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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Questions

Another great Christmas! This year our little precious seven and five-year-old kids attempted to put their own toys together. They actually did a great job too! They had a lot of questions too!
After opening one of his requested items, the little five-year-old, puzzled, asked,
"How did Santa know I wanted this Pixos?"
"Don't worry about it. You got it didn't you?" I kindly asked. "Besides... you put it on your list."
"Actually he didn't mama. When we were sitting in your room and the commercial came on, we told YOU that we wanted the Pixos," his seven-year-old, technically correct sister chimed in.
Dude tried to muffle his laugh.
"Well I told Santa then!" I replied.
"You talked to Santa?"
By this time my parents and Dude were looking at us as if they were watching a tennis match.
It was finally time to clean up some of the clutter and help them put things together.
"Here are the batteries for your things," I told them.
The puzzled look returned.
"Uh... how did you know what batteries to get us?"
"Don't worry about it! We just happen to have these batteries!"
All these questions- I just think we need to tell them the truth. Santa gets too much credit anyway.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Dawn, Tide, Mr. Bubbles... All the Same!

I'm not sure if my five-year-old will want to take a bubble bath for awhile. I ran his water last night and he was jumping around saying, "Bubbles, Bubbles!"
Well I didn't have any and I just wanted him to get in the tub so I could get some peace. So I did what any, Black person who grew up in the 70's and 80's would have done... I got the next best thing- some dish detergent.
"Stop jumping around and go get mommy the dish detergent from the sink in the kitchen," I told him.
He stopped. Thought about it and had a peculiar look on his face.
He slowly walked in looking at the blue Dawn liquid.
"Mommy what are you gonna do with-?"
I squeezed some in the running water.
I mean I didn't think anything of it. I remember my grandma putting washing POWDER like Tide in my water back in the day. Getting the real deal was a treat!
"Go on and get in," I coaxed.
He was confused so I just nicely helped him in. I had things to do.
I went around the corner and peeked at him. I had to put my hand over my mouth so he wouldn't hear me laughing.
He sat there with his mouth open- bewildered, confused- he had every look in the book.
I didn't hear any splashing for several minutes like I usually did when he was in the tub.
Needless to say he didn't stay in long.

Monday, December 01, 2008

I Gotta Draw The Line Somewhere

Thanksgiving is behind us now. This means all leftovers should be discarded immediately. Would someone tell Dude- I mean my husband that. He actually thought me and the kids were gonna eat it. No! We are tired of it now. I was tired after the second day.
"Okay. Today is the last day I will eat it and I will throw everything out tonight," he promised.
So he went on and fixed his last plate.
I know I shouldn't have such a big issue about it- I mean after all, he's grown so if HE wants to eat it, let him... right?
Well, it kinda affects me too.
He ate some leftover chitterlings. I mean "chittlins'.
I have already described them to our two little ones in great, nasty details, in hopes they will not want to eat them. Dude said that was wrong but hey- nobody should eat that stuff.
Well I told him that nothing was gonna go down tonight. Nada! I just cannot begin to think of a kiss after chewing those things- and they were cooked days ago. Oh naw!
I may be wrong but I just can't get past it. It ain't enough toothpaste in the Crest warehouse to convince me to even give him a peck on the cheek tonight. I gotta draw the line somewhere.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Don't Ask for Nothing, Don't Say Nothing, Don't Even Think About Nothing"

My, my, my how things change when a football game comes on. Well when Dallas is playing. Wednesday I had surgery and I have been impressed with how my husband has been taking care of things- including me. He has been so patient. I haven't heard him smack his lips one time, no matter how often I need him and I try not to ask for much.
Today was day four in my recovery from knee surgery. My bandages and wrappings came off today and I could finally take a shower. He was so careful in helping me to get around- at times too careful but appreciated. Once I finished my shower he encouraged me, with a smile, to come sit in the great room with him. He had the ottoman and chair prepared for me. So sweet!
We watched a few shows together and it was nice to hang out. He didn't even ask me to turn it during commercials.
Then... 8:oo pm came! Everything changed.
"Uh, baby, let me get that remote right there!"
I didn't know what was going on. I mean I was capable of pushing buttons on the remote. I'd done it thus far.
"What's going on?" I asked.
"The Cowboys are about to play!" he answered with bass in his voice.
"Oh. I see. Well I don't want to watch so I guess I'll have to go back to the recovery room (our bedroom)."
Before I could ask him to help me up or even reach for my crutches, he was there moving the ottoman.
"Uh, can you please let me lift my leg from the ottoman first?" I screeched.
He helped lift my leg with one hand then moved the ottoman back with another- to help me leave. Normally, he moves really slow- almost in slow motion. Not this time.
"I ain't gettin' no attention now am I?" I asked.
He didn't answer... because he was already tuned into the game. Well it was the intro.
I knew not to ask for nothing, say nothing, not to think about nothing, for the next two to three hours.
God forbid they lose.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Curse Words... In Kindergarten?

I braced myself. Sweat began forming on my forehead. It is ridiculous what kids learn at such an early age. I can understand why parents want to home school their kids.
"Go on and tell mommy what you told me," daddy said to Myles.
Myles looked down in shame.
"Myles told me that he learned some curse words at school," daddy told me.
OMG! I thought.
"Go on and tell her Myles," daddy urged. "We won't spank you."
I took a deep breath in.
Then he tells me all four "curse" words.
"Zip-It!" he says making the motion with his hands and mouth.
The other three were: shut-it, shut-up and finally stupid.
I finally exhaled.
Daddy and I looked at each other, trying not to laugh.
"Maurissa knows the words too," Myles said.
This prompted an argument between the two of them.
"Okay, okay- just wait a minute!" I interrupted.
"You two know that we do not use "bad" words, no matter where we are," I warned them.
They were silent.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

At Least He Got One In

I told our two NOT to go to school today and gloat about Obama's victory. On the drive to school I overhear Myles telling his sister that he can't wait to tell one of his friends that McCain did not win.
"Now what did I tell you guys about talking about the election?"
We pass a few students and parents on our way in the building.
We got to our hall and I kiss them off to class. I then watch Myles walk to his class- he's watching me too and throws one of his infamous, I'm up to something smiles. In turn I raise my eyebrows. As I turn around to head back to my classroom, I hear him tell someone,
"Barack Obama won!"
Well at least he got it out.
No one at our school (adults) mentioned the race. Some even seemed somber. Now the day before when our principal announced that McCain was the winner of our student mock election, I saw staff doing the If You're Happy and You Know It Dance.
But today I didn't see one High-Five or any "Booyahs!"
Many of the Black staff members seemed to have a code. When we said good morning to one another there was a huge smile- we don't usually smile that much in the mornings.
Then a few, greek-like secret hand shakes, in passing. So sad and unfortunate.
So at least my baby boy got one in. It wasn't a bragging thing- just a proud moment that we should have all shared- regardless of color.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


It happened! We have our first African-American president!! Anything is possible for our kids now! Anything! Our two little ones understand how historic this day is and are just as excited about this day as we are.
We prayed today at dinner. We prayed for both sides. Prayed for protection for them and for peace no matter what. It was a longer prayer than what we usually have during dinner.
I did catch Myles eating a little bit during the prayer. Then after the prayer he was the first to speak. I was thrilled that he wanted to add something about this important day in history.
"Uh, Daddy that prayer was too long. I didn't think we were gonna eat."
But he is five so it is okay.
I cannot believe this day is here.
Now when a little boy or girl of color says he or she wants to be president one day, there will not be any hesitation. We don't have to smile, and pat him or her on the back and say okay, while being a little pessimistic. No... YES THEY CAN!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Things We Say

I was just thinking about how mindful we need to be about what we say in the presence of our kids. Sometimes we just are not cognizant of how much they are taking in everything. One of us casually mentioned the term "number two"- in reference to using the bathroom. Of course the little ones caught it and asked what it meant. And we did explain. Then they began making jokes and added that they sometimes do "number three".
"What is that?" I asked.
Laughing, Maurissa answered, "When you have to pee-pee and make stinky!"
"You mean have a bowel movement," I told her.
The eyebrows went up.
"It's the formal way to say it. That's all," I said.
Well, just a few minutes ago, we all came in from work and school and as most Americans, ONE of us ran to the bathroom.
A few minutes later, the plumber came in to finish fixing a leak we had, and Myles graciously let him in.
"Thank you young man," the man said. "Where's your dad?" he asked.
"Oh! He is in there doing number two!" Myles answered without hesitation.
The plumber is older, so I am hoping he didn't hear him well, but I have a feeling that he did- loud and clear.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Kids...You Just Have To Love 'EM!

I know, and you know from a story I wrote earlier, that I should not, should not, take either of my kids into a fitting room with me. But... I thought it would be a quick dart in and out. It was one little shirt. But... we had just finished eating too- so I really should not, should not, have taken them in with me.
There was a little wait to get a room too.
We went in, I snatched off my shirt- my sunglasses on my head fell off. I bent down to get them- mistake numero uno!
Then came the snickering.
"Uh! Wook at mommy's butt!" The little, no "L" word saying, five-year-old shouted out.
I gave him the look.
His sister is in the corner giggling with her hand over her mouth. I didn't know why because she could still be heard.
"I mean your B-U-T-T," Myles whispered.
That wasn't what the look meant.
"Where is the new shirt?" I asked.
While I frantically looked for it, the giggles come again.
Maurissa is standing there holding it... smiling.
Thankfully it fit, so I quickly put my shirt back on, opened the door then all of a sudden, Maurissa says- with volume, "Mommy maybe you could go on that show, The Biggest Loser!"
It felt like a movie.
Seemed like everything stopped at the exact time she said that. The store music seemed to stop, I didn't hear any hangers banging, other customers seemed silent. I stepped back in the dressing room and pulled them in too. I could just see them both hung up on one of those hooks in the fitting room- kicking. But I didn't do it. The nice, rational mom that I am.
I just closed my eyes for a few seconds and got my thoughts together.
"What mommy? It's just your tummy. You aren't fat all over!" she assured me.
I thought- "Hey I don't know any of these people in this fitting room, it don't matter." So I held my head high, grabbed them by their throats, I mean hands, sucked in my stomach and walked out.
"Did everything work out okay?" the attendant asked (smiling).

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Kids Know About the Election

Okay... the whole presidential election is just getting to be too much. I can't wait for November 5th to get here. It really is the biggest thing going on right now. Any other news is going to be overshadowed by the election.
Even little kindergarten students are getting worked up over it.
If you want to know what people are really thinking and saying about the candidates... just ask a kindergartner. You know they will be honest.
Myles is in kindergarten of course and they (kids in his class) discussed it. Their teacher threw it out there just to see what they may know. Well they knew a lot- may not have been all true but they know what is going on. Some things are enough to make the opposing side want to take off their earrings!
One student, when asked who Obama and McCain were, responded by simply stating the obvious, "Obama is Black and McCain is White."
They were then asked who they would vote for and why. I really didn't think they would have a lot of dialogue about this but....
One little boy stood up and said, "McCain wants to put taxes high (raising his hands high) and Obama wants to bring them low (lowering his hands)."
"Well we ain't votin' for Barack Obama because he don't believe in God," another little boy chimed in.
Then Myles stood up and said, "He does believe in God because my mommy wouldn't have voted for him if he didn't!"
Then he addressed the first student and said, "And he ain't Black- he is a Brown, African-American!"
You couldn't hear a crayon move for the next few seconds.

Monday, October 27, 2008

What's In A Name?

Okay. Can someone please help me explain to my husband that it is okay to call body parts what they are? And some of the names he would rather call body parts. I guess I have to remember that we are just gonna have some disagreements, but at the same time the kids are gonna get confused... so we thought.
Daddy still shifts awkwardly (picture the man in the movie Men In Black- the one who comes in the house with his body all "jacked up" and demands that his wife give him sugar in a cup- before she faints) when I use the word "vagina" around Maurissa.
He will run in (like the man in MIB) and shout, "It's a pocketbook!"
Well one weekend she stayed with a friend from church and after Maurissa took her bath, my friend asked her if she washed good.
"Yes, and I washed my pocketbook too!" Maurissa responded jubilantly.
My friend ran into the bathroom thinking she (Maurissa) had ruined her purse she had earlier.
"Oh... my daddy calls it a pocketbook, but my mom says it is a vagina," Maurissa told her. "My daddy (rolling her eyes) just has a hard time with that."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Curious Little Minds Wanna Know!

One of my co-workers, who is a single mom, loves to talk to Myles (he is still five). She asked him about one of the members of our church who is a mutual friend.
"Myles do you know Mr. Calvin at your church?" she asked.
"Yes. Is he your husband or sumpting (turning his head to the side)?"
"No. I don't have a husband- he is my friend," she replied.
"Wait. You don't have a husband?" he asked. "How you got a son and don't got a husband?"
(I tried to give her the look- the look that says "Just leave it alone!"Because he will press... curious little minds wanna know.)
"His daddy passed away a few years ago," she offered.
"Where he go?" he asked.
"Did he die from a disease?" his seven-year-old sister slipped in.
"He passed on- he is deceased," she told him.
"Where is he now?" Myles continued to press.
"At the graveyard," she answered.
I wasn't ready for that response.
"Did he got to hell or heaven?"
"Uh, let's go Myles and Maurissa- we gotta go!" I finally interjected.
As we walked on, he had to add something, "I'll pray for you a husband then."

Lost in Translation When You Are Already Fearful

Our son was sick yesterday and had a high fever. I could not get it down so we took him to the emergency room (it was after hours). Every five minutes he asked if he was going to have to get a shot.
"Myles let her put your arm band on," I said (referring to the lady who registered him).
"Is she gonna give me a shot?" he asked before offering his arm.
At this point I had to say something to relax him-
"Oh of course not. You are done with all of your shots buddy!"
When we finally get to the back to the nurse triage, he was still hesitant about things.
"Come on up here so I can get your weight," the nurse said.
He looked back at me.
"She would get in trouble to if she had a needle," I reassured him.
He finally relaxed too much once she sat down to enter information in her computer.
"Uh, you gotta back up, Myles, she doesn't need any help finding the keys."
I'm surprised she didn't say anything- he was right on her.
She went through the spill about allergies, any medicines and any concerns.
"Well, no one has ever said anything but there were a few times when he has come to the hospital and he was given albuterol and breathing treatments. I know that is for asthma right?" I asked.
"Well, his doctor would have to be the one to diagnose him," she replied.
Myles jumps on my lap and covers his face-
"The doctor is gonna dye my nose, mommy?"
Diagnose... dye his nose- I guess I can see why he thought that.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Played By a Kindergartner

I think I've mentioned that I work with kindergartners... all day long. Then have to deal with my two for the rest of the day. Feel my pain?
We have a rule that after a warning or two and a student continues to break a rule then he or she has to go to the behavior chart and pull a stick- then a note goes home. Well a little boy pulled a stick for not listening (go figure). Thirty minutes later he is crying during a movie. I called him over to my desk and he cried on my lap. Forgetting about the stick earlier I ask,
"What's wrong sweetie?"
And in between sobs he tells me that he missed his mom and she's gone. Well we have a lot of military students at our school and in our class. So I allow him time to cry on my lap, gave him a hug and explained that she would be back and she still loves him.
"Did she take your brother too?" I asked.
The three previous days, his dad had come to get him after school so I ASSumed she was definitely gone.
I take the car riders outside after school to go home and I see his mom.
"I thought you were gone," I told her.
She was puzzled. So I told her the story.
"Oh when his dad got him the other days I was in the car.
I looked at her son. He wouldn't make eye contact with me.
"We have been having problems with him lieing lately. About pulling sticks in class and some other things at home," she revealed.
"Well he got me. And he pulled a stick today, now that I think about it."

"I'll Smack A Turtle!"

We were riding home after eating out and "Dude" spends about five minutes threatening our youngest, Myles. All about what he will do to him if he does this and what he will do to him if does that. Well just thirty seconds after he threatens, Myles says, out of nowhere,
"Daddy I'll smack a turtle!"
Dude- clueless, just continued to drive, (Half the time I have to fill him in or translate for him anyway- and our kids speak English fluently!) until I began snickering.
"What's up?" he asked.
I whispered to him that, "Myles really means that he would get you if he could."
Dude glared back at him.
Myles was looking out the window with his nostrils flared.
Flashback- to me sitting there after getting my butt whipped by my mom and just wishing God would just see fit that she fell down some steps. I didn't want to get rid of her but oh how I wanted to get back at her some kind of way.
This was Myles' way- in my opinion.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Just Rest Your Mouths

I really have to pay closer attention to our kids. Kids say whatever is on their little minds. When they are exposed to something they aren't cognizant of, they have to say something. Kids are curious and I respect that. I just have to pay closer attention to body language.
Yesterday, on our way to the car from school, I ran into a parent who is Muslim. Maurissa and I were already familiar with this mom and her children. One of her daughters was in the same class with Maurissa last year. So the way they were dressed (as Muslims) was no shock for Maurissa. Well this was all new for our son, Myles.
She (the parent) and I said our goodbyes and headed for our cars. Four steps later, Myles says,
"Mama, why is she wearin' that big bonnet?"
For a second I couldn't move. Too shocked... embarrassed... wishing I could grab the words out of the air and put them back in his mouth.
I just pulled him along. "Come on here and just be quiet!"
I was hoping she did not hear him.
A couple of steps more and his sister chimed in.
"She wears that over her head because her hair is messed up... Duh! You don't know nothing!" she tells him.
"Just get in the car y'all," I said with my teeth clinched.
Too late. They were enveloped in their own conversation.
"They make those bonnets in Africa," Myles said.
"Yep! You know Myles you might be right," she said.
"Mama, they live in Africa," Myles added.
"JUST GET IN THE CAR!" I shouted.
"Uh-oh, she mad at you," Maurissa whispered.
"Naw, she talkin' to you," Myles whispered back.
"Just rest your mouths," I said slowly. "Just rest your mouths."
I looked in my mirror. They were sitting there with their hands over their mouths snickering.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Educational Talk Gone Bad.

Why would I name my book Diary of a Mad, Black, Dysfunctional Mom? Gees, just read some of these blogs- myriad reasons why, but let's just add this one to the list.
My husband (not mad at him right now so I will refer to him nicely) and I were discussing child safety and the dangers of strangers and the possible things people could say to lure little ones. Well I decide to "educate" our two little ones about Stranger Danger.
So I get them together and in my nice mommy voice begin to have a Mrs. Rogers-Jackson Neighborhood moment.
"What would you do if someone came up to you- someone you didn't know and he or she offered you candy?"
"What kind of candy?" Maurissa asked.
"I don't know- any kind of candy, like a Snickers," I answered.
"But Rissa don't like Snickers," Myles jumped in.
"Just any kind of candy, okay!" I said. "The point is that you should not take the candy- no matter what kind it is!"
I was already beginning to get out of sorts.
I went on to explain to them that they didn't want to take anything from a stranger or even talk to strangers at all.
"They may not use candy- they could ask you for help. Like someone may say they need you to help them find their dog," I added.
"Well, what if it's a cat or a fish?" Myles asked.
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath and wondered why did it have to get to this.
"It don't matter what kind of animal- my point is that you shouldn't go!" I almost screamed.
"People can use any trick to try to get you to go with them- so you don't want to talk to them, or take candy or help them find their pet- whether it is a cat, dog, whatever," I told them.
"Mommy, what if it is the "peace" officer who need help?" Myles asked.
"Honey the POLICE officer would not need your help- if an adult ask you for help and I am not around then you tell them to ask another adult for help and you keep walking away from them," I explained.
"What if it's a peace officer with candy and he is looking for- a nice dog" Myles asked.
"Just forget it!" I told them. "Just go on and get ready for bed!"
"But the scary peace officer might be in my room," Myles said.
The things I go through.

Monday, September 08, 2008


I have been having problems with my allergies and some nasal problems for some time so I went to the doctor. Unfortunately I had to take my two little unpredictable sweethearts. I felt a little under the weather but they were feeling jubilant!
The Genesis of this little story begins in the waiting area. An older gentleman came in with some assistance and unfortunately sat in the chairs in front of us. He had an oxygen tank and was drifting in and out of sleep as he waited.
Now Maurissa and Myles were quietly reading to themselves before he came in. Something told me to divert their attention but unfortunately I didn't take heed.
"Mommy. Are they gonna bury him?" Myles innocently and seriously asked.
I closed my eyes and swallowed- hoping the man and his companion did not hear him.
"Myles he is just not feeling well- rest your mouth," I whispered.
Then the man moved and coughed. Not a pleasant cough.
Myles and Maurissa made a slight scream and hugged each other. I was so embarrassed.
"Melissa Jackson," the nurse called.
"Oh your kids are so cute," the nurse smiled. "Let's get your weight."
"How many are you mommy?" Myles asked as I stepped down from the scale.
The nurse giggled.
She didn't know... the show was just starting.
When we got in the room the nurse checked my blood pressure as the kids watched.
"Mommy, is she pumping you up?" Myles asked.
"Oh, it looks like I'm pumping her up?" the nurse laughed.
"Yes- her boobies are pumping up!" he replied.
The nurse laughed so hard. "I'll bet there is never a dull moment at your house, " the nurse said.
I closed my eyes and told her, "Nope... fortunately."

THe 'Owboys (Some of you requested it again)

I know it's silly but I recently got mad at my husband over a shirt. We both have put on a few pounds since we were married nine years ago and we tease one another about it often. Well he is also a Dallas Cowboys fan. (Don't stop reading my blogs now) The other week Dallas beat the Colts and of course he was elated. Well the next morning he put on one of his Cowboys sweatshirts to wear to work- to boast of course and that's cool. Problem was that it was a little tight. I know he is grown but I had to say something and I tried to be as nice as possible. "You cannot wear that extra medium shirt". He looked in the mirror, then looked at me as if he couldn't see how tight it was. "It's aight," he said. "You are gonna get picked on," I told him. I pulled on the shirt and raised his arms to show him that it was too small. We continued to get ready for work and I thought surely he would look at it again and change it but he didn't. I thought about bumping into him with breakfast, then he would have to change it. He finally got into his car and after a few minutes I expected him to run back in and say, "I gotcha! You know I wasn't gonna wear this tiny shirt". It didn't happen. He did wear that shirt to work. I text him all day about that shirt: Is your breathing okay? Don't eat! The stars will start looking like stripes; Honey who are the OWBOYS? (shirt was so tight that the C was hidden under his arm pit) I don't know why I had such a hard time with it- it was his shirt and his choice. I guess I felt like he was representing us... we are as one right?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Fitting Room Blues

I made the mistake of taking our two little ones in with me to try on some clothes. The youngest one is very silly. Before I took my shirt over my head, the smart part of my brain told me not to do it, but I didn't listen. I thought they were distracted enough by their own little age-appropriate conversation, not to worry about me.
The snickering started quickly.
"Wook Rissa, look at mommy's big ole belly," Myles laughed.
I put my quiet sign up (finger over the lips), but they just couldn't seem to contain their little selves.
I was hot because there were plenty of other people in the fitting rooms.
I turned my back to them and tried to hurry and try on my clothes.
Made it worse.
"Ewww! Wook at mommy's big ole butt," he said loudly to his sister.
"Rest yo' mouth!" I told him.
I had to keep my eyes sternly on them while I got my clothes back on them.
Myles put his hands over his mouth to keep himself from laughing, while his sister pretended to say something.
I was so embarrassed.
"Okay fine! That art kit I told yall I would THINK about gettin'- well I ain't gettin' it now!"
I was one up on 'em now.
As I tied my shoes and prepared to go out, my little five-year-old had the nerve to say,
"If you don't buy us that thang, then I'm gone put a wast in yo' pocketbook."
I heard someone in a fitting room say, "Uh-oh."
I thumped him in his head. (no one could hear that)
"And it's wasP, anyway," I told him.
I peeked to see if anyone else was coming out of their rooms before I finally left out of the fitting room.
While we waited in line to pay for the shirt I got, Maurissa sees one of her friends from school.
"Is that your little brother?" her friend asked.
"Oh yes, he goes to the school now. And this is my daddy's wife," she said.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Little Brother's Keeper

The world has got to meet our seven-year-old. I neglected to mention that she began second grade on Monday. She had a good day- has a great teacher who is already privy to the Oscar worthy performances our daughter could put on. A nice, new teacher wouldn't stand a chance with her. Her teacher tells me today that she was crying when they went out for recess yesterday. With Maurissa, the great, I never know if it is something serious or not.
"What was she crying for?" I asked.
"Well, she saw her little brother on the playground- his first day as a kindergartner and began crying," she answered.
"Just look at him. He is just gettin' so big and just gettin' so grown," our SEVEN-year-old cried.
"It almost tore me to pieces," the teacher added. "Then she ran over to him and pushed him on the swing. When he went forward, she wiped tears," she shook her head.
I didn't know what to say.
"What did he do?" I asked.
"Oh, well she tried giving him a kiss once he was off the swing, and he tried to punch her," she answered.
Yep those are my little babies. They just love each other.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Today was the first official day of kindergarten for our baby! I didn't cry but as I walked a few steps in front of him, smiling as he struggled to carry his bag full of supplies for his classroom- proving he is a big boy now, I thought, "Where in the world did the time go?"
Seems like last week I was snapping the little onesies on him and blowing kisses on his belly. I remember how cute it was to hear him say his sister's name, "Riffa" because the "S" just didn't come yet... now he says it clearly and can spell it.
He was so proud to come to "big school" with mommy and his big sister. I made sure I stayed busy today so I would not let the moment consume me.
He had a great day- his only complaint was that he didn't get to nap long enough.
"Can you talk to my teacher about letting me take a longer nap next time?"
I just smiled and rubbed the top of his head.
I wanted to pick him up so bad and carry him- reminiscing on the days when he wasn't walking or talking much. He depended on me so much. Back then I wished he were bigger and could be more independent. I would love to go back.
I will just have the memories now. I remember someone telling me that they (kids) grow up quick- the time flies by, but that was when our daughter was just turning two- smearing feces from her pull-up on the wall; her brother was almost one month and I was at home with them EVERYDAY! Feeling like screaming! Now I would love to go back.
"You could have another one- you are still young," a friend suggested.
"And feel like I've lost my mind all over again?" I laughed.
Right... it will all be in my new book: Diary of a Mad, Black, Dysfunctional, Mom.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Make Believe Friends

"At what age do children stop having make believe friends?" my husband whispered.
"Don't even worry about it. There is nothing wrong with our daughter- just don't give it any attention," I told him.
Yes, she is seven and a normal seven-year-old probably wouldn't still have a make believe friend but hey, we've always said she is "cut from a different cloth". She didn't have them when she was younger- when it would be easier to accept I guess.
But there isn't anything wrong with her- I would have tried to get disability. (just kidding)
Her make believe friend's name is Wilbur. She doesn't try to hide him either. Wilbur usually comes out to drive others in the house up a wall. She has talked to him while I was "blessing" her out about something she had done wrong. I popped her and Wilbur. I got him good- darn near abused him.
Wilbur also appears when she wants to make her brother mad but recently he got the upper hand.
I was just finishing up her hair- great time for her brother to come in and mess with her because she has to keep still. She began singing and her brother tried to chime in- singing the wrong words purposely.
"Stop!" she yelled.
He continued and attempted to get louder.
She really wanted to reach out and get him but I wasn't finished.
"I'm just gonna play with Wilbur then- come on Wilbur!" she said.
"I'm gonna play with Wilbur too," he teased.
"Ha! He said he doesn't want to play with you!" she smiled.
Her brother paused for a moment then said, "Take that Wilbur!" While pretending to choke Wilbur.
She let it go on for a minute then folded her arms and said, "Wilbur's not even over there anyway. That's CeeCee!"

Friday, July 11, 2008

If It Looks Like Feces and Smells Like Feces... It's Feces!

I've been taking down the wallpaper in our bathroom for the past two weeks. Today I got to the area near the commode when I noticed a brown smudge. My gut said it was definitely feces. I got a little closer before coming to the same conclusion... yes it was feces. Brown in color and looked to be smeared by someone under the age of ten!
I told my husband but that dude wanted to draw other conclusions. In denial, he went on explaining why it was not feces. I pretended to listen but by the fourth sentence, he sounded like Charlie Brown's mother off the page.
"Why would you think it was doo-doo?" he so eloquently put it. "And who would do that?" he quickly added.
"WHAT? Are you serious?" I scoffed. "Unfortunately I've seen it before and one of your two off-springs did it," I confidently answered.
The sight of it took me back to when our seven-year-old was about eighteen months. I was pregnant with our youngest.
One day after I spanked her, I smelled something foul. I waddled around trying to find the smell. It was doo-doo! Smeared on the wall in her room! I couldn't believe it. I didn't know what to do. The smell was so foul that her brother, growing in my womb, was reacting to it. I had to rub my belly to get him calmed down.
Now I am weak when it comes to nasty stuff like that. Really weak. When they were smaller and would throw up, I would just throw a towel over it and wait for Dude to get home to clean it up. I felt bad when they would get stomach viruses and would want to be up under mommy. I would run away from them.
"Be a soldier! They are your babies!" Dude would scream.
Well I didn't have any experience with this one. Why would she play in her pamper?
She did this a few times for the next few months before I spoke to her pediatrician about it at one of her check-ups.
"Yes. It's a little normal for infants to do this- to play in their pampers out of curiosity, but at her age to be doing it means she is very angry about something," he explained.
My arms folded, I told him, "Uh, yes and I am angry too!"
He wanted to get to the bottom of what was making her so angry. I wanted to whip her lil nasty butt right there in that office. Or give her some extra vaccinations. ; )
Things had changed for her a little. We'd moved and I was pregnant with her brother so the doctor suggested that the changes were what was causing her to do this hideous thing.
All I knew was I was tired of our place smelling like a petting zoo!
I noticed she did it a few more times before I finally figured out something that deterred her from doing it again. I made her clean it up! Spanking her wasn't working. She wasn't yet two so I didn't want to spank her too much and when she was spanked, I found more of it smeared. I will bring this up when she is 30 and going on her first date.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Yippee That!

We (kids and I) are riding back from running errands, and they are just playing entirely too much. "STOP!!" I raise my voice. "Y'all are acting like you don't know any better. You aren't outside!"
I hear them snickering in the back seat.
Five minutes later they are back at it. It's as if they don't get spankings sometimes. I guess I don't give 'em good enough. Or they know when I am driving I can't do much.
"Okay. I was stopping at McDonald's but you can hang it up now. We are eating at home!"
"Yippee!" my seven-year-old yells.
I looked up in the mirror- shocked. No she didn't.
"And you aren't watching any TV when we get back- you're gonna get busy doing some work!" (right back at her with her little smart self)
"Yippee!" she cheered again.
I pressed my foot on that gas- couldn't wait to get home.
"And I am gonna whip your little butt- now yippee that!"
Didn't hear a sound the rest of the way home.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Those Were The Days

White boots with the orange wheels and a little pom-pom in front of the stopper! I had to have 'em. I jumped out my van.
"How much for the skates, sir?" I asked.
"Well, I think she just wants $2 for them," he replied.
It didn't dawn on me until I was pulling up in my driveway, that I hadn't checked the size. But it didn't matter- if they were too small I would just let my daughter grow into them.
Seeing those skates at that yard sale just took me back.
Back to the days when we played outside all day, until the street lights came on. A group of about 10 of us from the neighborhood would posse up and make dangerous ramps to skate off of. We'd fall, look at the scrape and get up and try it again- only higher. There was a church across the street from our apartments, just in eyesight of the older ladies who were always sitting out on the porch, watching after us (we really did have a village back then). There was a long hill behind the church. We would line up, grab each other by the sides, crouch down and skate down the hill together screaming.
When we got older, seventh or eighth grade, we were allowed to start going to the skating rink. Our moms would take turns dropping us off on Saturday nights and Wednesday nights in the summer time. It was always packed in the parking lot and inside. Don't know why we spent time grooming- as soon as we opened the door to go in every curl we had fell. I can still smell it- the smell of myriad funky socks, cheap cologne and musty armpits filling the air. It didn't matter though, it was so much fun!
We had to make sure we were outside to be picked up when our moms said to be or we got embarrassed. Once or twice we were late getting out and my mom came in to get us.
"Ah, your mom looking for yall!" someone would inform us.
By the time we pushed through to the door, there she was with her pink, dingy sponge rollers and a too small scarf. I don't know why but my mom's scarf always smelled like that popular children's medicine, Creomotion for Children.
Those were the days.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Okay, I still don't know where I am going wrong with parenting. Tonight Maurissa got made at her brother and called him a doofus. A doofus! How in the world did she learn that word and learn how to use it correctly? I mean she is only seven and he is only five.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Can't Make Stinky Just Anywhere!

Myles and Maurissa are playing soccer now. Their first sport! They are pretty good too. Myles is really good- we just have to tell him to make sure he is kicking the ball in the right goal. He listens well and he is just good- looks much bigger than the other kids.
Well Maurissa... we don't know what's gonna happen with her when she plays or practices. The second practice, the coach is bent down talking to them in a huddle and I think she is looking at him intently and listening, but she is using his sunglasses as a mirror. She starts fixing her hair, then has the little nerve to pull his sunglasses down a bit off his face so she can see HERSELF better. She then asked him to hold still so she could see where to place her hair clip. (Why does this stuff happen to me?)
In the past three weeks since they started there have been plenty of comedy scenes. Well today just beat all. This stuff always happens to me- when I am by myself with them. Maurissa and her teammates are on the field practicing and she is actually attentive. Then after about 15 minutes I see her holding herself. Coach tells her to go and points to the "Port-a-John" of course. She runs there and I hesitate at first to go with her but Myles is with me so I let her go on. I mean I could see her and I've taught her to squat or line the seat. A few minutes creep by and I look up there and there are two people waiting with their kids. I waited another minute or two and ran up there- thinking she is in there playing.
"I'm so sorry," I smile at the people waiting.
I knocked on the door and in my Claire Huxtable voice, ask, "Maurissa... are you done? There are people waiting."
She didn't respond.
I knock a little bit harder and Myles proceeds to open the door.
"No! Don't open the door while she is in there buddy," I say ever so gently.
"Uh come on outta there! What are you doing?" Now more like Penny's mom from Good Times.
"I'm making stinky!" she answers.
I want to crawl under one of the cars in the parking lot.
She comes out and the smell follows. She comes out with her loud voice with details about the stinky she just made. I over-talked her to stop her.
Through my clinched teeth I tell her, "You shoulda waited 'till we got home to do that!"
How nasty!!!

Monday, April 07, 2008

A Mama On The Edge! (Don't call DSS)

So...parents... have you ever been so fed up with your kids that you just wanted to... do something to 'em? Something physical? Not anything that will leave a scar(physically that will lead back to you) or anything like that, but possibly a scar in their little memories? I know I ain't the only one. Well, I have had quite a few of those times and usually I didn't act on them. We all have those THOUGHTS. Back when I was younger and got my tail tore up, I would actually pray,
"Dear Lord will you please just let my mama fall down the steps. Please Lord, if you just do it one time I promise I will stop changing the words in the back of the hymn books at church!"
Now that's another long blog, but my point is... I don't THINK I really wanted my mom to be seriously hurt. I was acting off of emotions. (He never answered that prayer and I didn't immediately stop changing the titles in the hymnals either) But Lord you knew my heart.
I love my babies- Lord knows I do- but sometimes they take me there... the edge!
We were in Wally World (Walmart) and they were dancing, singing and asking for everything. I'd had a long day at work with the little kindergartners (Woooh), so I was really not wanting to bothered with two I couldn't send on a bus or put in the car rider line. My two sweet little beings were full of energy and acting as if they had never been spanked or yelled at. I was trying to shop fast and get out of there without "gettin" one of them.
I was getting my last few items when I hear giggling. It was the six-year-old.
"What's so funny, Maurissa?" I asked.
I followed her eyes to see her brother, the four-year-old, little....
"Why do you have that bra on? Take it off right now!" I said, walking toward him.
I begin to snatch it off and he squats to the floor with his hands over his face, yelling, "No! No!" as if I am trying to kill him.
I got him up and warned his sister to come on. Their heads are down for all of ten seconds, then they start giggling about something again. They tried to stop to look at something-
"Oh no, keep moving," I told them. I mistakenly bumped them with the buggie when they stopped unexpectedly.
"Keep moving now!" Keeping them in front of the buggie helped me to keep an eye on them. But the small bump gave me an idea.
As we headed for the check-out, they began singing and marching and looking back at me. Like I was a joke.
Without hesitation, I hit them with my buggie.
My son, unfortunately, was the only one to fall. He got up and looked at me as if he knew it was no accident. I looked around to see if there were any witnesses. I saw one person coming up behind us. I wasn't sure what he saw, so I acted fast.
"Oh, baby are you alright?"
Not going over to him probably made my performance unconvincing but hey, I didn't know that dude.
"Mama. You didn't see us in front of your cart?" my daughter asked.
They both stood there looking worried.

Friday, March 28, 2008


So... today was a nice day- high 70s I think. We decided to get out and enjoy the weather. We grabbed a bite to eat and took it to the park. Everyone was out enjoying the weather. Folks were playing tennis, kids were playing in the play area, and birds were chirping. We sat a picnic table (Dude, myself, Maurissa and Myles) eating. I happened to look up and saw a man with two ladies with quite a few kids. The ladies were giggling and struggling to gather the kids before crossing from the parking area to the play area. The man stood out because he wasn't helping them and because he had bright red hair and was dressed in this black, karate-kid looking outfit. It reminded me of the black and white karate-type outfits that guys would wear in the movies who could not fight. You know the ones who would swing the numb-chucks? and make a whole bunch of noise. Then they would get knocked down or killed with one blow or kick, once they stopped all that nonsense. Anyway... when I saw him, I chocked a bit on my food and without thinking said,
"What in the world does he have on?"
Then our four-year-old, WITHOUT THINKING, looks and adds,
"Yeah, what the hell is he thinkin' about?"
Everything stopped.
I didn't hear the birds chirping anymore, the folks playing tennis or the 50 kids and parents across the street in the play area.
Dude looked at me and I looked at him. I looked around, trying to process it. Did he just say-
"What did you say?" Dude asked.
"Uh, uh, Daddy, do you have some more ketchup in that bag?" I asked.
I didn't want to give it too much attention and I wanted to see if he even knew it was a bad thing to say.
We continued eating and then turned our heads, confused. I mean it was not funny but it was... something. I didn't know if I should laugh, because he is four and didn't know or if I should grab a BRANCH from one of the trees and whip his little butt. We both tried not to laugh.
A minute or two passed and I felt more comfortable asking him,
"Uh, Myles where did you hear that from?"
"What, mommy?"
"What you said about that man," I answered, taking a sip from my drink.
He pointed and answered, "From you."
Chocking, I asked him what he was talking about.
Dude looked at me.
Then our six-year-old added her unsolicited words.
"Yeah, from your conversations on the phone sometimes!"
"You don't even know what I am talking about," I told her.
"When you say, 'What the hell'," she said.
Dude glared at me convincingly.
I really could not remember a time I'd said that and especially in front of them.
With an attitude I told Dude, "You just lucky you ain't been busted!"
(Oh, I ain't just gone be wrong and hold my head down now.)
"Yall shouldn't be in grown folks conversations anyway!" I yelled.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Missing my friend

I feel like I am still waiting for something to help me get through this. I wanted to call Kenya today to tell her something. Something was bothering me about another friend. I almost dialed her number- well almost pressed number 3 on my phone to automatically dial her- after all I have not taken her number out of my phone. I am still holding on to the text messages. I still visit her myspace page to listen to her songs and read her blogs. Without looking at her myspace page I can see her face so vividly, I can still hear her distinct laugh. And I can also see her face, the last time I saw her when she was in the hospital. She was uncomfortable, asking the nurse for pain medication and getting a dumb response, "Okay (sighing), um I can talk to your doctor about it but he probably won't agree to it," the nurse said. Kenya has asked for a morphine drip because her pain, at that point was sharp and it was becoming more consistent.
"Okay what is the procedure or steps I need to take to get it or can I just talk to him?" she asked softly. (This is important to note- because it would have been understandable if she raised up on her.
"I'll see if he is still here," the nurse said walking away.
This was Super Bowl day- I remember this because they (Baptist Hospital) were offering a Super Bowl meal consisting of wings and celery. I saw the little flyer by her bed. She put in an order and asked if I wanted any. I declined.
Some doctor came in after about 15 minutes. It wasn't her doctor. He seemed nice. Talked slow and often looked over at me. I wanted to give him half a peace sign- I mean why wash he looking at me. I wasn't the one moving around and groaning in pain in the bed. More silly questions:
"Miss Tillery, what's going on? You say you need something for pain?"
Calmly she explained why she wanted the morphine drip. The pills they were giving her (vicadine) was not doing anything anymore. It wasn't strong enough.
"On a scale of 1-10, how intense would you say your pain is?" he asked- looking over at me again. I squinted my eyes at him.
After explaining that it was probably at an eight, he told her that he would see if her doctor was available.
"WTH?" I thought.
I have that memory and I try to tell myself that she is better off- because I would not want her to be in pain. A pain that I didn't know.
Am I selfish to still want her her though? I still want my friend here. Now that she is gone, I want her to come talk to me. I want to know for sure that it is her. I want to know that she is okay. Days before she died, she was having a mental breakdown about the doctor saying that there was no hope. That would be hard for me- to have to tell someone that there was no hope for him/her to live. It has to be hard to hear that and not know what to do. But even then, I really felt that she would be okay.
I still miss my friend. I realize it is okay to miss her and to still cry. She meant a lot to me. I wish we'd had more time together. I never thought the day would come when she would not be here.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

I don't know how many tears I have left, but I will use them all- and still not feel better. My heart literally hurts. My vision is blurred.
I keep drifting to sleep, hoping that the next time I wake, it would have been a dream.
I never believed she would go. No!! I know people die- I know this but not her.
I can't stop thinking about her. Her music, her friendship, just her. Our talks, our laughs.
Who will I talk to now when I want to say whatever I want about whatever I want, whenever I want?
She just texted me Monday. I don't understand. I don't want to. I just want to bang these keys, destroy the keyboard! It hurts so bad. I can't think!
I finally got up this evening and took a shower- and I began to cry- she can't take a shower anymore.
Maurice told me I needed to eat- but she can't eat!
No matter what I do, I cry because she can't do it.
When my phone rang this morning and I saw her number, I sprang up and was so excited.
"Hey! You know I was getting worried!"
But it wasn't her.
"Hey Melissa, this is Jeff- Kenya's uncle. How are you?"
"Gettin' over this flu-"
I stopped. Why would he be calling me from her phone?
"Are you sittin' down?"
"Kenya passed away this morning."
SHe couldn't have- I just got a text on the 4th and today is just the 8th.
This sucks!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

What in the World?

Geeeeeeeeeez! I don't know if I should laugh or cry... or beat him down!!!

Our little four-year-old had been doing quite well at daycare. He was doing too well. I felt bad because he was doing so well that I stopped for a minute and thought, "Something is 'bout to go down." Well this week it did.
Wednesday he was the line leader going to the bathroom- it was short lived. He started playing and the teacher made him go to the back of the line. Well he started crying and then he was called a cry baby. Well all "preschool" broke loose. He temporarily lost his mind and started hitting the teacher on her legs. She said he kept doing it all the way back to the classroom. The couple who brings in their lunches everyday came in and the wife told him he'd better stop- he didn't. Then her husband came in and told him he shouldn't be doing that, then he stopped. He then calmly went to his seat to eat. The teacher told him she was going to call us and he (he's four and seems sane to us) said,
"I know I might get my tail whipped, but tomorrow I am gonna bite you!"
Well... you know he had to get got when he came home.
Daddy got the belt out and put it on the couch and called him in to talk to him before he got spanked. I'd gone out to the pharmacy and called to see if he needed anything. When he got off the phone he went back to have his talk and spank. Well the belt was gone and so was the four-year-old.
After searching for a few brief minutes, Daddy found the four-year-old and asked him where the belt was. He shrugged his shoulders, but... actually offered to help Daddy look for it. Can you believe that?
Finally Daddy just told him,"Well you know there are other belts in the house."
He started running in place crying. "Daddy just don't hit me hard on my butt. Last time Mommy didn't hit me hard!"
Made me look bad. The next day after I didn't hit him hard, he went to school and told the teachers, "My mommy spanked me but it didn't hurt."
Made me look like the dysfunctional one. Some disciplinarian I am.