I just caught my son licking the can of iced tea I gave him.
Not the tea Yall.
Now my pumpkin is 8. And brilliant.
So there is really no excuse.
I QUICKLY dropped that F bomb.
‘What the FUCK are you doing?!’
His handsome little face fell.
But as I shifted gears from shocked and annoyed to amused I cracked a smile.
He realized he wasn’t about to get the smack down and cracked one too.
Then I just started rolling.
Did I really just catch home boy licking a can?
Who the fuck does that?
‘Hari I don’t understand why you did that honestly but it was funny. It was also gross. That can is filthy.’
‘Sorry mom!’ *giggles*
Parenthood is a fucking mystery til the end yo.
#MomChronicles #ShitWeDontShare #MyBabyStillSmarterThanYoursThough 😂
So I just picked up my son from school.
His teacher, who I think is incredible, just chewed him out in front of the entire class for playing during gym class.
Now, she wasn’t there, but the gym teacher reported to her and she felt it necessary to report to me.
I appreciate being notified about my son’s behavior because I would have asked if she didn’t offer the information up anyway. I always ask. Teachers do a lot in a day and sometimes they’ll forget to mention things in the chaos of dismissal. But she made it a point to give me that information. Fine. What I DON’T like is that she did it very loudly in front of the entire class.
I’m not a proponent of embarrassing kids. I do not think it is an effective tool for illiciting change in behavior. Naturally there have been times when I had to correct a child’s behavior in a classroom setting, but I’ve never had a private conversation about a specific child with their parent while the entire class looks on, and I take crying very seriously- so I would definitely lower my voice after that at the very least.
Hari interjected to defend himself and clarify- as I taught him- (my friend threw something and I went to get it!) but the teacher wasn’t having it. When he began to cry she softened up by saying kids will be kids, but Hari has to follow directions- which I agree with. (The class was being instructed to line up when Hari and his friend ran and dived for whatever item his friend threw.)
Because I know my child I know damn well he was not aimlessly rolling around on the floor with his friend for no reason. He went to pick something up. No problem. He got in trouble because it’s not what he was supposed to be doing at the moment. No problem. But the fact teachers often
1. Overreact, and
2. Back one another up with no proof or context
Can be very problematic.
I’m sure Johari got off line and raced his friend to pick up the bracelet he threw.
But by the time the story got to me Hari had been ‘flipping and rolling’ with another student .
No one flips and rolls on gym floors. That shit would hurt.
Hari was scared. As we walked home I assured him he was not in trouble with me. The public tongue lashing from a usually very loving teacher was enough for one day. I asked if his gym teacher had said anything to him after the incident. He said no. That bothered me.
When my students are in trouble with me I make them fully aware of their transgression even if it is small and when I plan to get a parent involved I make that clear as well. That’s an important boundary not to cross without giving a child a heads up.
What if I was one of those parents who only ever believes the teacher and beats my kid for every little thing?
What if he’s been doing really great behavior wise as of late and now I’m made to believe he’s out of control in gym class just because the teacher had a bad day and blew a small incident out of proportion?
I explained to Hari this is probably the case as his gym teacher loves him to pieces. All the teachers do. He’s the bomb diggity. He also talks excessively and can have trouble following directions. I acknowledge this and work with him at home to improve in the areas he could work on.
What I won’t do is throw him under the bus unnecessarily or intentionally embarrass him/ get him in trouble.
As his mother when I feel like I’ve overdone it I apologize. And I pushed him out. It’s important that adults whose life’s work it is to educate/ care for children never forget that kids have circumstances you know nothing about. Just like adults. Had I been another mother this situation might have turned out very differently for Johari.
Also, we often punish a child multiple times for the same infraction. Teachers screams on them. Mom picks them up, gets the story and then screams on them. Then dad gets home from work and you tell him the story so they can get at the kid. Then you call grandma and let her get in on the action. Why? Once is enough.
But I will say this. I’m so proud of my kid. THIS is the kind of shit he gets in trouble for lol. I’ve had students so off the rails I would purposely NOT call the parents sometimes because I felt like they needed a break from bad news about their child.
So I’m thankful. Just making observations.
My dad is dope.
My fiancé is dope.
My son’s biological father was NOT.
My brother is dope.
His sperm donor is the worst case scenario when things don’t work out with your spouse and you have a child together.
My mama tried her damnedest.
Not even to hold him accountable but just to allow him the space to come and go as he pleased so he never felt cast out and therefore she could never be to blame for his absence.
But he is absent.
And he always was.
Most of my friends have children now.
Some are married.
Some are engaged.
Some are single and trying not to strangle the fuck out of the fool they made a tiny human with cause that shit would be a very awkward conversation.
I got homegirls with no kids.
I got homegirls with no fathers.
I got homegirls who will be ‘daddy’s girls! Til their very last breath.
Let’s keep it funky.
Life is crazy and people will surprise you.
Sometimes it’s pleasant.
Sometimes it’s a soul crushing let down.
I got lucky.
My mom and dad struggled through their personal shit and ultimately I was more important.
Everybody ain’t built like that.
I see my kids chromosomal predecessor in the street he better not speak to me unless the first words out his mouth are ‘my deepest apologies’ because abandoning a child is an unacceptable act.
I still might chin check that nigga.
The way I receive and perceive Fathers Day is a direct result of having experienced so many different versions of fatherhood or a lack thereof and my knowledge of so many people in so many different situations.
What good is a dad who’s ‘present’ but can’t accept your sexuality?
What good is a dad whose ‘present’ but who won’t pick up the phone for you when his new wife is around?
We need to stop judging one another and start giving folks the space to interact with Father’s Day however they see fit.
Why spend Father’s Day bad mouthing ‘dead beats?’ They’re a non factor!
Why spend your day bad mouthing single mothers? Parenthood is a hard job and going it alone is that much harder! Why would celebrating ANY parent at ANY time be something to fight over? Isn’t mothers/ Father’s Day supposed to be ‘every day’ anyway?
There’s so much shade thrown even amidst the happiest of times in the black community.
We are so hard on each other.
So unwilling to share perspectives and allow others to live in THEIR truth.
I know I’m guilty of this too as much as I try to be open and honest and accepting.
Had my last experience with love been my ex who knows how I’d cope with this holiday?
Maybe I’d be a proud single mom.
Maybe I’d be very resentful. (My choice not to use the word ‘bitter’ was very intentional. It’s like a dagger thrown at any black woman who chooses to communicate a negative romantic
Experience with a black man.)
Regardless of what I was feeling and how I dealt with it, it would be my issue and I would be free to feel those feels and express them.
We don’t know how to disagree respectfully anymore and we do not listen to each other.
We have a specific inclination not to listen to BLACK WOMEN.
And that shit has to stop.
So I’m trying really hard not to argue with anyone today or even think any mean spirited thoughts.
I just want everyone to enjoy their Father’s Day.
Enjoy this Sunday.
Enjoy this LIFE.
And stop acting like your experiences and emotions are the only valid ones!
In his latest stunt Captain of Team Breezy aka I ain’t saving none of these hoes even if I’m the one who endangered them has recently taken to social media to shame the mother of his child for- get this- taking a picture of their daughter at dance class.
Apparently Royalty’s black tutu and leg warmers- standard attire for any dance class- made her look like a ’16 year old.’ Except it didn’t. Royalty is two and therefore looks two. Always.
Could there have been some validity to his argument on the basis of Royalty’s pose perhaps?
She is sitting on the floor of the dance studio with one knee up in her tutu and leotard. Cute as ever. Mean mug on, probably because she was just not feeling dance that day. If you have children you know how that goes. Sometimes those mean mug pics are the best ones! (Hashtag she’s so mad. Hashtag I don’t care. Hashtag I paid $500 for these classes and she gon take hashtag EVERY hashtag LAST hashtag ONE.)
I say all this to point out that neither baby girl nor her mother have done anything wrong here. But leave it to everyone’s favorite chill deficient ‘bad boy’ and master of prepubescent vocals to find a way to not only sexualize a young black girl but also vilify another woman of color in the process.
You’ll recall his Twitter attack of Kehlani a couple months back when the entire world thought she was a filthy whore because Party Next Door has no behavior and captioned a photo of them back together very questionably in an effort to establish his conquest since she had most recently been dating Kyrie Irving.
Even when Irving (after what felt like ages) cleared up cheating rumors (she did not cheat. I’ll say it again for you niggas with the #FuckSlutsLikeKehlani shirts in the back. SHE. DID. NOT. CHEAT.) and wished her well the damage was done and an unapologetic Breezy was on to the next unsolicited and misogynistic comment.
This is the same man who uses iconic black women as punching bags and cheats on long time pretty brown girlfriends while singing about disloyal hoes. Why wouldn’t he take the opportunity to come for his Latina baby mama? She was good enough to fuck and impregnate but don’t let her dress the kids! She’s incapable! Got the baby out here looking loose!
Is that just Breezy’s own sexualization of light skinned women of color manifesting in his questionable parenting? He clearly has a type. Royalty will grow up to look like that type. And he is already treating her how the rest of the world will when she is grown because he has yet to grow up himself.
Rather than express his opinion to his co parent privately he took to social media to galvanize all the fuck boys who begin sexualizing black girls in their toddler years. The patriarchy loves an audience. His perception of the woman he chose to have a child with as incompetent, the two year old’s outfit as ‘grown’ and his treatment of women in general screams misogynoir.
I have been appalled with the things I see online since I started using social media but the conversations around women’s clothing, respectability and when a child is ‘old enough’ to be considered a sexual being are particularly troubling.
The objectification of women based on what people think their intentions are with their attire (because apparently men are mind readers and so are the women who support the patriarchy) is running RAMPANT.
After Muva Erykah gave these fuckboys the cosign to look at young girls on the basis of it being ‘natural’ the God damn flood gates opened for every creep uncle, red black and green flag waving acquaintance and inappropriate friend of your mother’s to look at you inappropriately on the basis of anatomy and nature.
Chris Brown, Miss Badu, and a host of folks in the Twitterverse would do well to recognize that children are still children no matter how ‘grown’ you perceive them to be. What is robbing our children of their innocence isn’t their clothing or their hair or their interests or mass media or make up.
It’s not hard to censor what your child is exposed to in your home and in the care of your loved ones. It’s not hard to set boundaries that allow for freedom of expression and establish trust as a child gets older and wants to present themselves in ways you may not understand. It’s not hard to contextualize pop culture so that even if your child is exposed to it and enjoys it, it’s not dictating their behavior and attitudes.
Everything we think makes our kids ‘grown’ can be addressed and dealt with fairly easily if we are consistent, fair, PRESENT, WOKE parents. What’s sexualizing our kids is US.
Nothing can destroy a child’s innocence the way an adult who won’t let them be a child can. The sexualization of our kids, boys and girls alike, is at the root of so many of the issues our community.
Everything from street harassment to teen pregnancy can be traced back to boys being taught at a young age that being a man means attracting girls and conquering their bodies and girls being taught not to be sluts by their fathers and not to be prudes by their friends while their mothers avoid the conversation altogether to avoid having to deal with dad later.
We as a community need to address the common psyche that perceives something like a two year old in a tutu as ‘inappropriate’ and seeks to blame black women for our perceived communal shortcomings.
But that’s an entirely different post.
Stop sexualizing black children.
Other people’s and your own.
Extending myself a little grace today.
The volume on my phone was very low for some reason so the alarm (and several back up alarms) went off unnoticed and I woke up 10 minutes before Hari needed to be at school.
I usually rush and get him there as close as possible to the cut off time but Jayla was awake by then too and rushing a 3 year old is a very funky business. I could have but I didn’t want to.
Usually I’m VERY upset when I wake up late. There is an automatic feeling of inadequacy as a mother attached to lateness for me when it comes to my kids, especially with school.
I noticed I used to take it out on Hari, yelling at him and being really nasty on the mornings we were running late- but I came to the realization he is my child and his lateness is always my fault- so why should I be mad at him?
I started working on not only punctuality, but watching my behavior when we DO wind up running late. I began to turn late mornings into opportunities to hang out with them a little longer since all our days are pretty hectic and the only extensive time we had together was the weekends.
Today for the first time in a LONG time I woke up late. It was so late baby girl woke ME up. Hari was so upset. The teacher is going to yell at me! I felt bad. But only momentarily. I explained to him that she probably gets upset when children come in late because she doesn’t want them to miss any material. It’s nothing to take personally. I suggested that he apologize upon entering the classroom and jump right into the lesson as quickly and quietly as possible.
As the mother of one of TWO black boys in the gifted and talented program at his school lateness was a particularly uncomfortable issue for me. I don’t want my baby being associated with ‘CP time.’ I don’t want anyone EXPECTING us to be late because we’re the black folks and that’s just what we do.
But I also know that assumption would be their issue and not mine, and that despite all the ignorance running rampant in this world my son has already shown improve and shut a lot of people up in his 8 years thus far, so I cannot allow the occasional lateness to alter my perception of his perceived excellence or my parenting by any means.
The lesson here? Life happens.
I implore you all to extend yourselves and those around you a little extra favor, grace and kindness this week.
Happy Wednesday ❤️