Tag Archives: raising boys

Punishment side effects

It’s amazing the effect that punishment has on bedtime.

FACT: A child on punishment will voluntarily put himself to bed before 8:00pm

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The Virginia Bama Tells a Story

Raki wasn’t always cool. I speak of myself in third person to show how far I’ve come. But lest I forget, the following will always bring me back to earth. A few weeks ago I found a cassette tape of a 13 year old me telling a story that I’d made up. I had just moved from southern Virginia to the DC metro area and had not yet begun the arduous task of eradicating my accent. Listen and be amused.

http://theoriginaldavid.com/Shakiras_Story.mov

(if the link audio doesn’t work try the direct link HERE it takes a second to load, but sit tight…it’s worth the wait)

Are you done laughing yet? This tape surfaced right on time, and turned into an afterschool special. Dave is growing up and as much as I appreciate his eccentricities, being a teenager in a society that is telling kids to grow up too quick and act too cool way too soon, makes it difficult to instill in him to just be cool with who he is (everybody else can kick rocks). I get frustrated with some of his insecurities mostly because I’ve been in his shoes and understand what he’s going through. Telling your kids that you “get it” works sometimes but this tape gave Dave a real life peek at me at his age. I was awkward, friendless, the new kid, totally out of place and telling stories in the closet to amuse myself. Of course when I let him listen to it he laughed a lot, critiqued everything, then wanted to hear it again. Thankless but worth it 🙂

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The Single Mom and The Barbershop

Anxiety is me taking my son to the barbershop. I wonder if other single moms have this fear. Thankfully we are heading into the years where I can just drop him off with $20 bucks and wait in the car. Unfortunately though since we’ve moved the quest for a new barber has started again which means, I have to accompany him into these establishments. Going into the barbershop as a single mother is NERVE RACKING! First of all I have no clue what to tell the barber to do to this kids head. I think “fade” pretty is my only go to request.  I never know how to dress because I dont’ want to look busted and I don’t want any undue attentions by all those sharply tapered men. It’s not vanity, trust me. I don’t think I’m too bad on the eyes, but in truth it’s all of my insecurities about myself coupled with being in a place that I feel like is the commercial equivalent of a “man cave” that all come to play in this issue.

I feel like i’ve sauntered right past a “no girls allowed” sign and stepped into this place using my son as the ticket behind the veil. I don’t kid myself that barbers and their clients are talking about respectable men interests like mulch, sports, and BBQ. I feel like there are tongue in cheek tales of rowdy adventures abruptly halted and hanging in the air only to be concluded as soon as I leave. This could be a figment of an my very over active and literary imagination, but only in part. I truly feel that the barbershop is the man’s place. I also wish I’d had the forethought to make this a stipulation of our custody order that his father must be the one to take him to the barbershop. I think it’s a great father/son experience.

Mom’s in the shop cannot be avoided, but I really see the experience of getting a haircut and the entire atmosphere  of the barbershop as kind of a rite of passage. Some barbers can be great mentors and  it’s a place where boys become men.

You see, that’s exactly what i’m talking about!

 

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I So Purple

Survival Kit

Survival Kit

Or Isopropyl if you insist. Earlier while wickedly enjoying pouring half a cap of peroxide on my sons cut foot (it burns so good) I began to think back to all the times I was in the same exact position as a kid having banged myself up in some way or another and being forced to sit on the toilet seat whilst my gradmother either poured alcohol or peroxide over my latest boo boo then perfunctorily painted it purple. Did you guys ever get the purple treatment? To this day I have no idea what the purpose of that was, and I doubt I’ll Google it. I’m going to just take it in faith that my grandma knew what she was doing…and do the same thing with my youngin, which brings me to my other ponderance; am I  grandma worthy?, is the generation beneath mine grandma worthy? My grandma taught me a lot about home remedies and “making do” to the extent that I feel confident enough in my spice rack, pantry, and medicine cabinet that my family will neither go hungry, nor lose a limb if push comes to shove. How about you guys? I think about the younger generations and how they need more grandmas, real gangsta ones that’ll give you a whoopin and bake you an apple pie all in one Sunday afternoon. I think about my grandma often, she raised me and next month is the anniversary of her passing. You guys will get to know her too through 30and11, Grandma Dot was a key character in  some of my most triumphant and EMBARRASSING coming of age stories and of course it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t share the best of them with all of you! Stay Tuned!!

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Is This The Little Boy I Carried?

A Cake fit for a Being

A Cake fit for a Being

Well, this is what happens when you let him decide what goes on the cake. *sigh

In a few short hours I will be mother to a teenager. Y.I.K.E.S. We held his birthday party yesterday, saturday because Monday would have been too hectic.  There will never be another moment like this, literally, he’s 13, and I’m the converse: 31… and it’s 2013.  It’s just a cool little coincidence, and if I played the numbers I’d play 13,31,13 in that order. I still can’t believe my kid is a teen, and I feel like he’ll probably go to sleep, and out of spite grow an inch tonight so that he can be taller than me in the morning just to prove a point. The past year was pretty tough, this time last year I was in the midst of trying to abate a nervous breakdown and losing the battle.  I’ll tell you guys more about that later, but now I’d like to take a few moments to extoll the awesomeness that is David.

David rides around the neighborhood in snow boots and shorts, on a vintage BMX Mongoose bike with a bow and arrow strapped to his back wielding a 2 ft long Nerf sword. I love that about him because he really is a kid who does what he wants and doesn’t let pretense keep him from enjoying himself.  He still gets excited about stuff, he’s not “over it” as so many teens and preteens are these days. There’s an awesome sense of wonderment that I wish I could preserve in him forever although I know that, along with his estimation of my coolness, that too will begin to fade in the years to come. I just pray that he knows that no matter what, I love him with a vulnerability that’s hard for me to comprehend. That’s what parenting really is, it’s vulnerability, it means loving another person so much that self becomes secondary.  I’ve learned a lot about the resiliency of this kid, he’s surprised me with his maturity and tenacity even as I sit here watching him repeatedly stick his finger into a container of slime making it expel pitch perfect fart noises (the sloppy kind).  I took for granted the roundness of his face, and almost missed the sharpness of his mind. A fact I should have noticed years ago when at an early age, drawing on his superior sense of reasoning and observation: Dave posed the question:  “Mom, do I have utters?”

I could really go on and on about the joy my boy brings me. He makes me happy though not in a dependent way that can be sappy and is sometimes an unfortunate consequence of single parenthood. Yeah, he can get on my nerves and frustrate me to the point where I need to take a time out, but thankfully, those times are rare.  I delight in him and enjoy being his mom and wouldn’t want him to be any other way.

Happy Birthday Dave!

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Happy Mother’s Day

The Day That Started It all! It was one year ago on mothers day that 30 and 11 was born! It’s been a great journey and I hope to share even more (consistently) with you guys in the year to come. In honor of this momentous occasion I’m being lazy, um I meant to say I’m reposting “Happy Mother’s Day”!!

30and11

I’m in the closet drinking juice and reading books. IT.IS.ME.TIME! It’s my day dangit!! This morning at 12:07am my boy gave me this lovely card:

Mothers Day Card 2012

and at 12:17am after I told him how much I loved it and would love it even more if he added an L to the word “world”, he asked me “Okay so what do you have for me?” He was serious. Fast forward to “for real morning time”. I’m in the bathroom with my vibrating footbath (with heat); he walks in and sticks his foot right in with mine. I’m like “Umm, Ok BYE!” He leaves. About 15 minutes later I smell breakfast food.  Could it be?! Nah, he can’t be doing what I think he’s doing? I’m actually scared to get my hopes up. I hear the clatter of plates through the bathroom door and imagine him scurrying around with excitement about surprising me…

View original post 63 more words

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Passive Resistance

Dave’s not happy. He’s making a stand against going to his Dad’s house for spring break. His silent resistance has been going on for an hour now, it’s almost 4pm. He’s not being rude or obnoxious, just quietly obstinate. I told him to get into the shower and put on some clothes so that we can get going, and he did just that. I was waiting for him when he stepped out of the hallway and into the living room wearing the most obscenely tight ANGRY BIRDS pajamas ever known to MAN!! DUDE! I really want to respect his display of emotion because it’s important for him to know his opinion matters…but really dude. I’m going to need you to be a little more hard core in your effrontery. Anyway y’all, Dave’s not happy, he’s angry, he’s an angry bird.

DYNOMITE

DYNOMITE

just for laughs.

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Playing the Dozens

Oh, You Got Jokes?!

HE GOT JOKES Y’ALL!! What started off as an innocent question quickly turned into a rapid fire battle of Wit and Foolery. Last night my son and I were hanging out it in my room. My mom, who’s visiting was there too. He asked me about what appeared to be a speck glitter on my face and the following is what ensued:

DAVE: Why is there glitter on your face?

ME: It’s because I’m a rainbow inside.

DAVE: No, You’re a THUNDER STORM!! (cackle, cackle)

ME: You’re a Monsoon!

DAVE: You’re a Typhoon!!

ME: WHAT? You’re a mudslide!

DAVE: YOU’RE AN AVALANCHE

ME: AND YOU’RE A DROUGHT, NOW GO PUT ON SOME LOTION! #POW

iWin

My mom who’d watched this exchange in awe was laughing so hard. She’s like there’s no way I could have kept up with you guys with those comebacks. I must say I’m quite proud of the kid for his speed and agility. My cousins and I used to joke each other ALL the time. You had to have thick skin to roll with the best. Playing the dozens is an art form, especially in the black community. Welcome to the family son, you did good!

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Oh Snap! I’ve Been FounT Out

YOOOO!! The jig is up, my son just read my blog!! Earlier today after I’d finished writing “It’s a Seance, Meet My Son” I had left my laptop open, with the blog scrolled to the post about “Fake Jordans”. Hungry Eyes was standing next to me begging for dinner when he looked over my shoulder and spotted the post then says “HAAY! What is that??”. I’m like “hunh? Wha What’s What?” “THAT!”  he goes, pointing to my screen. I distracted him with garlic bread and spaghetti, but I should have known he couldn’t be put off that easily. Now, why am I trippin? I don’t even know. It’s not like i’m writing lurid naughty mommy tales up on this joint, but in someways this is kind of my private personal…public :/ diary…grown folks talk. Not that I have too many secrets from the boy but still, this is like my space where if I could I’d lock it, put warning stickers on it, and break out my special Lisa Frank pencils and draw hearts with Raki + Idris 4ever in the middle. I digress. After dinner I absentmindedly left my laptop on my desk and went to escape to my bedroom. All was quiet on the home front until about 30 minutes later I heard giggles coming from down the hall. Not just any kind of giggle, they were quiet up to no good snickerings. Next thing I know, Dave walks into my room with my laptop in one arm and an accusatory hand on hip saying “You Weren’t Going To Buy Me Retros!!”. He had read the blog about the “Fake Jordans“. It get’s better, not only had he read that, he had read ALLLLLLL OF THEM! Seriously, I can’t get this kid to read the instructions on a pack of Kool-Aid but he can read all of my blog?! Word. His reactions went like this:

(appalled): “You DON’T WANT KIDS?!!” – in response to “Girdle My Loins

(mortified): “YOU TOLD THEM I WAS IN MY UNDERWEAR?” – in response to “Bohemian Rhapsody

(accusatory, disbelief): “Soooo That’s what you were doing at Orrrrientaatioonnnn!!” and ” THERE WAS SNOT INVOLVED??” – in response to “Inappropriate Texts

I’ve already told y’all that I can’t have nothing to myself right? Any other kid understands the rules of sneaking and snooping. Rule number one being: You find stuff out and keep it to yourself, NOT confront the grown up with your findings and start asking questions. My son hasn’t grasped this, I’m to blame. These are the side effects of teen parenthood. What happened to the sanctity of Grown Folks Business?

My diary

My diary

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