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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

January 20, 2009

Today was historical- we all know that. Today is January 20, 2009. Today the first African-American president, Barack Hussein Obama, the skinny kid with the funny name- was sworn in. This day in history was ushered in, the day before, by Martin Luther King, Jr.'s National Holiday. Oh and in case my husband happens to read this... today is also Daddy's birthday. ;o)
I tried to explain to our two little ones the importance of this day. I had to go back to the days when our ancestors were brought, chained, from their homeland of Africa, to American against their wills. Separated from their families.
"What is slavery?" our youngest asked.
I explained it to him as best I could for his age.
"Mama. How could they get Black people to work and do stuff if t they didn't want to?" he asked again.
I went on to explain a little about the days of Civil Rights and Martin Luther King's contributions and sacrifices.
"Mama. Why did he stand outside at that hotel if he knew people didn't like him?"
I answered him and tried to move on but...
"Where did he get shot?"
Growing impatient already I told him that, "he was shot outside his room of the Lorraine Hotel and-"
"No mama. I mean on his body."
I felt my eyes crossing.
"That doesn't matter!"
As I went on with my history lesson, I was interrupted again.
"Wook! There are his daughters Malika and Sasha!" his eyes widened.
"It's Malia," his sister told him. "Not Malika."
"Your aunt Kenya and people like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr.- all the people who have passed on, would be crying tears of joy right now to see this day," I told them.
"I know mama. But they can see it from heaven," my little compassionate seven-year-old girl offered.
"Mama. Can I tell you sumpin?"
"Yes, you can tell me someTHING."
Not sure what to expect, I just closed my eyes and braced myself for it.
"It's cold out there and I would not be out there in the cold because Barack Obama is going to talk and talk and talk. And there is no way I would go to jail for that bus driver like Miss Rosa did."
"Okay. We know this and we are glad some other people before your time did do some things you wouldn't have done baby."
Years from now when our son is asked where he was on this historic day, I can't wait to jump in and answer that question.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

What is that Crinkling Sound?

I've always said that our seven-year-old is cut from a different cloth. Since she has come into this world she has always been different. As her mom I know that I will have to parent a little different. And I have to be mindful of what I say and do around her at all times. Kids watch we do.
I remember when I was potty-training her, I would try to take her with me when I had to use the bathroom. I would put her on her little potty which was just beside our toilet. No harm in that. We would sit and sometimes she would go- sometimes she wouldn't but I learned that she did watch and imitate what I did.
However, I don't remember ever letting her watch me when "Aunt Flow"- that little monthly visitor women get. Depending on what husbands and wives are planning, it could be great to see "Aunt Flow".
Well she obviously saw something around these times.
She was about two and an insurance representative had come to our house. Our son was just a baby and was upstairs sleeping. Maurissa was a few feet away in our room playing- so I thought.
In the middle of the rep's spill about life insurance coverage, Maurissa comes in dancing in the middle of the floor. The rep smiled and I told her to go back and play for a little while longer.
She left. Came back a few minutes later. Looking directly into my eyes. She began dancing again- actually reminded me of the scene in Flash Dance when Jennifer Beals was "dancing like she never danced before." Remember? Dancing really fast- running in place almost.
I heard a crinkling sound.
"What you got Rissy?" I asked.
I didn't see anything in her hand.
The rep and I were both smiling, yet curious about the crinkling sound.
She stopped and smiled. Then reached into her pull-up and whipped out the paper strip that lined my "supplies" used for Aunt Flow- the ones with wings. Wings I wished I had to fly away at that moment.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

She's Playing Basketball

Maurissa has started her second sport. We are trying basketball. Last Spring she and her brother did soccer and that went pretty well, except for the time she went to use the port-a-john and took so long that a line formed to use it- parents and their kids. Embarrassing wasn't a powerful enough word. Only to find out that she was in there doing number two! In a port-a- john? She said she lined it as she normally does when we go out but still... I'm sayin'. Anyway, that was an earlier post.
Well Thursday night was her second practice for basketball. They practice at the local YMCA. So there are other groups in the gym and lots of people. As I look around, I see that OTHER kids are listening and trying to do the drills, etc. Well not mine. She couldn't free her hands enough to try to get the ball to do anything. Her hands were busy pulling something out of her butt.
"Maybe her panties are too big and she is trying to pull them up," Dude said.
"No, there is nothing wrong with her panties," I said rubbing my temples.
"You think it's her pants?" He whispered.
"No! It's not her panties, pants- I don't know what she is doing but she definitely ain't trying to be discreet about it!" I answered.
"Now look at her!" I was at a loss.
She was bending over trying to see us throuh her legs.
"Hey, Mommy!"she waved... through her legs.
I motioned for her to stand up and pay attention.
When one of the coaches tried to tell her what to do on defense she was standing there batting her eyes, smiling hard with her top lip tucked under and twirling her hair. It was ridiculous.
At one point I felt a little better because she was jumping up and down, waving her arms. So I figured she was trying to block a shot. Well, no. I realized no one was near her. Her teammates were near the goal passing the ball around. Well at least she did get that part that they showed her. Have to work on using the skills at the right time.
I guess I was getting so flustered that Dude told me I was banned from practices from now on.
"Nope you can't come anymore. And I know you are probably giving her the evil eye."
I may have tried to give her the evil eye once or twice but she either didn't see me or ignored me.
At one point she whispered something to one of the coaches and pointed at me. Would love to know what that was about.
Not sure if or when she will be ready for a game. Not sure if I will either. Geez!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Crack Head!

Like other folks, as the kids get older and outgrow their toys we just gather them up and either give them to organizations like Goodwill or have a Yard Sale. We have had a few yard sales in the past few years- usually when our neighborhood has one as a whole.
For some reason our two little ones seem to think it is wrong to do this. We have explained that other kids who may not have toys, benefit from their old toys. They obviously do not know that when toy makers make the toys- they don't just make one for them only.
We were visiting a friend and happen to walk by her garage. Myles sees her daughter's toys and blurts out, with an attitude, "Hey we had that!" Then glares back at me. "Until my mommy sold it."
I tried to ignore him and move on with my conversation with my friend. But then his sister chimes in.
"Mommy. Why do you always sell our toys all the time?"
Myles jumps in to help her- "You sell them all the time. You sold it to them (referring to my friend and her daughter)!"
Then they proceed to have a discussion as if I am not there.
Myles: "Remember our slip and slide thing... she sold that."
Maurissa: "Oh and you remember your little Barney toy you got from Target... she sold that too."
Myles: "She sold my Barney toy?"
"Look! I don't always sell your toys but when you don't play with them, I just pass them on. I told yall that!" I screamed.
My friend laughed.
"Girl, they make it seem like I am a crack head, going out selling everything all the time for cash."
Didn't realize what I had said and the little ears listening.
"Mommy. What's a crack head?"

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Spelling Words

Okay I am sure that many parents do this. When you are trying to have a conversation with another adult and you are in the presence of your kids, you may spell some words so the kids won't know what you are talking about. The point is not to say the word. Nowadays with our little seven-year-old precocious daughter, we have to just abort the conversation totally or spell really fast.
Well I found out last night that I also have to be cognizant of who I am choosing to do this with. I now know I canNOT do this with Daddy (not mad at him right now so he is not Dude).
Case and point- Daddy and I were talking while our kids were in the room. They were watching television but you never know how much they are really into the show, so you spell and/or use code words.
Me: "We should start getting the plans together for our V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N to that place down South."
Daddy: (Bewildered) "What?"
Me: (Already rolling my eyes) "You know... where the big rat is with all his friends."
Daddy: ?
Me: (ready to spell bad words but he wouldn't get it) "You know. We go there in the S-U-M-M-E-R. Warm place. Number one destination for fams."
Daddy: "Oh! Yes we do! I A-G-E-E."
Me: "W-T-H?" "Why did you spell that out? And you spelled it wrong. You left out the R."
Me: "I will check on some dates and stuff. How do we want to go this time? P-L-A-N-E, D-R-I-V-E... what?"(speaking fast)
Daddy: (Trying to visualize the words first) "Okay, Okay."
Me: "Geez, this is why you need to learn Spanish."
Daddy: "Si, but ya girl (pointing at Maurissa) know Spanish too."
Me: "Yes you are right."
Daddy: "I got it now. (Now attempting to move faster) I think we should F-L-Y to Disney World if we can get our tickets E-A-R-L-Y."
All it took was for him to say the word I was trying to avoid and both kids were looking at us.
Myles: "What about Disney World?" "I heard Daddy say Disney World."
Without taking her eyes off the TV, Maurissa summarizes the conversation for her brother.
"Myles. Mommy is trying to plan the trip to Disney World but Daddy can't understand her."
"Mommy, I like flying as long as we don't miss our plane like we did last time," she added.
Myles starts dancing. "We going to Disney World. We going to Disney World!"
I just folded my arms.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Telling My Kids' Business

Okay... the kids have started the year their usual little selves.
So we are riding and I see the pastor of our church and his wife beside us.
"Hey, there is Pastor Bill," I casually say... aloud.
"Who Pastor Bill? The White Pastor Bill?" my five-year-old son asks.
After choking a little from laughing I answered, "No. There is only one Pastor Bill and he is not White- he's Black."
He's bewildered.
"He's Black? He look White to me."
"No his skin is just lighter, but trust me he is Black," I confirmed.
"Oh. Well he look like Pa Pa and he Indian so I guess Pastor Bill is Indian too."
His sister chimes in.
"Mama. You know my friend Katelyn in my class?"
I tell her yes just so she won't take time trying to make me know her.
"Well, I thought she was White- I mean she looks White- but she said she is Indian like Pa Pa too!"
"Okay, baby girl, that's fine."
"Well she said she is Indian so I have to just take her word for it," she added.
So while she and her brother have their little conversation behind me, I dial up Dude.
I'm trying to talk low and tell him about seeing the pastor and what our son said.
When I hang up, the little five-year-old asks, "Mama. Can I tell you sumpin'?"
"Can you not tell people our business and call and gossip about us?"
His sister co-signs for him.
"Yeah mama. Sometimes when we have conversations with you, you gossip about us to other people like Pa Pa and Grandma or Daddy!"
They keep going on and on about it until I finally say something.
"HEY! Y'all are too young to have any business for me to tell anyway!"
The nerve.