Village Talk: Totally Unfit OR...Did Something Stupid?

Recently I had something go down in my neighborhood where a neighbor asked me to call the police on some kids for her.  Well...CLEARLY this neighbor doesn't know me cuz yeah...I'm not calling the police on kids.  ESPECIALLY in the currently climate we've been in for a minute regarding police situations.  I was annoyed with the situation big time because the woman is a mother and well...I figured mothers should think these kinds of things through before making a rash decision.  I mean...I hold mothers up in high esteem even as I recognize they are human.

But again...I would never, ever, EVER call the police on children unless I for real thought my life was in danger.  So yeah...just wanted to get that out the way.  o_0

That said, I read this article and I felt some kinda way about it:  

Mom allegedly leaves son alone for holiday weekend

So...the mother is 27.  Her child is 8.  She became a mother when she was still a teenager of sorts.  At 27, she's a cute girl still.  And...she's been a mother for 8 years + the 9 months she carried the child.  You'd like to THINK she'd figured out how to do this mothering thing a bit better but well...the news that we often hear or read would suggest that people in their 20's are still kinda offish.  As someone who was MAJORLY offish in her 20's...hell...I can't imagine the simple ish I might have done had I been a parent since being a teenager.  Not saying that all women who became mothers early on did major irresponsible ish but hey...I'd understand-ish if they did.

Whenever I hear/read something like this...I wonder what I would have done.  I know me so I know that had I realized that an 8 year old neighbor child was home alone while his mother was out of town...I would have promptly made him call his mother and give me the phone.  I would have told her IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS that her child was going to be at my house until she returned and that my expectations were that she was going to return as quickly as possible with the threat of the police being called if she didn't.  I would have thought about the repercussions of calling the police.  Of the child being removed from the home and taken into protective custody.  Of the mother being arrested.  Of her arrest possibly leading to her losing her job and all the crap that follows losing your job when you're a single parent.  I would have wondered why in the HELL she didn't leave the child with someone she trusted and then I would have been sad thinking that she didn't have anyone in her life that she'd trust with her child.  I'd think that yeah...she did something stupid but hey...the child was being well taken care of prior to this so yeah...maybe getting them people in their business would COMPLETELY wreck their flow of life.  If she didn't have someone she trusted to care for her child for a weekend...what are the chances that she'd have someone trusted to care for the child while she dealt with the legal issues surrounding her doing something majorly f'ed up and stupid?

But yeah...Idda thought about all of that and brought him to my house, put on some cartoons or hooked up his video game and kept an eye on the kid until she hot footed it back home.  And then...Idda kept an eye on her azz from that point forward to make sure the child was good ya know?  I probably would have offered to watch him for her so she could have a break from being a mother and just be a cute 27 year old at the beach with friends from time-to-time.

Cuz mothers need that downtime sometimes when they are the everything and all to their babies.

I get upset thinking about this "neighbor" who called the police straight off the bat.  I mean...chick had kids who played with the kid apparently so she was acquainted with him but not so much so that she'd consider the repercussions should she call the police.  So she did and the child was removed from the home and the mother arrested.  Nothing was said about the child living in unfit conditions.  Their home is nice and well kept.  

I'm not condoning what the mother did cuz yeah...that was stupid and dude...REALLY??????????  HE'S FUGGIN 8 YEARS OLD!  But the "neighbor?"  She's a b*****.  An unfeeling, unconcerned b***** who doesn't give two shits about that child.  Yeah I said it...she's a BITCH.

I hate calling people b*****es and very rarely do it...but in this situation one mother did something super stupid and the other mother was a b****.

I hate b****es.

Your turn.  What would YOU have done?  Would YOU have called the police?  

Mother's Day 2015: One Lantern Against a Dark, Vast Sky

For years I've tried to focus on the indomitable strength of my parents.  The people that brought me into this world and who made a conscious decision to be the all and everything to and for my brothers and I for a lifetime.  I made a consolidated effort to try and steer my thoughts whenever they strayed to the darkness and really focused on spreading light forcefully into anything that attempted to seep into my spirit and crumble my resolve.

Sometimes it works.

Sometimes it doesn't.

When I think of all a parent has to be, I am humbled by the sheer weight of the job.  Of dedicated fealty.  And honestly, sometimes, I'm thankful it's a job I never had to undertake.  I think of my mother, beaten and broken, getting up, no matter what, to get us ready for our day.  I think of her soft hands, smiles and kisses as she made our breakfast, placing our plates gingerly on the table in front of us wincing slightly at the weight of balancing the plate as she holds one of her wings close to her side to balance out her pain from her bruises, her abuse, her choice to keep her children in a two-parent home which all the Elders and society lead her to believe she needed to have so that we could grow, and soar and fly while she watched protectively from her nest.

With a broken wing.

So we had to learn early on to not depend on her always, not because she didn't WANT to take care of us the way she wanted to but because her choices might hinder her from being able to.  Her wing might be broken.  Or her jaw.  Or her collarbone.  Or four fucking ribs and her wrist.

And she'd arrange her long hair artfully.  A long spiral curl falling softly in her face hoping you wouldn't look closer into her eyes and see the bruise there fading or pay attention to how one half of her face slumped from the stroke she'd had and wasn't afforded with the luxury of recovery properly because he demanded that things get back to normal as soon as possible because the longer things weren't "normal" the longer he was faced with what he'd done.  Again, and again and again.  And how watching her hurt hurt him and he saw it in our eyes and he knew he'd done it but he didn't want to but dammit he did it.  FUCK HE DID IT.  HE HURT HER REPEATEDLY.

And always with remorse.  Always with gifts.  Always followed by something pretty when she was the most beautiful thing he could ever touch.

By age 12, I was put in charge of her Mother's Day gifts.  My father would give me a wad a cash or a credit card and he'd take my brother and I to the mall to pick something out.  He'd sit on a bench and wait no matter how long it took.  He didn't rush us, he wanted to make sure that she got something she'd love.  I'd go store to store looking for the perfect something for her.  Something I'd seen her linger on before but wouldn't buy for herself because she didn't want to spend the money on herself because she had four growing children running out of yesterday's clothes.  I'd touch the fabrics as I'd watched her do a million times.  Rub it against my cheek to see it if was a pleasing feel.  I'd imagine how she'd look dressed in it.  How'd she'd walk if she wore it while free and happy with the wind blowing in her hair and with her dress up jewelry and shoes.  I'd always get it gift wrapped there and take my time choosing the paper and ribbon in the back of the store or at Gaudchaux's up the elevator that smelled of ammonia and something sweet in the middle of it.  I'd be proud and my little brother would be quiet knowing that this was the most important thing we were tasked yearly because it was her day.  HER day.  The one who did so much and took so much yet  received so little in the form of hugs and kisses.  Not knowing then...that it's what she truly valued the most.

Her babies.

And when the box was complete, when I'd passed over the money and the gift was placed directly in front of me, he'd stand on his toes to take it off the counter so he could carry it gently.  Wearing his clean and pressed shorts, his tube socks with the coordinating stripes.  His afro picked out to perfection because she plaited his hair every night before bed so it didn't get tangled.  And he'd carry it reverently and I'd follow behind him, small chest poked out.  I got it right.  I know I did.  I know she'll love it.  Not that pretend mommy love either.  The for real kind.

She'd love it.

He'd see us coming and ask if we were good?

You good?

Big grins.

We're good, daddy, we're good.

Your mama gonna like it?

She's going to love it daddy.  

My brother silent, looking at him with eyes that were always cloaked hiding what I now know he never really hid.  He simply kept it at bay from this one.

From him.

And we'd keep the gift hidden.  A secret.  Until Sunday morning and we'd be so excited.  And she'd sit on the furniture we never sat on and she'd exclaim over how beautiful the wrapping paper was and she'd take it off gently so as to not tear it and we'd be giddy with excitement, jumping beans in pajamas with bed plaited hair and sleep crust on the corners or our eyes.  A runny nose from the air conditioning and ashy knees and elbows.  And she'd open it and lift it from the tissue paper, her eyes glazed over with happiness.  She'd place the box gently to the side and hold her gift and she'd look directly at me with softness in her eyes, girl-to-girl, and smile KNOWING IT WAS ME WHO KNEW HER SO WELL.

I so loved that feeling of being able to do for her something she'd never do for herself in a way she'd taught me how.  Paying attention to the details.  

I don't know if I would have been able to be her.  I doubt I could ever bend the way she did.  I doubt putting the lives of four other people always above her own is something I would have ever been able to do the right way.  The bar of motherhood she set would have been a struggle for me to lift myself over.  I don't have the dexterity it would have taken under the conditions she did it all under.  I doubt if my anger, always right below the surface, would have been able to be pushed out of the way by light as she did.  I doubt having my wing broken would have ended with my making breakfast.

All the mothers I know have this.  That all consuming power they use to cover their children and keep going. Bullshit at work with a smile because they can't pop off in an explosion of words and angry emails taking down fools with them and rolling out in a blaze of glory.


I am in awe of what children do to women.  How it polishes them into such rare and beautiful sparkling gems.  How it preens them into powerful all knowing beings.

For the past month I've been on top of the world doing what I love.  Last night I dressed up like a girl and danced with true happiness.  Nearing the end of the night...someone release a lantern into the sky.  Just one.  As I watched it fly away my mind exploded with thoughts and images and sensations of her and my heart cracked open yet again.  A wound nothing will ever truly heal.  

I drove home in pain.  In silence.  With tears streaming down my face missing her so fucking much even as she'd been gone more years now than I had her.  

But I remember her.

And I miss her.

And God knows how very, very much I fall back on the strength of her.  Of needing her.

I walked into my cool, clean and quiet home dodging frogs at the door and went straight to him.  My love.  And he enveloped me, kissing me asking if I'd had a good time immediately up out of his sleep with a light on.  For me.  When I didn't answer...he knew the cracks in my interior were open and hugged me tighter.  

I miss my mommy.  I'd give practically anything for that to be something I never, ever felt.

Happy Mother's Day to you and yours.  It's a bond so will never be able to shatter.  And the power it gives you is a light we all see and admire.  Have an amazing day.  Be the Queen.




Moms Being Moms

These mothers have since connected and it's a beautiful thing.  After Daughters Act Up, Mom Turns to Facebook to Make Amends

I love this story because it shows that the one mother understood that kids sometimes act like donkeys when their parents aren't around.  She didn't automatically think that it was the parents fault and she approached the girls afterwards in what sounds like a very human and honest way.  I love how the mother of the girls responded too.  That was all the way awesome.  She basically said...we raised them right and are mortified at their behavior...please let us make this right.

And I love that little brother dimed their azzes out.

It reminded me of something I did recently at the movies.  A group of young Black teenagers were showing their behinds.  They all looked like they came from good homes if you didn't pay attention to the crap they were saying. Neat hairstyles and hair cuts. Neat and trendy clothes. Smartphones...all that. One young lady was straight showing OUT! Loud, cussing, saying vulgar ish...all while waiting for the rest of their friends to be dropped off by their parents.

I walked over to the young lady and told her..."You know I know your mama right?" And walked off.  

My Aunt asked me what I told her because the young lady scaled it ALL the way back to zero.  When I told her she asked did I really know her mama.

Me: No. I haven't lived here in more years than that child has been alive. LOL!

My Aunt laughed her butt off. Said she's going to start using that one.

Humph.  Out there shaming their parents with all that knowing good and darn well they are being raised right.

What is it about getting together with your friends that makes teenagers be the exact opposite of who they are 98% of the time? 

How would you have handled this had it been YOUR kids?  Have you ever corrected teenagers in public?  Have you ever dimed a kid out when you knew their parents?

Adult Children Living Home

I'm at the age where I have friends with adult children.  After the Angie Stone thing the other day, I started thinking of how many of my friends have adult children who lived with them or HAVE lived with them since becoming adults and's pretty much all of them.  Gone are the days when parents tell their kids that when they turn 18 they have to get out...and mean it.  Because really...where are they going to go if they are not in somebody's college dorm?  How are they, at age 18, going to provide for themselves?

I wondered if this was a new thing or whether or not it was normal and got to talking about it with a couple of people.  One person told me that when they graduated from college their parents helped set up their first apartment and helped them out with a few months rent so they could get on their feet properly.  I heard something similar from another friend too and I thought to myself...hmmmmmm...

Then I had a lightbulb moment.  Younger parents of adult children honestly might not have the money to do those things for their children.  Older parents have more money it seems so they would be capable of helping out a bit more right?

I'm thinking...I'm thinking...

So now I'm wondering if folks should start immediately expecting that their children will be home for much longer than they expected them to be. I mean, it seems that even if kids go off to college and graduate, chances are high that they will have to head back home if a job offer isn't forthcoming that will allow them to care for themselves properly.  AND...even if they get a good enough job, does it make sense for them to stay home for a year after so they can save up a chunk of money knowing that as soon as for real adulthood comes into play they will be steamrolled right on into bills, bills and more bills with less of an opportunity to save?  Makes me wonder.

Have you thought about living with your children as adults?  

Have you thought about where they are going once they hit 18 if they are not college material?  

If you have adult children at home, what are your rules?  Do they have a deadline as to when they have to leave?  What's been the most surprising thing you've had to address that you didn't think of before it came up?

Are adult children living home the norm now? 

Miami Northwestern High School Dancers

A friend posted a video of these dancers last night.  It wasn't this video, but another one that was pretty bad in my opinion.  The one I saw was done on bleachers where they had more room to move.  

I went searching for the school today just to see what was what.  Turns out...this school's dance team is held in high regard.  Girls, at this school, dream of being on the squad.  They are truly the popular hot ish girls on the yard.

What say you?  Would you be comfortable with your daughter being on this squad?   

Disagreeing Agreeably Kids to Adults

One of the most important thinks being raised in a family is learning how to disagree agreeably.  This is honestly one of the most important things you can learn as a human.  Not learning this, however, can make things long and hard for you down the line.

I wasn't allowed to disagree growing up.  With my mother...maybe.  But on certain things.  Like...clothes or stuff like that.  She allowed me to have choices and I clung to the ability to have choices growing up.  With my father however?  No choices.  Do as he said ONLY.

I was watching a child I love recently being asked to make a decision about something.  The child deliberated and changed their mind twice.  The end result was that once the decision was made...the child was made to stick to that decision.  I marveled at that.  I loved that the child was being raised knowing that their opinions and what they want...are important.


I've seen this happen with other kids too and the kids took it too far.  And their parents let them.  They went on and on and on until the parent snapped and took the decision away from them because the kid was being indecisive.

That made me wonder.  Hmmmmmmmmm...

What's your take on allowing kids to make their own decisions?  On disagreeing with you?  How do you make sure to guide them in a way that doesn't strip them of their independent thought?  How to you allow them the opportunity to disagree with you albeit respectfully.

Are you raising children that can disagree agreeably?  Who will go on to be adults who can disagree agreeably?

Were YOU allowed to disagree with your parents?  

Punishment: Going to Bed Without Dinner?

I was shopping the other day and a kid was straight wilding out.  His mother was trying to talk to him through her teeth as mother's who want to kill their kids in public sometimes do.  I overheard her say, "If you keep up, when we get home, you're going to bed immediately without dinner!"

I hadn't heard that threat in a long, long time.  I believe my mother used to threaten it but I can't remember a time she actually followed through with that particular threat.  I dinner?  I can see no dessert or no strawberry milk or lemonade but no dinner?  Wouldn't that be considered cruel and unusual punishment?

What do you think?  Is a punishment of no dinner an acceptable punishment for a child or do you think it's a bad punishment?

What are some of the punishments you've used which are on the creative side that you felt worked?

Nick News with Linda Ellerbee: "Coming Out"

The other day, a child I love was watching "Sponge Bob" on Nickelodeon.  The child's mother was passing by the room where he was watching it, during the day, and was stopped in her tracks about a promo of a show, "Coming Out," about gay children coming out.  The show was going to air at night...but the promo was shown during the day.  One of the kids in the promo was a 7 year old boy.  Others were teenagers.

Upon investigation of the show, she found that the emphasis is on preventing bullying against gay kids and she got that, of course, but she still felt some kinda way about the promo running when it did on a channel she allows her young child to watch before 6pm.

Where are you on this?  

You good?

Mommy / Daddy Assignment!

Shelly and 1969 interviewed their kids years ago and the answers made me scream with laughter!  They're older now so I'm thinking their answers won't be as funny but still adorable as all get out.

So...why not interview YOUR kids too!  Here are the questions, share the answers along with child's first or nickname and age!

Name, Age 

1.What is something mom always says to you? 

2. What makes mom happy? 

3. What makes mom sad? 

4. How does your mom make you laugh? 

5. What was your mom like as a child? 

6. How old is your mom? 

7. How tall is your mom? 

8. What is your mom's favorite thing to watch on TV? 

9. What does your mom do when you're not around? 

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? 

11. What is your mom really good at? 

12. What is your mom not very good at? 

13. What does your mom do for her job? 

14. What is your mom's favorite food? 

15. What makes you proud of your mom? 

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be? 

17. What do you and your mom do together? 

18. How are you and your mom the same? 

19. How are you and your mom different? 

20. How do you know your mom loves you? 

21. Where is your mom's favorite place to go? 

From My Inbox: Potty Training

Hey!  Yall are using the inbox!  That was super cool! goes the first question from the new inbox!  GO US!

I have a soon to be three year old daughter and it has been impossible to potty train her. I know there are a lot of parents that read this blog and I could use some tips of what to do and what not to do.

Scenario from Real Life: Dating at 16

Your daughter is 16.

A 16 year old young man at school asked her to be his girlfriend.

She said yes.

She tells you about it.

You're not ready but hey...she's 16.  

You gotta be ready.

You tell her you need to think about the rules and boundaries. gotta come up with rules and boundaries.

Whatcha got?