Saturday, December 12, 2009

May their ways be lighted . . .

I was driving home today and stopped at a stop sign.  I noticed a woman walking with her two daughters (or at least I assume they were hers). Lately, since I know I probably won't be having any daughters of my own, moms with girl children do make more of an impression on me and I have a soft spot for girls. Don't get me wrong . . . the more I think about it, the more I think I was supposed to have boys and there are some parts of having sons that are really just priceless. Anyway . . . I thought they looked sweet all walking together (the girls had matching coats).  The girls had to be about 8 and 5.

So by the time I cleared the stop sign, parked and collected my things to go into the house, the mom and her two girls were close by.  I climbed my front steps, expecting to catch one more delightful glimpse of the three and the next thing I knew, I saw this mother shove the oldest girl.  Hard.  So hard she stumbled.

And the next part I don't even want to tell.  Because if these girls are being treated like this in the street, I shudder to think what happens at home.

She says to this girl child, "You fucking idiot.  I swear to God you do that shit again I will  punch you in your fucking face.  Both of you fucking idiots!"

I don't know what this little girl did but there is simply nothing that could have warranted this kind of reaction from her mother.  No amount of annoying or disobedient behavior could have warranted that kind of violation of that girl's personhood.  Especially since she had no way of defending herself.

Oh, I was on the verge of saying something.  It was all just so inappropriate and uncalled for but I quickly remembered that I had just parked and I was in front of my house.  The last thing I want or need is beef with the hood element in this town.  So I didn't speak up for those two little girls.

I feel a bit guilty about it and every time I close my eyes, I imagine all kinds of horrors happening to those two beautiful, Black girls.  I think of that movie Precious and my eyes start to sting a little bit.  It was so saddening, ya'll.  I mean, I've seen it before in this town but often it's directed towards Black boys.  I'm not saying that boys are more capable of handling it but it never made such a painful impression on me.  I keep thinking about how damaged their self-esteem will be and all the sad and costly repercussions low self-esteem has on girls.  (((Sigh))).  Maybe it's because my moon time is soon coming that I'm so sensitive . . .

When you pray or meditate next, would you please hold these girls in your thoughts?  I surely will be doing that tonight.  I'll be wrapping them in love and lighting a candle in hopes that their ways will be lighted.

Photo Credit:  "In Memory of Keks" by co L on

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Dirty on Dirty Cloth Diaper Storage

Typically, when folks think of what to do with dirty diapers, if they want something fancy, they turn to a diaper genie.  It contains the smell like a charm.  If they want something basic, they just toss it in the trash, maybe wrapping it in a plastic bag to contain the smell.

So when I first stepped into the world of cloth diapering, this was one of my biggest questions: how do we store the diapers until washday?  We needed something that would do a good job containing the smell so we knew it had to have a tight lid.  It needed to be big enough to hold a good amount of dirty diapers.  It needed to be kind of small so it could fit in the bathroom since we quickly learned the storing dirty diapers in the bedroom was a stinky idea.  We went through a bunch of different containers, mainly different styles of garbage cans and while some of what we tried were serviceable, none were perfect.

And then while in Target one day looking for a new garbage can, one that would actually be used for garbage, I came across this:  Home Logic Pet Food container.  It was no where near the garbage cans since it is marketed as a "pet food container" complete with a scoop.    But this thing is perfect for the diapers.  It snaps tightly shut and even though it's large enough to hold a lot of diapers, it's small enough to fit in a small area.  And as a plus, I can open it with one hand.  It's perfect.

So there's my recommendation for how to store dirty diapers.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Children are People. Just little.

It's true.  Children are indeed people, albeit little people.  It's so easy to forget that especially since in many cultures, children are not considered.  You don't become a real person until some arbitrary age (18 in our society).

Something happened today that drove this message all the way home in my heart and in my mind.

We were practicing our reading (using our Hooked on Phonics program) and Z1 was weepy and upset.  It was like he was totally frustrated for some reason.  As if we'd been going at it for hours and making no progress. I was getting annoyed because I was feeling like his crying was pointless.   I said all right and made moves to put he program away--he clearly wasn't ready to do the work.  It made him cry even more.  So, we try to continue on with the work and he cries even more.  I put away the work and now he's bawling.  Nice.

But then I thought back to this wonderful and highly recommended book that I'm working through called Connection Parenting by Pam Leo.  I suddenly realized that his tears really did not have much to do with the reading.  I mean, a small frustration with one word had touched off something else--something that needed to be released.

So I put the book away and instead of asking him to go to his room and collect himself like I would usually do, I asked him to sit next to me on the couch.  I asked him what was wrong.  And do you know what he said?  "I miss my Daddy."  I was blown away and saddened too.  There are times when I miss someone but I'm an adult and I know what to do to make myself feel better.  Bake.  Knit.  Write.  Call.  He's little so what can he do?  The only thing he really can:  cry.

So I empathized with him and offered some solutions that might make him feel better.  Did he want to call his dad?  No.  Did he want to make a card for his dad?  He brightened up and enthusiastically said yes and could it have a race car on it.  Great!

So me not being all that crafty got on the computer and found this handy dandy custom greeting card maker.  After looking through all the options, he decided he wanted a motorcycle instead of a race car.  He dictated to me what he wanted the card to say, we customized it and then printed it.  He cut it out (scissor practice which is always good) and then taped it to the computer for his dad to see when he comes back from work.

Oh, it made him feel so much better.  He was smiling and happy and ready to do his handwriting.  And I can't even believe how wonderfully he is forming his numbers in this positive frame of mind.

This book Connection Parenting is totally transforming how I approach this whole parenting thing.  It is an answer to prayers.  It is helping me really see my children as legitimate people not half-people or beings on their way to becoming people.  They feel real emotions as strongly as we do and we should never discount or belittle their feelings.   Children are people.  Just little.

Joining Weight Watchers

For my birthday.

Have you done it?  What's your experience?  Do you go to meetings or just do it online?

I am thinking I'll just do it online because I don't really feel like I need any support to keep with the program.  Also, I just don't need one more thing to try to squeeze in but I think it might be good to go to meetings just so to hear what others think or have done and maybe to point out things I'm not doing the right way.  I don't know.

I'm excited about it though!

Change is . . .

Fun.  Well, sometimes.

I'm not the biggest fan of change.  In fact, most of the time, I like things to be steady, predictable and constant.  I don't find it easy to roll with the punches, hate to travel (rather would just get there already) and generally, I take great pains to prepare for any change.

So it's very interesting that when it comes to certain things, I'm all about change.  Like my computer desktop.  I have to change the picture at least once a week.  My screensaver?  At least once a month.  My Gmail theme?  I may change that 2 or 3 times daily!  My blog layout? Well, if you read this blog, you know I change it pretty often (although, I have to say, I'm *quite* pleased with the current design).

And then there's my hair . . .

I've been wearing a lowboy for a while now.  I'm lucky because the style actually does compliment my round face.  Any longer, even just a teeny weeny afro, and I don't think it really does my face justice.  I've come to realize that styles that don't frame my face such as a lowboy, cornrows or a pulled back ponytail/puff really do look best on me.  I've also realized that square eyeglass frames work best for a round face too.  Generally, what works best are styles that don't add to the roundness of my face.

Wearing my hair this way is the most practical style for me.  It allows me lots of access to my scalp so I can easily treat it when it flares up.  It's super low maintenance.  The hubby shapes me up every two weeks (or so)--free of cost.  In the morning, I may or may not brush it because it's so low that it doesn't really matter.  I mainly brush to stimulate my scalp or because it feels good to rake the bristles over my itchy scalp.  I wash it every 2 to 3 days with Head and Shoulders (or T-Gel if I'm having a particularly nasty flare up), oil it with jojoba oil to which I added tea tree oil.  That's the full extent of my style maintenance routine.  It's so basic, I wonder if it can even really be called a style especially since (even though I gave it a noble try) I am nowhere near consistent with wearing larger (read:  largely more entangling and largely more likely to get painfully pulled) earrings or make-up (allergies, i.e. itchy, watery eyes and mascara/eyebrow pencil/eye shadow are mortal enemies; one kiss of a kid's boo-boo and I can kiss my lip gloss goodbye and since I usually forget it at home or it slips down to the bottom of the diaper bag, it's really just a funny situation).

But recently I started to feel the itch . . . I want to see something else when I look in the mirror yet practically speaking, it's just not realistic.  I could grow it out but just thinking about the cost of getting it cornrowed makes me shudder.  I could work on really getting some length so I could do pulled back styles but eh, I don't have the time or patience to fuss that much.

Thought about a wig but with the scalp issues, that might be a bad, bad look.   Should I color it?  Any natural, quality hair colors out there?  And what color?  I have never, ever colored my hair but since I do have a bit of gray hair with more popping up every day, I had started to contemplate whether I would color it or not.

So any ideas?  What can you do with a lowboy to "freshen" it up?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

One Good Thing about the Cold Weather . . .

 . . . Is that when I have a whole list of errands to run, I don't have to put the most tedious of the errands, grocery shopping, at the bottom of the list.  I can do it first because it's just as cold outside as it is in my refrigerator/freezer.

What is it about grocery shopping with two kids in tow that is so stressful?  I guess it's because I need to think.  And the non-stop chatter/reaching out and grabbing things/asking for everything they see is just not conducive to smooth mental functioning.  But at least when it's winter, I can get it out of the way first, when I have the most energy and patience.

Hey, you gotta find something good about winter because scraping ice off your windshield ain't it.   :)

Photo Credit:  "It's Cold!!" by Mr. T in DC on Flickr
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