Nothing makes me feel so young and so old at the same time as having a 3 year old daughter at the ripe age of…41, 42, 43, 44, oh yeah 45. And no she's not adopted. I'm an old school mom in a new fangled world. And shocking to some of you, I'm old school ghetto which I keep on lock down unless I need it for a special occasion. I find that a challenge as well because my parents didn't raise no punk and I don't want my daughter to be one. At the same time I wonder if I'm doing her a disservice by not teaching her the street side and letting her learn it the hard way? I would think a person a fool if they were naive enough to think their child won't have some sort of harsh realities to deal with in this day and age.
I don't really know anyone in my same situation to share this type of stuff with. The only women I know who have children at my age are celebrities with nannies. Seeing as how none of them are close personal friends, hence the challenge. Also, to be a black mother of 45 with a 3 year old, I often get the question of if she's my granddaughter. Excuse my language, but f*** all ya'll who ever asked me that.
I was brought up on butt whoopins', call the police – I dare you, and because I said so, and that wasn't from just my parents. True to form some of that comes out in my parenting. The challenge is sending my child into a world with other children whose mothers are half my age, raise their children on time outs or allow their children to hit them. Mothers who don't teach their children manners; children who use profane language in the proper context; children being brought up as pimps, playas and hoe's, while I try to maintain my child's innocence. Prime example, Morgan was playing with a little boy and I believe they were both the same age (2) at the time. His mother was 19. Morgan went to kiss him and he hit my baby in the face. The girl said well he told her no. Do you know how much restraint I had to use not to whoop both they asses?
SIDE NOTE: MY VERNACULAR CHANGES DEPENDING ON THE SITUATION I'M DESCRIBING. JUST CALL IT MY INNER GHETTO VOICE.
I was brought up not to hit someone unless you expected to get hit back. Now there's a fear of guns being brought to school by children in elementary. So you better not stand up for yourself, lest you be laid to rest. I was brought up that if you didn't defend you and yours you were a punk and you got a whoopin when you got home. Now you're a punk if you don't carry a weapon. Granted I wasn't a goody two-shoes but I was raised to respect my elders and to say please & thank you. Hell at the age of 45 I STILL slap my hand over my mouth when I accidentally curse in front of my parents. When I was grown and living away from home I wasn't allowed to smoke in my own self house when my parents visited.
And even with all that, what really pisses me the hell off is some 20-something mother with a 10 year old giving me parenting advice. And don't take that to mean that young mothers are not knowledgeable in child rearing; just consider the source in some situations. "Oh you just wait until she turns 5." "Oh you just wait until she becomes a teenager." To me, that kind of bullshit advice comes from parents who either don't want to be the bad parent and want to be their child's friend, or they rather give in to "keep the peace". I can get just as mean, loud and surly as ANY child of ANY age. I find it sad when people are amazed at Morgan's politeness. She better be polite (but sometimes I wonder what the hell for). Yeah, yeah she's allowed to express herself but as my momma and aunts would say "Don't get beside yaself."
When she asks me am I still mad, I explain to her that my anger is with what she did, not her. I explain that I don't want her to get hurt physically or figuratively. On her own level she gets this. While she was taking a bath the other day she asked me to come in and told me I had to make her a promise to keep her safe, warm and blow bubbles. I told her she had to make the same promise. Her response was alright, alright, alright. Smart ass. I tell my parents I can't tell if I have a normal child because she's being raised by old ass parents. Yes, I feel I have the same values as I did when I stopped being stupid but does that mean she would have gotten away with more if I were younger.
Another things is, as much as I hate when folx talk about letting me do me or I'm just keeping it real, to me they're either using it as a way to justify some whacked out crap they want to get away with or want to say something hurtful in the vein of "keeping it real". Now I said that because I feel like I'm somewhat (a little bit) of a hypocrite because while it does irritate me, I feel the same way when it comes to certain issues in raising my daughter. Even before Morgan was born I decided I wasn't doing the Santa Clause, Easter Bunny, or whatever other holiday character there may be. I get so much flack for that. I got into a conversation about my daughter and her Christmas this year just last week. The woman was appalled that I wanted to teach my daughter about the birth of Christ rather than Santa Clause. She acted as if she was STILL emotionally scarred because she wasn't raised to believe in Santa. Every year you have broke parents trying to give their kids the world all in the name of Santa. If Santa forgets something the parent has to explain the shortfall or even worse the sorry butt parents blackmail their kids in the name of Santa. Well hell be mad at me cause I was broke and couldn't buy it. You had to eat is better than because Santa thought you were naughty. And don't get the impression I'm going to dash my child's innocence on the rocks by giving her cold hard reality. Some mean ass kid will do that soon enough just for the sake of being mean.
Anyway, why wait for some day on a calendar to show your loved ones you care. And don't give for the sake of receiving. How often do folx get their face broke because they bought someone an expensive gift and gotten something cheap in return. If you want something expensive buy it ya damn self and give them the cheap gift. I want Morgan to give for the sake of giving. Also what if you don't make it to that day, then you never get to experience the joy of that moment. Life is too short to wait for a holiday
Tonight Morgan is putting up the tree at Granny's house with Pawpaw. She called me earlier to tell me she was snuggling up with granny. I don't know if she's coming home or not but those are the memories of Christmas I want her to have. But before Christmas she'll remember the tents her daddy erected in his office and her bedroom, that mommy danced with her to the Fresh Beats on Nick Jr., daddy played hide and seek in the house on rainy days, mommy laid in the floor and colored or built Lego towers and whatever other childhood memories we manage to make. Also she'll remember dang, mommy and daddy always talk about going to bed early.
People make fun of Neil and I that we'll be in our 60's when Morgan graduates high school. That's fine with us because we're selling the house and traveling so we don't have to worry about her trying to move back home.