Chronicles of a Single Mom #13: Kitchen Wars

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Help!

My child wants to invade my kitchen and I’m not ready.

Long gone are the days where she’d be satisfied to sit on the floor and play with pots and pans.

Long gone are the days where she’d play in her play kitchen and cook an entrée made out of red and yellow Play-Doh.

Long gone are the days where she’d be excited to play with her EZ Bake oven in anticipation of the sweet mini treats that would come out of the opposite end.

With those memories has gone the sense of security I felt allowing her to do these things rather than encroach on my domain.

Anyone who knows a good Southern woman (I say Southern but this could easily be any cook) will tell you that you don’t mess around in her kitchen.

It takes years to get our seasonings and cooking materials in the right place. A place where they’re organized and out of the way yet easily accessible. Easy enough to come in and fix a quick meal or a holiday dinner.

So now that I know I like my seasonings close to the stove, my little roommate would also like to try her hand at this thing called cooking.

Did I mention she’s 9?

She’s ambitious too. She doesn’t want to start off with making a sandwich or simply fixing a bowl of soup. That would be too easy. She’d prefer to fix four course meals for unauthorized (I haven’t approved any of these events) parties, teas and social gatherings. She even wants to plan the menu for Holiday dinners. One catch, she’s never turned on a stove.

Ever.

Lately, she’s begun asking to fix dinner one day of the week. She means business too because she makes out a grocery list from the recipe that she would like to make.

I’m torn between thinking I’m a great mom setting a great example for my kid and showing her a life skill that will come in handy for the rest of her life, or I’m simply enabling her by not allowing her to experiment in the kitchen and become more independent.

I don’t know.

What I do know is that I need to call the insurance company to see how much it costs to cover all accidents that may occur during her learning curve.

Might even invite the agent over for soup and sandwiches.

I’m Just Saying.

Jesse Williams: A loud voice among whispers

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Did you catch the BET awards?

I’m sure if you missed it you’ve seen plenty of clips from the episode or heard about it by this point.

It was a great show, fulfilling its promise of a great tribute to the legendary Prince. (Billboard have a seat and take plenty of notes) Of course there were moments that made us question the state of Hip Hop but there were other moments that allowed us to poke our chest out, glad to be a part of a culture that stays woke.

One of those moments was a speech that snatched eyebrows back and demanded the attention of all those listening as Jesse Williams boldly spoke to his people, cameras be damned, when he accepted the 2016 BET Humanitarian award.

Missed it? Get you some of this right here:

http://www.bet.com/video/betawards/2016/acceptance-speeches/jesse-williams-receives-humanitarian-award.html

Did you hear that greatness? The knowledge that threw itself out into the atmosphere? Not for shine or recognition but simply because someone has to voice what the majority is thinking. Not the majority that want to loot and burn down buildings but the majority that wants to do credible work in an effort to move its culture, society and communities towards the future and a better life. It was freaking awesome but unfortunately it’s not new.

People of Color (POCs) have been woke for quite some time in this country, attempting to make sure their voices are heard in the wake of increasing injustices, police brutality, racist rhetoric in political speeches, systematic and institutionalized racism that has become as common to us as breathing. So in reality, Williams basically got on television and spoke to the brothers and sisters as if we were at the crib enjoying dinner and a game of spades.

And there’s nothing wrong with that. Some of us needed another wake up call (because there’s been plenty before) to show us that even though the road is hard we can’t give up now. Some of those who are content to carry on with the way things are needed to know that they need to get out of the way and stop blocking those who actually want to crate change. Did you hear that Stacy Dash? And yes that includes those who are innocent bystanders that watch the abuse and injustices go down and do nothing to stop it. You have to pick a side. Saying you’re not racist but being a proponent of white privilege is just as bad as attending a Klan meeting without the sheet.

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Of course you can’t really say anything without some getting in their feelings. Of course, I don’t think there would’ve been as many in their feelings if the show had not been aired on Viacom’s sister channels. Don’t believe me? Check the receipts:

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You see boys and girls this is exactly what Williams was talking about. The pure unadulterated hate that lives online. Of course they wouldn’t have said anything if their own children hadn’t seen it. I have receipts for that too. Ignorant phrases like this popped up across the web:

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And this:

https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video;_ylt=A0LEV1zyp3ZXEiQA6QxXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTB0N2Noc21lBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNwaXZz?p=jesse+williams+tomi+lahren&fr=hp-ddc-bd-tab&fr2=piv-web#id=6&vid=28d828c26f0ec4c2fa19a42fee35f7e3&action=view

#Staymadabby! #SitdownBeckywiththegoodhair. Next time make sure the ENTIRE video plays because as a journalist you should know that context is everything.

So you want me to believe that you’re not racist after saying things like this? Not only do I think you’re racist I also think your ignorant. Anyone that has Twitter fingers could also use them to do a Google search and see that Viacom is owned by an old white man, not black owned. Also that BET has no control over which sister stations air it’s programming. That also happens at the top. The question you should be asking is why the top executives at Viacom felt that you sweet, innocent little children would gladly tune in to that program.

That just brings us a whole different beast that the View touched on:

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FTheView%2Fvideos%2F10153600358446524%2F&show_text=0&width=560

See what I mean?

I think Williams was another loud voice in the crowd that hit home for both POCs and non-POCs. He inspired you to think about the actions and decisions made on a daily basis that lead to brown and black bodies in the street, whether they’re dead or homeless. He invited you to search your consciousness and decide whether you would be part of the problem or the solution. He reminded you that the struggle is far from over and that there needs to be people courageous and selfless enough to lead others toward solutions.

Most importantly he reminded you that humanity should come before money and I’m okay with that.

I’m Just Saying.

 

Chronicles of a Single Mom #12: Summer Drain or Summer Pain?

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It’s that time of the year again.
Teachers across the nation get a much needed break while parents take on the care of their children or ship them off to some camp filled with fun-packed activities.
For the past few years, school systems have harped on the need to make sure your child(ren) were stimulated over the summer break instead of playing video games or watching cartoons all day to prevent what is called Summer Drain.
Summer Drain is described as the loss of information retained during the previous school year during the summer. The thought behind this is that without academic stimulation, students lose the information that they learned the previous school year putting them at a disadvantage for the upcoming school year.
Now as a child of a mother that’s being in the education profession all my life, I never really had that problem. As a matter of fact, I despised the packets of work that showed up shortly after the last day of school.
However, I find that I’m putting my child through the exact same torture. Ironic right? It’s a mutual torture because I have to check said work. It can be quite a summer pain.
Here’s why it may be pain that you can live with. According to the National Summer Learning Association, low-income youth lose two to three months in reading while their higher-income peers make slight gains. In math, there is an overall loss of two months of math skills during the summer months. Those losses add up. By fifth grade, summer learning loss can leave low-income students 2 ½ to 3 years behind their peers.
So is it something I can live with?
Yep, for now.
I just keep in mind that it’ll be someone else’s job to check them come August. It keeps me sane.
I’m Just Saying.

Father’s Day Blues

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Father’s Day is this weekend.
While this is a joyous time for some to celebrate their father and all that he does, that’s not the cause for my household.
It’s more like a storm cloud looming over until Monday begins. It’s one of the few times my daughter really acknowledges her father’s absence in her life. She can’t seem to find the answers to her questions.
Like “Why doesn’t daddy love me?” or “How come daddy never sees me?” or “Why am I not important enough to be in his life?” For a mother those are some tough questions to be asked and even tougher to come up with a legitimate answer.
It’s not distance. He lives and works roughly 25-30 minutes away.
We don’t do drama so there’s no problem there.
He pays child support so he has rights there.
Despite all that, she can count on one hand how many times she’s seen him and the last time was more than 3 years ago. She’s nine now.
I honestly believe that if he walked past her on the street she wouldn’t even know it was him.
They say every girl needs her father to teach her lessons her mother can’t.
I hope my daughter learns from the lessons her father has taught her with his absence.
I hope she learns that it’s not okay for a man to make you feel inadequate or unimportant.
I hope she learns that it’s better to let someone walk away and be alone than to keep someone around and feel unwanted/unloved.
I hope she learns how important it is to watch who you have children with.
I hope she learns that if a person wanted to spend time with you they would. With that being said, don’t make someone a priority when you’re only an option.
I hope she learns that despite what someone does or doesn’t do she can always count on herself.
So I don’t agree that every girl needs her father.
Because some fathers don’t deserve the awesome little girls they have.
I’d rather her have a man in her life that loves and cares for her unconditionally and shows her every chance he gets. Someone who treats her as if she was his flesh and blood.
A man that gives her a reason to celebrate Father’s Day instead of dreading it.
I’m Just Saying.

It’s hot but Hell is hotter!

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Listen.
I don’t do hot too well. Today is one of those hot and muggy days the South is known for.
When I got up this morning to take the kid to school it was already 70 degrees.
While running errands this morning it continued to heat up.
At 10 a.m. I decided that I could take no more and came home. It was a little past 80 degrees at that point.
I couldn’t do anything but sit down on the couch and re-evaluate my salvation as I tried to cool off. When I say re-evaluate I mean sitting there thinking “Man, I don’t want to go to hell.” Like “let me google the difference between the prayer of salvation and a sinner’s prayer so I can figure out which one works best for me” re-evaluation.
The bible describes Hell as an eternal lake of fire.
FIRE.
FIRE = HEAT
See where I’m going here? I can barely be out in the sun an hour without feeling dehydrated. There’s no way I would willingly do an eternity of forever heat.
No thanks. Thus begins my campaign to work extra hard to get into heaven. I mean I Luv God (in my Erica Campbell voice) with my all. That’s one of the big one’s right?
The other is to love others as you love yourself. I’m working on that.
But I’m going to put in extra work so I can go to Heaven.
I bet the angels are dressed in cool, breathable white linen.
The gold bricks have to be pretty cold to remain solid.
The overall climate has to be pretty cool if everyone is dancing and rejoicing all day long without breaking a sweat, don’t you think?
Therefore, I’ve deduced that Heaven must have A/C and I’ll take that over a lake full of flames any day.
I’m Just Saying.

Chronicles of a Single Mom #11 – The EOG Jitters

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We’ve hit another milestone on this journey called Parenthood.
As a third grader, my daughter took her first End of Grade test this month.
Let me tell you… I wasn’t ready.
I couldn’t handle it.
Yeah I know I didn’t actually take the test but with all the anxiety I felt about her taking it I may as well have been in the seat beside her.
As a parent you wonder if you’ve done everything you could to help your child succeed.
I was that parent attending the Saturday morning information sessions so I could use the resources given to make sure my kid was ready.
I made it my duty to make sure I picked her up early enough for her to have plenty of time to relax when she got home. I cooked dinner in advance so she didn’t have to worry about waiting to eat. She even went to bed an hour earlier, even though she didn’t have to go to sleep.
There were motivational talks, encouraging words, a poster of support, and a homemade breakfast each morning.
She wore comfortable clothing and packed a hoodie in the event she got cold while sitting still for 180 minutes.
Any and everything to make my little scholar confidant and comfortable so she can do her best.
What I forgot to do was take something myself.
I was a ball of nerves the entire time. Before she could close the car door after picking her up, I would ask how the test went. How did she feel about it? Was it hard? What did she think? Trying to get a feel for how she did without adding any pressure.
Yeah I know that the state’s standardized tests don’t define her as a student but of course I’d want her to do her best, whether it’s testing to pass her current grade or coloring in the lines for a prize.
Which is why I lost sleep and drove myself insane worrying about how she’d do on the test.
The great thing about the entire ordeal is that I’ve learned she actually listens to what I say (for now).
While I was in need of a Xanax, she had already made up her mind that she’d do her very best. She was cool, calm and collected. Facing a challenge head on and loving it.
Which is why she will continue to excel when she heads to fourth grade in the fall.
Not me though.
I’m making a bee line to something that will help take the edge off while I remind myself that I’ve already earned my diploma and they can’t take it back.
I’m Just Saying.

Hate is real and Discrimination is alive

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As Americans we have the right to feel anyway we want about things we don’t agree with. That being said, the key word there is feel.
Not act.
This morning we wake up to the horrible news that someone has done just that in Orlando.
A man, Omar Mateen, decided that he would enter a known LGBQT club on Latin night packed with 320 people who were looking to have a good time. At 2 p.m. he walked in and opened fire on the attendees with AR-15 eventually taking 30 people hostage.
A total of 50 people are reported dead and 53 others injured.
We can say what we want.
It can be called “domestic terrorism”, it can be called a “hate crime”, it can be called an assault of free will.
We don’t know why he did it despite his father saying that he was angry about seeing two men kiss.
I, for one, don’t care what his reasoning is for this senseless act of violence. I do care that we have become so desensitized to mass shooting that the world barely pauses.
I do care that, as the political season has showed us, there are Americans who hate, despise and loath other Americans.
So much so that they attack others who don’t believe or act as they believe they should.
Descendants of so many who came to America looking for a place to practice free will, free speech and democracy.
Ironic isn’t it?
Imagine what would happen if the same energy put into hating and discriminating against different groups of people was applied to the issues that plague America the most.
Like poverty.
Like food deserts.
Like educational disparities.
Like the unemployment rate.
Like health care disparities.
I could go on and on but you get my point. If that negative energy was put into something positive, America would be a better place.
At what point do we begin to question our policies (both institutionalized and systematic) and laws that continually allow Americans to be killed? Even by other Americans.
Without changing these I believe we’re sending a message to the rest of the world that we as Americans don’t even value each other.
We’ll send troops overseas when those from another country attack Americans. When an American attacks other American’s we spend weeks talking about what to do about it, never really getting down to the root of the problem.
The hate is real. It’s time to stop ignoring it and start rectifying the issues we have right here at home.
I’m Just Saying.