range of friends, to whom I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without having them in my life.  They’ve cleaned up puke after a night of 7 Patron shots, stayed up long nights to help with college essays, helped parlay me into a job, listened to my ideas and told to me pursue them–no matter how outlandish I sounded, stood by my side through the important stuff in my life.   But most importantly they encouraged, inspired, and uplifted me.  I thought about my life and made a list of 7 friends every mom should have:

The remember the time we almost got kicked out of college pal–this friend is important because she knows what it means to throw caution to the wind, a true free spirit.  In my world, letting my hair down is a rarity.  I fret over things such as:  public restrooms and changing tables,  I wake up multiple times throughout the night to re-tuck the kids in, I cringe over germs that populate shopping carts and I get quite nauseous over the of thought of  the presence of bodily fluids lurking on movie theater seats (this is a separate post for another day, it will gross you out).  But having a crazy nutso friend, is actually a breath of fresh air in an uptight life.  She will have you doing things you will never speak of, but the two of you will have a few chuckles and constant “I can’t believe I effing did that” moments followed by “Did anyone catch that it camera?  If so, you better not upload it on facebook.  Better yet,  burn it!”.

The fab friend–this friend is equpped with a keen eye for fashion, style and chicness.  She can take something old and make it new.  She can shop high-end and knows where all the sales are.  This pal will not allow you to fall into the mommy jeans and over-sized sweater slump.  And if you know you’re going somewhere with her, you know you have to bring your fashion A game.  The glitz and glamor of this friend will guide you to the light at the end of the fashion faux pas tunnel.  But most importantly, she’s probably got a wardrobe so awesome, she won’t even notice a few missing pieces.

The tell it like it is girlfriend–it may sting, make you upset and even may make you cry; but this friend is there to tell you the truth.  She’s a no holds barred type of woman who will tell you crocs make your feet look like shit and you’re always broke because you can’t budget.  She tells you the things you don’t want to hear and helps snap you back to reality.

The friend with no kids–your kids likely call her Auntie and she spends just enough time around them for them to know her, but to not ask to spend the night at her house.  This friend can offer cool conversation that you once had but sadly went out the door soon as the pregnancy test read positive.  She’s up on the latest music, fashion, movies and gossip.  Her conversation is just what you need to get those annoyingly catchy Gabba Gabba tunes out of your head.  She’s a respite from the craziness of mommyhood.

The intellectual friend–when my brains doesn’t get any intellectual stimulation, I short circuit.  As a defense mechanism my brain issues a warning and I force myself to analyze dumb shit like Sarah Palin quotes.  That’s why having a friend who can enlighten and stimulate your brain is imperative.  Two months after having the twins, I tested my brain age on sweetnesses DS and it was 81–DAMN!  In my defense, many of the questions required mental math, a subject I suck miserably at.  My brain age diagnosis made me realize just how fast I was losing my touch.  I was always the witty one.  The know-it-all.  The one who answered the questions–even if I made them up.  Your intellectual friend is just the right prescription for a decrepit brain.  She’ll whip you into shape, jump start those synapses and get you back to the place you once were–being a smart ass.

The mom like you–This mom knows all about what you’re going through.  She despises Chuck E Cheese just as much as you do but she’s the first one there to help you set up for your 3-year-olds birthday party.  She doesn’t think you have a chemical imbalance when you cry uncontrollably.  She doesn’t judge you’re messy house and crayola-covered walls.  She tells you all about her struggles with weight, sex, depression and you rejoice your life hasn’t gotten that bad help her thorugh her battles just as she has helped you through yours.  She justs gets you and there’s no greater feeling than being understood.

The been there done that friend–When I have a “this is freaking me out, is this normal?” question, she always provides the right answer.  Having a friend like this helps keep my medical bills down because a hypochondriac like me would always be in the ER.  This veteran mom loves to give advice and no matter the time or day, she’s always there to answer your call.  Even if it is to ask if green poop is normal (and apparently it is especially is taking an iron supplement).

Confessions of a Not-So-Perfect Mom

8 Jul

On a number of occasions, I’ve given sweets tylenol pm when she didn’t have a fever but I needed her to get to sleep–sooner rather than later.

My girls think mimosa means “mom juice”.

During my all-day lifetime movie marathons, I give the kids cereal, capri suns, fruit roll ups and crayons to keep them from bothering me.

I taught my 6-year-old how to change diapers, fill sippy cups and warm food in the microwave so I can sleep in on the weekends.

I catch up on “business” while the kids are running wild and destroying the house.  When I say business that really means I’m on Twitter.

I play Yo Gabba Gabba to distract the kids when the hubs in I are in the bedroom having sex.

On a few occasions, I’ve used sweets allowance money to order pizza.

Twice, I didn’t send sweets to school because she had a midday hair appointment.

I’ve parked in handicap parking not because I’m disabled but because I didn’t feel like carrying two car seats from the back of the parking lot.

I tell businesses that my 4ft 2in 6-year-old is actually 3 so she can be admitted for free.

I substitute Juicy Juice and Pediasure for actual fruit and vegetable consumption.

I still have, but never paid for sweets school pictures from last year.

I enjoy throwing caution to the wind and making up my own parenting rules as I go along.  Who’s nominating me for the mother of the year award this year?

Rule of Life #412 Being a perfect mom is so overrated.  Bad is the new good.

Mojitos for the Potluck

21 Jun

This past week my life has consisted of drama and controversy!  I am ready to tackle it.  Head on, with a martini glass in hand!

I made me a cocktail every night last week after my sweetnesses went to bed.  And then got pissed because I had to wake up at 6:30 am.  Reasoning you ask? What can I say, I have a stressful job!  Not to mention it was just one of those weeks.  Truth be told, all day today I dreamt about happy hour.

ANY CHARACTER HERE

Our grass is growing so high it looks like I’m growing something illegal (I wish) in the backyard.  The man who we hired to cut our grass claims we owe him money, but according to my records he owes us a cut. When it comes to my business, I am a shark!  It’s hard to prove fallacies with me!  So we’re in dispute over who owes who.  Little does he know it’s his loss.  I’ll just find a crackhead to hire in the interim who will do the same job.  Sorry to be so unethical but it’s all about the cheap labor folks!

ANY CHARACTER HERE

My sweetness told me about how her 8-year-old cousin was at day camp pretending to smoke a cigarette.  She demonstrated with her dry erase marker (puffs and all) and I became outraged!

Shouldn’t I be the one breaking in her first smoke?!  I kid.  I kid,  but seriously, I want to be the one to tell her about all the risqué things going on in life!  So I capitalized on the opportunity:

Me: Do you want to be known as the girl who smokes cigarettes with stinky breath and yellow teeth?

Sweetness:  No, eww gross.  Besides I have baby teeth and everyone knows baby teeth don’t turn yellow.  And I’ll just eat a cough drop for my bad breath.  (geez, she’s caught on to my “church breath” cure.  And is she trying to justify smoking?)

Me: (startled she has comebacks, so I have to step my game up) Listen, any kid who thinks smoking is cool will have rotten teeth, bad breath and the tooth fairy will haunt you in your dreams.  You don’t want the tooth fairy to be against you, do you?

Sweetness: (slightly crying) No ma’am.

Me: Well you better not ever smoke!  I mean never!  Ever!

end of discussion. enters dad (the wise  grasshopper of the two) to rectify the situation.

ANY CHARACTER HERE

VBS: Vacation Bible School.  I hate to be the one to admit it but I’m so happy my kids have a place to go after day camp!

Rule of Life #208 Don’t be so serious about stuff.  You’ll miss that the joke is really on you!

Thanks June, the originator and creator!!  What would this potluck be without you?!?!?!

ANY CHARACTER HERE

Go Ahead Make His {Father’s} Day

20 Jun

I felt so bad because the hubby got up early this morning to make us breakfast.  So I sent sweetness into the kitchen to help him cook so I could get a few extra minutes of  sleep (what who said moms should be left out of the father’s day equation?).  I joke and call him the best baby’s daddy a babymama could ask for, but we’re more than a ghetto fabulous love story and he’s more than a man for me!  He’s the perfect husband for me and he’s the perfect father for our children.  He makes me want to break out in song and dance *cue the biz markie beat*  “Oh baby yooooou.  yooooou got what I neeeeeddd…”

The girls w/ Papi..the first love of my life

Both of us were raised my our grandfathers because our donors were dead beats. losers. shallow.  unreliable.  creeps.  You could say the morals and values instilled in him by his grandfather and the care and concern instilled in me by my grandfather (photo’d to the right) created the perfect definition of what and how a father should be for his kids.

ANY CHARACTER HERE

I may bitch about them and they may ruin my designer shoes (still haven’t gotten over that) but he gave me three of the most adorable munchkins I could ask for! And he provides for us more than we can think or ask… Now that’s a good man…I feel another song coming on *cue salt-n-pepa* “Whatta man whatta man whatta man what a mighty good man”  But seriously.  I know what my kids have is rare and precious especially within the Black community.  But together we are making it and we find solace in our special union we created.

Rule of Life #246 Enjoy each other while you can.  Today is the present–treat it as such.

Father's Day 2010

Father's Day 2010

Father's Day 2010