Git Yo Kid!

What the heck happened to “It takes a village to raise a child”? These new fangled young parents don’t want anyone disciplining, chastising, or even gently correcting their kids and they won’t step up and do it. This epidemic does only affect young parents but older naive ones too.

When my kids were 8, I took them to a park in Beverly Hills since we were in the area. There was an adorable little 5-year-old girl there. My daughter played with the little girl for a while. It all stopped when the girl poured sand on my daughter’s head. Five year olds know that throwing sand is not nice or wise, or at least they should. When my daughter approached the little girl’s father to tell him what had happened he shrugged it off. “She’s only 5, she doesn’t know any better.” What the heck!!!! He didn’t even bother correcting his little angel or have her apologize for what she had done. No, she doesn’t know any better… Because YOU don’t bother to teach her!

I do not like going to the store, walking down the aisle, and being blocked by unsupervised children. Kids ought not to be running up and down the aisle, messing with items on the shelves, or yelling inside the store. If any of these things occur, that child’s parents need to immediately snatch that kid up and shake some sense into them.

If your kid is yelling at you, talking back, or being obstinately defiant or disrespectful… Snatch’em up!! Discipline is your friend! Say it with me people… Discipline is your friend.

If you let your kid run loose and they act a fool, don’t be mad or upset when someone like me corrects them. If you or your child want to step all the way outside your mind, I will be happy to meet you there and tell you how to get back. People are too concerned with privacy. You want your neighbors to mind their business and leave your alone but the minute something happens you pray they know something and can offer assistance. You stay out of other’s business and they stay out of yours. What does that prove? It proves that you are both selfish individuals. Growing up if I acted a fool, and Ms. Betty saw me, I was in big trouble. Ms. Betty would get me, then my mama would get me. Nowadays, no one is getting anybody and these kids are rotten because of it.

The kids in my building run around and play from the time they get home from school until almost 9 o’clock at night. It’s amazing how NONE of them ever have homework, dinner, or a curfew. Then you get a parent like me who talks to all the kids as if there were my own. I fuss at little Johnny and Sarah just like I fuss at my twins. No one has said anything to me yet. Maybe it’s because of how I carry myself. Maybe it’s because they are glad someone is correcting their kids because they don’t have the nerve to do it. Whatever the reason, I’m not going to stop. It takes a village to raise a child and I’m going to be the village even if I’m there alone.

I’m tired of these bad kids running around behind their trifling parents. Pick your pants up. I do not want to see your underwear! Put on some clothes little girl…you don’t need to advertise to get attention and that’s not the kind of attention you want anyway. There is no reason your kid should know the words to the latest 2 Chains or Usher song but can’t learn their multiplication lesson. If your kid can recite Beyonce’s entire album and dance moves to her video, and is failing P.E. and English, you need to be slapped. Raise your kids and stop letting your kids raise you. Grow up and grow a spine. Lay down the law and stick to it!

I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this subject. Do you correct or discipline other people’s kids? Do you allow other people to discipline your kids? Does the village still exist or is it and antiquated ideal now?

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I Sing Bedtime Songs to My 11 Year Old Twins

In the last month I have lost my best friend because of some foolishness and my stepfather has passed away. To say that I’m sad or emotional would be a gross understatement. Yet, I am finding my joy. My greatest source of joy, outside of God is my children.

God blessed me with 2 lovely bundles of joy at the same time. My son and daughter can make me smile when no one else can. Being a mom is so fulfilling and rewarding. It’s not in the big things or huge accomplishments and milestones, but in the small things and quiet moments that we strengthen out bond.

Tonight, as with most nights, as I sent my kids to bed, they asked if I would tuck them in. I did. It wasn’t enough. They wanted a story too. Since we recently moved, the stories they wanted were still in boxes, so I sang. We have 2 songs that have been passed down. My mom sang them to me and I sing them to my babies. We sing Cotton Fields and the other is a song my mom came up with and we add the kids names when we sing it. Oh how they love to hear mommy singing about having her babies in her arms. My 11 year old, pre-teen, prepubescent middle schoolers still cherish our special time. They smile so big and bright every time I sing to them. It’s as if they are hearing these song for the first time every night. Each smile is a ball of sunshine sent to brighten my day.

Even the bedtime stories are simple. My grandmother bought them a set of fairytale books when they were smaller. These were just Red Riding Hood, Three Little Pigs, Jack and the Beanstalk, Puss in Boots, etc. I have read each story probably dozens of times, among other stories. Does this stop them from wanting to hear them? Nope! They lay there listening attentively and getting into the stories as I read them. As short as they are, by the time I’m done reading them my little angels are relaxed and sleep or well on their way to sleep.

Five minutes of my time comforts my children and gives them peace and security. In return, they give me joy (they also give great massages). It is so important to take time out for our children. It is us as parents who help shape, mold, and build our children into outstanding people. Our bedtime routine is a lasting memory that they will undoubtedly share with their families and so on. I believe I have the greatest kids ever and I am so grateful for the memories we share.

What kind of special moments do you share with your children? What do you do that makes them smile and warms your heart at the same time?

Who’s Ya Daddy?

This topic really hits home. I was the screwed up child with an abusive stepfather and very absent father. Had it not been for my grandfather and my adopted father taking the time to love on me, I don’t know where I would be. My misfortune was having an absentee father. My blessing was, and still is that I had a very present grandfather and adoptive father. However great my blessings, I have never been able to negate the sadness I felt behind not having my father. Never in a million years did I want my children to experience the loss and pain I did at not having my father around.

Fast forward to December 1999…my grandfather passes away. January 2000 I met my kids father. It was a textbook case. Troubled girl seeking to heal pain with the love(lust) of a man. Things were great in the beginning, as they always are. Once the twins came and he did not step up to the plate, that’s when the poo hit the fan. We fought, argued, and fought some more. We were prime for an episode of Jerry Springer with our Baby Mama/Baby Daddy drama. Fast forward…2 restraining orders, 1 child support order, and me winning sole legal and physical custody despite his antics in court and we are current.

The twins are now 11 and doing well. Overall they are happy, healthy, smart, and talented. In a nutshell, they are blessed and highly favored by God. To know them is to love them. With all the accolades, extracurricular activities, trophies, and tremendous outpour of love and support from family and friends there is still a gaping hole in their lives…the absence of their biological father. They would look for him at their karate class and tournaments, football and baseball games, performances, swim practice, birthdays, and holidays. The great misfortune for them is that he is never there. He neither answers phone calls or returns any messages. It matters not the great urgency in the message or its magnitude…he does not pick up his phone. Keeping a promise would be like Prince wearing green. He spends more time with his young girlfriend(who, by the way, is so young I can see the Similac dripping from her ears) than his own children.

Three years ago I met and started dating this wonderful man from my church. I admit, he was not the type of man I was accustomed to dating. As I would later discover, he was exponentially better! Fast forward to present day and we are now planning our wedding. He has children as well, so I thought this would be a little tricky. However, I was pleasantly mistaken. We’re the present day Brady Bunch. Our children all get along great. My children absolutely adore him and have taken to calling him “dad”. At first, I did not think this to be prudent and was very hesitant. I discussed this with my fiance’ and my children. He was okay with it from the beginning. I know now that he has always intended to marry me. Upon speaking with my children, I was taken aback by my daughter’s wisdom and maturity for her age. Out of her own mouth, “Mommy, when we call our dad he never picks up and never calls us back. When we call Mr. [Fiance’] he answers the phone and returns our calls. We spend more time with him than our own dad. He’s more of a dad to us than dad.” Now how could I argue  with such logic coming from the mouth of my then 8-year-old daughter? I couldn’t, but I had to at least play devil’s advocate. After all, the dad they have has broken their hearts multiple times. The emotional trauma caused by their absent father displays in their behavior regularly. Why would I allow this man to play the role, then deal with more trauma once he decides my family is too much for him to handle? This man has no bond or tie to my children. There is nothing to make him stay. He can up and leave at any moment and there would be nothing I could say or do. Countless scenarios played in my mind while I wrestled with this day after day. Maybe in time it would work itself out. He would leave before my kids became attached and everything would be okay. Or maybe my kids would change their mind and listen to reason. Eventually, a decision had to be made, and it was. In the end, we all won…they got their dad.

In the time that I was dating my fiance’, every imaginable challenge arose, and some my mind was was not capable of envisaging. Several hospital stays, doctor visits, therapist appointments, DCFS appointments, and court dates later…he is still here by our side. In fact, he has been here through everything. The Lord has blessed my children and I with a dad, a strong man, a God-fearing man who loves his family and adores my children as his own. Blending families is difficult enough without the added challenges mine brings. Forget baggage, we come with a veritable cornucopia of luggage that would put Coach to shame. My God has seen fit to take care of us through it all and continues to show His love. My children have the dad I have prayed for, and I have a mate, a partner who blesses me, loves me, and lifts me up. Here I am, after struggling to raise my children without a constant and strong male figure in their lives, and no child support being blessed more than I could have imagined. Y’all don’t know! Any other man would have run for the hills with all the madness I have to endure. This man right here…this man of God that I have been blessed with is STILL HERE and WANTS to stay. Either his crazy or a sucker for punishment, LOL. He’s mine and I love him. He completes me…he is the missing piece to my puzzle. I thank God for him!

Yes, my children’s biological father is a deadbeat, absentee father, full of drama, immature, childish, and irresponsible; that is my mistake for being with him. So what! My children have been blessed with an even better dad, siblings, and more family who love and support them.

How many dads does your child have? How did your blended family come together and what hurdles did you have to overcome? How do your children accept and relate to your spouse? How is God blessing your family?

6th Grade Camp

October 1, 2012

This morning my daughter left for camp with her middle school. It’s a great experience for the kids. However, my little girl is not big on sleep overs and she rarely spends the night away from home. She was excited to go, and I was sad to see her leave. In an effort to ease her apprehension, I “gave her permission to go”. What do I mean by that? Of course she had my permission to go, I signed the trip slip and all the paperwork that came with it. When I say, “I gave her permission” I mean that I did not say or do anything to make her sad or reluctant to go. I encouraged her and reminded her what a great time she would have bonding with the other girls in her class. It was important for me to make sure my daughter was comfortable leaving. So, I gave her a couple of assignments…She is to have fun and enjoy herself immensely and she is to take pictures and share her stories with me when she comes home. Was I sad to see her go? Abso-freakin-lutely!! However, it would not have done either of us a bit of good to go on and on about how much we will miss each other; that is a given. There is no need to emphasize that. Positive affirmations only.

That said, as soon as I left, I was a ball of tears. I did great at keeping them from her. As parents, it is often very difficult for us to let go of our precious angels. For me, it is very emotional, but it must be done. As I pray, trying to make it through the first day without her, I think forward to Wednesday. In just 2 days, I have to bid farewell to my son as he leaves for the same camp trip. Oh my goodness! Why do they do this to us? Let’s see how this week goes…