He Did What?

My 13-month-old son popped another child in the face during play group. I could not believe my eyes. After blinking repeatedly, I apologized to the child and his mother. I, being a new, uptight, insecure mom, was bent all out of shape. The other child’s mom was completely chill and unbothered about what unfolded in front of us.

The fact of the matter is that my son may have thought he was just touching the child. His intentions weren’t malicious, but I couldn’t help but feeling like a failure. We don’t hit in our house, so how and why would my son hit? The answer is quite simple. He is exploring and testing boundaries. It’s my job to correct them. I know this. I chant this. I try to internalize this, yet I’m still perplexed.

I was spanked as a child. It’s not a tactic that I plan to use on my child. Hitting, kicking and spitting are major problems in my book. My son has been hit twice in the same play group. Usually the parents just tell the child to play nice and be careful. I don’t want to be that parent, yet I don’t know how to make my 13-month-old understand that no matter what his intentions, that hit was totally unacceptable. We have reached the point in our relationship where my “no-no” makes him want to repeat the action and watch my reaction. So I’m currently working on re-direction and distraction when he does something I don’t like in hopes of stopping the behavior. However, that doesn’t work with hitting. I won’t lie, my impulse was to tap his hand and say, “No. no.” I know that’s the easy way out and spanking cannot and will not be an option. I just don’t know how to communicate my displeasure to this baby. There’s nothing I can take away and no words in his vocabulary powerful enough to make him understand that he can’t do it.

I know I’m overthinking this entire situation, but it’s what I do. I don’t want him to be the hitter in daycare and I certainly don’t want to receive incident reports from teachers.

As I hemmed and hawed over this event, my friends totally made fun of me. My fellow Boy-parents, as we call ourselves, shared stories of head-butting, sword-fighting and busted eye sockets. So, I now know things will only get more interesting from here. My boy is introducing me to a world I’ve tried to avoid –  a world where I can’t control a damn thing. I’m loving it!


My Boy is 10 Months!

Today my beloved boy is 10-months-old and I am terrified. He is still showing no desire to sit up. Every morning, I rush to his room hoping this is the day he will find his center and sit up. Every morning my hopes are dashed.

We’ve already had an evaluation with Early Intervention. He did not qualify for services based on the evaluation scores, but the therapists used their ‘clinical judgement’ to bypass that and sign us up. They, too, were shocked at not just his inability to sit up, but his resistance to it. He is a good boy. He loves to smile, hang out, army crawl, clap and he’s starting to figure out how to wave, yet this critical milestone remains elusive for him.

I just want him to be alright. I take him to story time and the other children can sit up and pull themselves at least to their knees. All my boy can do is roll and army crawl and he often gets frustrated. He tries to use his strength to pull the toy structures down to him, while the other kids are using it to balance. It’s very interesting to watch.

Still he is my joy. He is becoming more brave and adventurous. He’s going for electrical chords I thought he’d never see. He can army crawl into spaces I thought he’d never fit in. He loves food and wants to try EVERYTHING I eat. He has a gorgeous smile with 7 ragedy teeth at various stages of development. He thinks soft-scrambled eggs are moisturizers. How do I know? He rubs them all over his hands and then on his face. They must be the reason behind his youthful glow.

We spent nearly a week in Chicago to celebrate his grandmother’s birthday. We traveled sans the hubby and my baby did so well. He went to Lincoln Park Zoo, lunched with my college friend and strolled through downtown Chicago like a champ. He missed a few naps, but definitely not the experiences. He really made his grandmother’s birthday special.

Now we are gearing up for physical therapy and two more trips leading up to his first birthday. I hope and pray he is sitting up for his first birthday party. I’m just so nervous for him. I just want his life to be grand. I want to be good enough for him. He is such a blessing and I want to be worthy of him and the blessings he brings. I write this as he bangs his legs on the floor and makes himself go in a circle. LOL!

The Struggle is REAL

This parenting thing is testing me on every level. My son took two roundtrip flights over a three-week span. We survived the trips, but there were some MAJOR hiccups.

My son rolled off a make-shift changing table and it was my fault. He peed through his diaper during the night. I thought I could quickly grab a fresh pair of pajamas. Well, I was not fast enough. As I grabbed some pants, I heard the LOUDEST thump I’ve ever heard in my life. I turned around and my beloved boy was on the floor. I screamed and ran to his aid. As you can imagine, my reaction only made things worse. My poor boy launched into the most pitiful cry in the world. I was devastated that my carelessness led to this. Thankfully, he was not physically injured and after a  few rounds of my rendition of “Understanding” by Xscape (it’s seriously what I always sing to him for his morning nap), he was back to calm. It took a little bit more for me to calm down, in fact I still feel horribly guilty. It was a tough lesson. Now no matter what, I pick him up if there are no straps available.

Our next problem? The plane ride home from Wisconsin. During our layover my husband changed Evan’s diaper because the line for the women’s room was too long. I sent the boys in the bathroom with a changing pad, diaper and wipes. I kept everything else. Imagine my surprise when I walked out the bathroom and saw my husband holding my pants-less son. I squealed, “What happened?”

When The Husband got inside the bathroom, he realized our son had just peed through his clothes. He couldn’t change them because I had the diaper bag and stroller with me in the women’s room. He made the executive decision not to bring the boy out in just his diaper.

Upon seeing my pitiful duo, I went into panic mode. The women’s room was still very crowded and I didn’t’ want to waltz my behind inside the men’s room, so we found the emptiest gate we could find in the airport and stripped our son. He emerged from the situation in a red onesie that looked like shorts. We emerged breathless and hungry. LOL!

Little E sat in my lap for all of the flights. I was so thankful he didn’t pee on the plane because I would have gotten wet as well. I did not have a change of clothes for myself.

In fact, Little E urinated through his diaper at his Grandfather’s house. We were sitting on his non-leather chair. The pee bypassed Little E’s diaper, soaked through my shorts and underwear (tmi?), then settled on my Father-in-law’s chair. The horror! I changed myself and Evan, plus cleaned up that chair. Luckily, he is a very understanding man.

Needless to say, we have started buying Little E size 5 diapers. They look too big, but the 4’s were obviously too small.

My husband and I love being our little guy’s parents. My husband is just better at it apparently. THE STRUGGLE IS REAL!

My Child Is An Adult

I’m so pissed off at all the mothers I’ve met in the past. None of them told me how quickly your baby turns into a full-grown ADULT. My son is 9-months-old. He is crawling like a champ on his stomach; holding his bottle and mastering the magic trick of wasting formula; and making the decision to ignore all of my guidance. If he could sit up on his own, I think he’d crawl on out of the house and get a job. *gasp*

This month has been filled with so much joy that I don’t even have the words for it. My little guy traveled to Phoenix to accompany Hubby on a work trip. While The Husband went to classes and meetings, Mom and I took Little E to the aquarium and children’s museum.

We had SO. MUCH. FUN. Little E’s eyes turned into saucers as he watched colorful sea life swim, slither and stare in massive tanks inside the aquarium. He tired himself out with a strong army crawl in the children’s museum. By the way, that place should really just be called an indoor playground, but I digress. One of the best moments of the trip was sitting by the pool with Little E dressed in his very first swim suit.

That was just the start of his traveling. Little E also visited his grandpa in the great state of Wisconsin. He dipped his toes in a fresh-water lake; watched as The Husband brought back his catch and grandpa turned it into lunch; and he got to swing in a fabulous hammock.

All of this traveling made me realize that we needed a travel stroller. We got it just in time for the trip to Wisconsin. I can break that thing down with one hand and whip it onto the conveyor belt that leads to TSA screening. Now my wonderful husband is not struggling to lug our huge Uppa Baby Cruz through an airport, while helping me with all things baby. He was skeptical when I purchased the travel stroller, but after carrying it through the airport and storing it in the plane’s overhead bin, he totally supported my decision.

Later this month, Little E and I will be traveling without my husband, so we’ll see how I handle the travel stroller solo. Little E is 20+ pounds. I can’t physically carry him around airports anymore without hurting the ol’ back.

Who Is Chauncey Bailey?

Who is Chauncey Bailey? Have you ever heard of him? Well Thomas Peele’s Killing The Messenger will tell you exactly why you should know him.

Chauncey Bailey was an American journalist assassinated on American soil because of a story he pursued about a bakery going into bankruptcy. A BAKERY’S BANKRUPTCY? That doesn’t sound like something for which you should kill or die. Chauncey Bailey’s assassination was about much more than that.

His murder was an assault on our First Amendment. His story could have begun the process of exposing a cult in Oakland, CA run by an insatiable pedophile (he molested and raped his own kids, y’all), that terrorized a community, while defaulting on tax-payer backed loans, defrauding the welfare system and exploiting some of our country’s most disenfranchised, dangerous and vulnerable people. That seemingly innocuous bakery was the base for the cult. That cult racked up quite the crime resume.

This story begins in the 1920’s and follows the rise of the Nation of Islam; paints a picture of a sect in North Oakland that decided to stand alone; and ends with the prosecution of Bailey’s assassins.

Bailey was shot execution style on an Oakland street in 2007. This is before President Donald Trump posted tweets featuring video of him beating up CNN because he didn’t like their coverage. This is before the 2016 election exposed just how much hate and ignorance drove a wedge between Americans. Yet, if we had paid more attention to Bailey we could have seen 2016 coming.

Bailey’s murder should have been front page on every paper and the lead story on every evening newscast, a la Daniel Pearl (check out the Angelina Jolie movie) in my opinion. Sure, one journalist called, “Bailey’s murder an assault on the bedrock principle of free press, the American way of life.” But it wasn’t covered that way. One woman said, “that the killing didn’t get as much media attention as it would have if Bailey had been a white reporter for a major metropolitan newspaper.”

Bailey’s assasination and the decades leading up to it expose the impact of America’s attempt to exclude African-Americans from mainstream freedoms; the blind-eye politicians, courts and police use when it benefits them; and how being disenfranchised can leave all people vulnerable to unspeakable evils disguised as acceptance. (Think David Koresh and the Branch Dividians or Jim Jones and The People’s Temple)

Simply put: this book is an eye-opening history lesson and a true crime story far better than any fiction John Grisham and his contemporaries could dream up.