Category Archives: I AntiHero

I said ‘woopsie’

img-20170118-wa0005.jpg
Me in the kitchen; What’s that smell?
Jean-luc: It broke and I said ‘woopsie’
Me: Where was it?
Jean-luc: It was by the TV and it broke and I said ‘woopsie’ because it broke itself.
Me in the living room: Where was it when it broke?
Jean-luc: By the TV, and I said ‘woopsie’ because it broke itself.
Me further into the living room: Where were you when it broke?
Jean-Luc: I was by the TV, and I said “woopsie” because it broke itself.
Me heading for the gallery because the whole house has an overwhelming smell of albus oil: Were you supposed to be by the TV?
Jean-luc: No mommy, but it broke itself, that’s why I said ‘woopie’
Me: You broke it didn’t you?
Jean-luc finally looking reproachful: Yes mommy.
Me: What am I supposed to do with you?
Jean-luc: Not give me licks, because it broke itself and I said ‘woopsie’.
Advertisements

5 reasons kids should be allowed to be superheros for career day.

Dear lord, but what has the world come to that my four year old has to go through Career day? We did that mess in high school, hell I’m 32 and I still haven’t really figured out what I wanna be when I grow up. But yes, preschools have career day, disguised in some places by calling it community helper day, but we all know it’s the same thing.

This year Jean-luc demands to be Batman and while I listened to the Chief deliver the big “No” is his best daddy chuckle, I can’t say that I agree.

batman-the-animated-series-slice-600x200

I can’t agree with him, just like I can already see the look Teacher Lisa is gonna give me when I bring this up and the next parent/teachers meeting. So I’ve compiled an argument to back me up and I beg your indulgence as I test it out on you. Here are my 5 reasons why kids should be allowed to be superheros for Career day, using batman as an Example.

 

  1. Batman is a legitimate business man. Let us be adult about this. We all know that behind the mask and the gadgets this dude is just plain Bruce Wayne, someone who runs a multitrillion dollar corporation, finessed a board of directors and has enough personal income to finance a small vigilante army. As a parent don’t we all wish our kids could be self-employed? Successfully?
  2. Batman is civic minded. Again let’s be adult about this. How many of us as adults with a little spare change would donate to charity? How many of us would give of our hard earned free time to volunteer? How many of us look at the state of our nation/community’s affairs and lift as much as a finger to do something about it? Outside of touting on social media or putting some valance over our Facebook profile picture. I’m not trying to make anyone feel bad, I mean the last extra fifty I had me and the girls went out the the movies. But not our Bat, he dedicated his free time to helping to thwart crime in his community. He aids local law enforcement and is a major factor in lowering the crime rate. Not that I want my kids running around cracking skulls, but having a mind towards making the world a better place is a trait I wanna let flourish.
  3. Batman is resourceful. You can’t deny it, the bat has a band-aid for every soar. Come to think of it, over my time reading the comics and watching the cartoon, I can think of at least 4 degrees this guy has to have. From engineering to biochemistry, to practical physics and some aeronautics. I’m sure my fellow nerds can point out even more fields he has to be skilled in in order to save the day. There is never a situation that keeps the bat down long, and in many cases it is by the strength of his clever mind that he triumphs. He shows a stick-to-it-iveness and ingenuity that I can only hope takes strong root and grows in my kids.
  4. Batman has a good moral compass. Let us delete Batman of recent cinema times from the conversation. Let us focus on the one that most of our kids, provided we are half way decent parents, get exposed to. The not so hardcore, shoot em up, down and dirty Batman. But the one that while brooding is basically in it for what is right and good. The one who sends the criminals to jail instead of just killing them because JUSTICE. The one who has taken on the burden of a city because he feels it is his responsibility to do it. The one who has been blessed with great wealth and thus, after some revenging, takes on a greater purpose. Doesn’t that seem like something you would want your kid to emulate? The ideal that we the blessed should help?
  5. My Kid is 4 !!!!!!! What better time for him to see the world as being full of heroes? His imagination is as rich as it is ever going to be. This is the time to plant those big bright shiny ideas, so that life and I can temper them later on. Better he start with a colossal does of bright eyed idealistic enthusiasm, because we all know life, politics, love, lovers and major news outlets are going to try to wrestle it away from him as soon as he can read at that level.Dammit, let the children be children, all wrapped in fantasy, for as long as we can let them. It’s our duty to our children.

batman-4

 

I  know some folks are still out there quirking an eyebrow at me, and that is exactly why I wrote this. To get your feedback in order to make the argument better. So come on, tell me what you think. Help me be able to send a  Chibi Batman into Preschool next Community Helper day?

f8b223b763d4c0fa892d384d73dcb9d8

That’s all I wanted to say. Thanks in advance for the help. Happy Antiguan and Barbudan Independence Day, love and peace.

I really just want to pee alone…

It seems like every parenting blog I’ve read in the last few months is either folks crying about how little sleep they get, and poking fun at mothering, or throwing shade at the people who can’t sleep and have stuff to poke fun at. Guys, the trick to this parenting thing, is solidarity. It’s us against the small people, and while the specifics may vary the fundamental thing is that we are the parents and them to kids.

c300238f7411035df1f38c06b97b06cbIt was just this thought, or at least one of the thoughts, that occurred to me while I tried to pee in peace, while someone shouted at me through the bathroom door.

It’s actually a victory that they now stay on the other side of the door. Took a lot of threatening and a few hours of punishment, but it’s worth it to be the only on in the room when the event occurs.

But the peeing, at least, was not the prompt for my revelation. It was the topic of the ongoing debate that began just before nature called: the issue of Logan’s cell phone privileges. A cell phone, I feel obligated to add, which goes against one of these rules things I mentioned.

You see we the council of the tribe feel that children of a certain age, given the societal depravity, should have only a certain amount, if any access to things like the internet and communication devices. Further that theses devices be under strict parental controls.

The elders, i.e. grandparents, specifically one grandparent who shall remain nameless, did not agree, and of their own volition gifted an 11 year old with all access to everything. Thanks for that. Said child, knowing the stance of the aforementioned parents.i.e. arbiters of his upbringing, chose to not bother with the fact that having the thing in the first place was a breach of law, but that his privacy as it applies to that thing is something I as his mother should respect.

The first thing that occurred to me is that when I was 14, my mother would not let me be alone with a landline. Insisting that “if the conversation is one I’m not supposed to hear then it’s one you should not be having”. In the 90’s! In the Caribbean!! Let alone now in the age of sexting, meme porn and pay to play gaming.

My kid had used said device to:

  • Get a girlfriend, apparently worthy of discarding rules like bedtimes and study time for. Who apparently, despite being only a few months older has parental approval in requesting a more ‘physical relationship’. Like really? I mean physical at 12? Aren’t you supposed to be still obsessed with Frozen?
  • Acquiring music that is way over his age range, complete with profanity and lyrics that would have Susan B. Anthony rolling in her grave.
  • And setting up excursions which have had him go missing for hours at a time while in said grandparents care.

Again elder/financier this is doesn’t seem like a plan that was well thought out.

f1cab5a828aff837bd9fa180dd07e487It also occurred in those moments, as he asserted how it’s his business and I really ought not to be bothered, that I as a child would not have dared to defy my parents by accepting such a gift or even to request my privacy from them for fear of decapitation by both words and the force of a slap. Come to think of it, they had bathroom time, bedroom time, kitchen time, hell even riding in the car time all to themselves, as it was made clear that they were not to be bothered.

Does it mean that maybe I should revise this new constructivist/democratic approach to conflict resolution?

As he told me the girl was a good person somewhere on the inside, I remembered that: My parents would simply have taken the thing, and punished me to death and given their parents a good chuck of their minds.

The epiphany hit me, really hit me, like the feeling that comes after you’ve been holding it a really long time and get to the throne in a nick of time. That I was listening to the argument of someone who had discarded the right to any kind of privacy at all due to his wrongdoing, as I was deprived of mine. I think that I should be entitled, with kids at that age and a husband somewhere in the vicinity, the right to pee alone.

Indeed it occurs to me that I’ve instilled a sense of entitlement in my kid. The evidence being that he is even willing to make this argument at all, the fact that his is arguing for that matter. More than that, I was alone in the realization, and would be relatively alone in the solution.

It is truly depressing to come to these conclusions while trying to pee. I know I’m not the only one for whom potty time is time to contemplate, or read, or just not think.

So for a resolution, the infractions must be paid. In a way that is both memorable, a deterrent to further transgression and not necessarily cruel and unusual. What do you suggest? The device will be cleaned and since the Chief and I are at a stalemate when it comes to exile, is currently in closet limbo, and the kid, well the kid is getting used to the idea of a Momtatorship for the near future anyhow, with the first decree being that me and the commode are to be left alone. Period. Unless someone needs CPR or something. Punishment pending review, and possible addition to the conditions of punishment. Would you add anything?

What, fellow Moms and Dads, do you think of this situation? Am I too free with the autonomy stuff? What would you have done? Does anyone else have these problems with their kids? Or should I just retire and leave the Chief to run the show? Is peeing alone a privilege we give up when we have kids, or is it a right? Is peeing alone part of the Mom-na carta? Is there a Mom-na carta? Should there be?

I wanna hear from you, Please and Thank you.

 

Going nostalgic, Pokemon Go

img_20160723_125617.jpgSo yesterday. He said, “Hey, let’s go take a walk.” and I shocked myself and said. “Yeah, OK.”

Usually on a Saturday afternoon, I’m taking the time to veg out in front of my laptop. The kids are taking the time to nap, because sibling mess and argument has prompted me to send then in for a nap.  But this Saturday afternoon is different. This Saturday afternoon we have both downloaded the Pokemon Go app and are absolutely itching to exercise our catching fingers. Especially after the awesome time the Chief had doing it the previous Friday. Click here to find out all about it.

While I spent a good part of the excursion with this view, by virtue of my shorter legs and stride, and idle meandering pace. I didn’t mind. I was feeling all nostalgic by the end of the first 50 yards and the view wasn’t half bad.

img_20160723_130111.jpgThis is how I remember feeling when I was younger. Growing up on the other side of the island. Come summer time, before cable TV and internet connections. Before binge watching became a thing and the only thing I had to watch anyhow were the VHS cartoon movie  tapes my uncle used to bring back from his travels, my father’s Lancelot Link compilation, and that tape of Dirty Dancing my Aunt had that I wasn’t supposed to watch.

While walking we passed under a laden Turtle berry tree. I remembered when we used to use Turtle Berries, and their gooey, sticky sap to stick all manner of sculpture together. Under that same tree was a little pool, which I forgot to snap, with some Kallie…uh Kaddie…Um Talapia, that children used to catch on our off time. Kids now a days don’t seem to have time for that kind of thing. We passed yards, and people many of whom, offered a cheerful hello. Country life…I had forgotten how polite and cordial my people can be.

img_20160723_133015.jpg

We passed trees, most of which were on private property, but even though I didn’t test the theory, I’m sure nobody would have minded if we snagged a mango or a plumb.

It seems like no matter how small our piece of the rock is, we seem to always want to plant something on it.  Every yard, has a tree, or a patch of cane, or a thicket of peas. Something, anything. It makes our homes look so picturesque. *Deep breath in, contented smile* The whole place, smells of earth and warmth and comfort. It’s nice, I often complain about missing where I grew up. This part of the island being a bit more urban than the bush I’m accustomed to. But as we travailed pathways off the main road in search of Pokemon, it was almost like I was back in my element.

img_20160723_134640.jpg

We passed a sugar mill. I had to explain what it was to our 4 year old. Who I’m proud to say only needed a few yards on his Dad’s back during the whole journey.

You never really understand difficult until you have tried to explain something like that to a 4 year old. In the end I didn’t tell him that it was a monument to colonial times and the struggle of our forefathers.  I just told him they used to use it to make sugar, and he seemed pretty OK with my answer for once. Maybe we’ve found a way to tucker him out. Happy dance.

I also figure that it being a historical site, it may very well end up being a Pokestop. Which means more people will come and learn from it. Maybe that will prompt someone, maybe even me, to initiate a cleaning down or the shrubbery around it, and all the others. Maybe make them into little park spaces. It’s an idea I’ve heard a lot of people play with, but maybe Poke Tourism and leveling up will be the motivation we need.

img_20160723_134042.jpg

By the end of the jaunt, we were half way to hatching a 5k egg, we had appreciated the panoramic vista offered by the south side of the island. We were planning other excursions, and we were well exercised. More so than we have been on any Saturday afternoon in the recent past I can remember.

I can see lots more possibilities for us to go native here. I can see lot’s of family Pokejaunts in our future, and it feels great. Why did I stop traipsing around the country side again?

 

Listening to Road noise: Womahood is…

Hi guys, I know I’ve been away a bit. I’ve been letting myself get caught up in all the depressing mess ‘m surrounded with. Sorry, It’s an apology to you as well as to myself. I should know better, than to let go my fighting spirit, but sometime last week or was it week before. In a moment of reflection, with a friend, after one such depressing thing, happening simultaneously with a pretty wonderful thing, I got it back.

What does that have to do with this? Well…you see one of the things I’ve been struggling with is what is expected of me, what I expect of myself and where the two should meet. One of the huge factors it seems that affects that is my sex. I am a woman. As such I should, do, be, act like…

Seems like everyone has an ending to that sentence. Maybe I shouldn’t even be confused. What with all thee girl power and ish flying around. All the rights and the roles and the freedom. All conflicting sadly. Not that this is a new thing, I’ve been struggling since primary school. But now my definition of self takes on an even greater weight, as my kids are knee deep in puberty and looking at me to guide them.

So what is womanhood? What is womanhood as it applies to me?

Whelp….

4106b9fa44cc20fe959edf02a48c5d79

  • My physical self:  One of the first things I learned about being a grown up woman was that I would grow boobs and be all curvy. I learned this by observation, after I figured out that there actually was a difference between girls and boys. I learned, secondly, that women had the babies, they grew inside us and somehow got out. I learned that boobs were used in feeding those babies. It came later, and with a bit of trauma, the actually mechanics and monthly obligation of that task.I learned it was my truth, irreversible and something from which I cannot divorce myself. It is a natural part of me, and so it has formed part of the framework of who I think myself to be. I am someone capable of ushering life into the world. 

78a391f25cbc1fc1099f67df46140882

  • Motherhood: If it’s one thing I have learned definitively in my working life, if not my personal one, it’s that giving life and nurturing it are two different things.  I was raised where there was a mother, or a mother figure in every house I knew. For that matter, not having a father or father figure was a rarity among the folks who inhabited the landscape of my early life. One or two folks had grandparents for guardians, but even then we just dropped the “grand” and that was that. It was never a question that I would raise my children. So much so that up until recently I have shunned every opportunity that would separate me from them for any extended period. I don’t mean weekends at grandma’s, I mean like 3 years abroad. The thought still makes me uncomfortable. I need to be there to make sure these folks grow into people they can be proud of. In my mind, children are the greatest legacy anyone can leave behind. I want to be a part of making my legacy great. Therefore I am a mother. Not the best one by far, but I try my best, I think that’s worth something. Right?

83f38b0aa61e8595bd761babc2f44b71

  • My sexuality: “Society has taught me to regard a woman’s sexuality as currency”- Piper, Orange Is The New Black. 

I learned about sex from a Dr. Ruth book I found lying around. It was taken from me when I was caught with it, but that was on like the third read so that was OK. I learned a lot about the mechanics, but also about the attitude, about the importance of my satisfaction and that of my partner, and about being open minded and able to communicate about it. Somewhere I got the impression that my sex/sexuality was something special not to be shared willy nilly. Yeah I’m snobbish like that, I am the living example of Ms. Mia’s diamonds at the meeting of my thighs, and diamonds are worth the struggle of living up to my standards. Sadly not a whole lot of the populace makes the grade. But for him that does, that open minded stuff and that communication stuff serves well when it’s time to get busy.

You see, for some reason my parents missed that memo when raising me. I was clean, and fed, and the focus many times was not on how cute I could be but on how smart I should be. So I never learned, until my teen years, and late into those at that, to associate myself with my sexuality. Hell, I’m still going through my boy phase, comfortable, functional and cool are for me far more important than being perceived by an entire society as sexy.

As such I don’t know how to use my sexuality as currency. Not really, most attempts go horribly wrong. I do however know that I am a smart cookie, and thus try to use my intelligence the way folks use their sex. Given that intelligence, as far as I know is not a gender specific thing, I expect all my peers to regard me the same. While I am a sexual being and fully satisfied with it, it’s not my leading characteristic. Call me prudish, I’ve been called worse. I give a hard reprimand to anyone who tries to contradict that with my kids.  I lead with my brain, not my bosom.

The only thing sad about that is that it seems I’ve missed out on some potential dalliances through the years, but maybe that was for the best.

030eb40336868cfba9e83fecf7c64800

  • My place in society: One of the great things about my parents missing the memo about sexuality is that they also missed the one about me being locked into any one role.

I remember the day someone said to me “You better learn to do this or that if you plan to get  a man.” I remember that person being shut down so hard and so fast it made my 11 year old head spin.

I was taught to cook, sew and clean, not to make me a suitable wife, but so that I could do for myself. So nobody could “cut style” on me. I never assumed that my life would be spent in someone’s kitchen. I bristle at the idea that any work at all should be considered “woman’s work.”

I think it has to do with being a Caribbean woman too. We are a strong bunch, accustomed to bringing home our own bacon. One need only throw a stone to hit a woman in a position of note.

Come to think of it, I also remember when I started primary school and the boy two rows back used to tease me relentlessly. About my weight, my hair, my lunchbox. I remember coming home crying and getting reprimanded for it. I remember them telling me to fight back if it came to that. I remember knowing that fighting wasn’t right, but if I did have to, win. Because if I didn’t, I would get a licking on top of a loss when I got home. This is far at odds with what I later learned from the church and the politicians and the news and the radio etc etc etc. Maybe that’s why I find myself many times off kilter, or at odds with many of the gender arguments set before me. I blame my parents, and I thank them.

I am not weak. I am equal to anybody out there. 

I understand the perception of womanhood varies from place to place, family to family, social group to social group…you get the point. But I’ve concluded that outside the genetics which is something we can’t control, it’s pretty much as fluid as we are in our thinking.  There is no general definition of womanhood. It certainly isn’t the stereotype we see everywhere or the garish impersonations we tend to get. Swear to Baby Jesus, I never met a woman who fit either of those molds. Well maybe one, but that’s a sad story for another day. So in the end I don’t think there is a standard definition. I think trying to find one is a task that would only serve to confuse me more. So it might be better to try to describe myself by way of definition. Here goes…

img_20160617_090431.jpg Hi I’m Michelle. I am someone capable of ushering life into the world. I am a mother.I lead with my brain and not my bosom. I am not weak. I am equal to anybody out there.

I love fun, the boring kind, most days. I love food, the fattening kind, and a good cocktail. I love beer.

I don’t like ignorance, or illogical folks. Too much emotionalism makes me uncomfortable, though too little makes me suspicious. I’m a good person most days. Faithful, loyal, all that good stuff. Unless you are one of those people who have violated me, then I tend to be less so.

I am of Afro-Caribbean decent, which means I got rhythm even when I don’t want it, and am creative, colorful and sometimes loud. My sister tells me that is called having “A big personality.” lol,

That’s me, does it qualify as  a definition of womanhood? Probably not, but writing this, reflecting on it, has lead me to think it may not be as important as my character and my sense of that.

So what is womanhood? Socially and culturally? Who knows? But it’s not something in a little box, it’s not about clothes or hair, or appearance. It’s not sex, it may not even be sexy. It isn’t determined by society.