Modern Family

I like TV. It’s funny. Or engaging. And sometimes you find yourself reflected there. As a Black woman, I do not often find myself reflected on tee vee. (Especially since we don’t have HBO anymore.) Imagine my surprise when, while watching Moderm Family, my husband and I found ourselves cracking the hell up because one couple was us.

 

Husband goes to sleep earlier than the aby and I do. He had just bid us good night, I was straightening up and the baby was making a mess in the kitchen for a change of scene. Modern Family comes on. The couple is having a bit of a tiff because one person made an elaborate meal and he kitchen is a MESS. Other person is grosed out and the chef is all, “don’t worry, I’ll clean it.” From the bedroom, where he is supposed to be sleeping, my husband cracks up with laughter. Cam and Mitchell, are our TV twins. I’m Cam.

Now, before you think this is a fluke, that I see myself everywhere, let me assure you, Cam and Mitchell are not just hand-twin twins, but actual twins. (Someone got that Friends reference, right?)

 

Last week Mitchell accused Cam of coddling Lily.

“I will not apologize for loving our daughter.”

I sprayed Mango smoothie on the coffee table when Cam uttered the line. Not just because of the line, but because of Husband’s face when the line was said. He roared, but then looked at me.

“Why you looking at me, Husband?”

“No reason.” *snort, laugh*

:You think that’s me? I’m Cam?

“I’m pretty sure you’ve said that exact same thing to me when I say the baby should sleep in his crib.”

This began a whole discussion about the baby’s sleeping habits that was lame and is still unresolved. But, it did begin the us as Mitchell and Cam conversation.

I’m artsy and emotional. He’s a worrier and is all clean-y. It gives the show a new lens for us now. Interesting.

 

TTC? Maybe Baby?

That was me two and a half years ago, Was I sure I wanted a kid? They cry. They poo. I’ve seen them on buses raising hell. I’ve had them in class talking back to me. Eh. Was I over it?

 

Shout-out to people who are thinking about having children. I want to share with them what no one told me. Not a secret, exactly, more of a mind-set that I didn’t know you needed. I really wanted kids and understood they would take sacrifice. I thought it meant buying a kid new shoes instead of myself. And it does mean that. (Boy does it. My kid outgrows shoes like nobody’s business.)

 

But it also means re-arranging your priorities and options. Last night I needed to do work. I had work for my job and for two classes I am taking. Two years ago it would have been a pain, but I could have done it pretty easily. Yes, I would have procrastinated, but eventually I would have done it. With a toddler?

Such a different story. He is looking at me. He is smiling. I am pleading with him to go to sleep and he is cracking up. He figures it’s some kind of game because I am Mommy and I am always coming up with awesome games. I keep replaying in my mind all the work I have to do and how long it will take me. But he’s looking at me. He has 8 teeth and is smiling and looking at me. But I have to work. And yet there he is in his black, made in New York onesie. His curly head is nodding wildly.

 

It’s frustrating. It’s maddening. My husband is asleep, I am tired and the baby is awake and ready to play. Who am I going to be mad at for this? No one. Not the baby’s fault. I just wish there were more of me. One to play with the baby, one to sleep and one to do work. You think life was hard before a kid? Try adding in another full time job. A full time job you love. A full time time job at which you need to rock.

 

It’s hard. But it’s worth it. It’s super awesome great. One of the best things I’ve ever done. I’d write more, but  is now climbing up a stereo tower. I’ll finish be explaining how I finished my work last night. He went to sleep. Despite my level of exhaustion, I worked furiously until 2am to finish my work. I did everything except work for one class, which I just finished. I was able to finish work tonight because my husband stayed up later than usual.

This took three days to write.

A Hurricane? Seriously?

Hurricane Irene is coming. It is supposed to be here tomorrow evening into Sunday. A Hurricane. I thought that was a Florida/Texas thing. Turns out, they happen here, too.

An earthquake? I can handle it. A hurricane? How does that even look? Do people die in these? The trees could fall down and hurt someone I am told. There’s a significant chance we could lose power, so we have stocked up on water. We have batteries, flashlights and candles. I am a little worried about the amount of canned foods we have. This is another time I am SUPER glad I nurse. I don’t have to worry about feeding the baby or clean water to make formula.

I am also worried about the subway being shutdown tomorrow. You can ALWAYS ride the subway here. You may have to wait at 2am on a Sunday morning, but a train is coming. Places downtown are under mandatory evacuation. I am going back and forth between thinking this is a big deal and thinking people are blowing it out of proportion. I am going to pack a go bag, just in case. This is my second big deal thing this week. what an eventful summer.

And did I mention? I also went to Central Park and fed an alpaca today. So, I am doing big things this this week.

Stranger Danger

I love living in Harlem. It feels very neighborhoody. You know the guys in your corner bodega. They play peek-a-boo with the baby. We have a fantastic fruit guy with yummy bananas and lychees. We do a lot of neighborhood walking, the baby and I, so we see some of the same people many times.

On Friday, we saw this older dude near the fruit stand. Nice Interesting dude. Last week I saw him tell a little girl that if she didn’t mind her mother, that the dog on the street would “get her!” Gross. I don’t want my kid afraid of dogs. I don’t want my kid to listen to me out of fear. But, she wasn’t my kid and the mom seemed okay with the story, so I just minded my business.

On Friday, he sees us and says hello. Scooba is very friendly. He smiles at folks, laughs, waves his hands and jabbers emphatically at people. The people love him. This guy said hello and I replied. Then dude asks me if Scooba was my son.

“Yep.”

“Really?” (No, I’m lying to a stranger, but since you said ‘really’ I’m gonna come clean.)

“Yep.”

“How’d he get so bright?!!”

Really, stranger? How did my son get so bright??! My son isn’t ‘so bright’. Sure, he’s light-skinned, but, “so bright,” no. And where do you get off being so nosy. You don’t know my name, but you want to know about my son’s  genetic heritage?

“Black people come in all kinds of colors.”

“Well, now, that’s true.”

So. What do I do with this? I’m not going to lie. it really bothered me. It’s not that I don’t want people to know that Husband is white. It’s not that I am ashamed that my son is biracial. So why did his comments bother me so much? I talked to husband and he pointed out two things. One, it is extremely rude to be forward with a stranger. Two, I don’t like strangers all up in my business. We were once harassed on the street for being together and I got very upset about it. Husband just took it in stride. He felt like strangers’ opinions didn’t matter.

I get that people are curious. If you’re my friend, and you ask about my son, I’ll tell you and be fine with it. But for a stranger to ask why my son is ‘so bright’ is a judgment and he isn’t seeing my son for the whole person he is. He is more than a shade of brown. And you know what? There isn’t anything wrong with being “bright.” Dude said it with the same tone as asking, “How’d he get so ugly?”

It’s rude to ask strangers personal questions. Don’t act like my kid’s color is the only interesting thing about him. He’s smart. He’s tall. He’s a marvelous climber. I feel like I should have one of those “Ask me about…” stickers for him. Maybe the lesson for me is to worry less about what some dude on the corner has to say. He is a jerk, but it’s up to me to decide how it’s going to affect me. Boom. Got a little Dr. Phil on myself there. Nice.

Bottom Line: Don’t be a weird old guy asking rude questions of strangers on the street. It’s not a good look.

BlogHer 2012 is in NYC!

Blog Her 2012 is in  New York City

I’m doing it. I’m going.

BlogHer 2011 was in San Diego. I am from San Diego and we go visit in August anyway, so this year should have been a done deal. Unfortunately, Husband’s schedule meant we were in Cali the following weekend. Lame. This was a real kick in the pants for me. But the heavens have smiled down upon me.

Next year, BlogHer is in NYC! YES! Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. I am totally going. I got so tired of hearing about BlogHer knowing I couldn’t go. (“Not that I wanted to go anyway, who cares,” is how I consoled  myself.)

But it’s in my city this year! The Hilton! And I can afford the rates! So excited. I have put it on my calendar and told Husband. You should go to BlogHer. And you.

NYC is a fantastic city. We have Central Park, amazing restaurants, the subway and lots of good junk. Street fairs! Encounters with strangers! Pizza at 3am! And we’re one of the news media and publishing hubs of the world. What’s not to love?

Nakedness


I’m going to start with the nakedness. We’ll call it the state of nakedness in parks. Public parks. Little Naked in the Big City. Lately I’ve been living in Central Park.

They have this fantastical program called Sandbox Music. (Shout out to NYC Taught me blog for the heads up.) Music is played for children at playgrounds through out Central Park. It’s a nice, free way to be outside and since there are little water features in the playgrounds, it’s also a nice way to cool off, too.

So yesterday? I was in the park. Fine. I’m feeding Scooba when I see this dad wrangle his kid. I burst into laughter because said kid is butt-ass naked. Just flapping in the breeze naked. it’s funny. I didn’t see him remove his clothing and evidently, neither did his father. So Dad is trying to at least get his underwear and shorts on him. I laughed a good laugh and continued to feed my son. Kid got hot. No big. Dad fixed.

You might be asking yourself, “Is that the naked? Big whoop. Disappointing, Harlem Mommy.” Let me finish. I look up three minutes later, and a completely different kid is naked. And no one is trying to clothe him. He is maybe 3 and just playing around the park naked. Nakedly? His mom even let him go down the slide. I’m not a prude. Kids are playing outside in just shorts. Just diapers. They’re kids. But naked? Is this okay? How old is too old for public nudity? How young is too young?

I know in Europe kids run around naked and it’s no big deal. Maybe this was a mom’s way of Europeanizing a little slice of the park. What’s funny is no one batted an eye. But I can’t have been the only one that noticed, right? So now I’m wondering what we’d do if Scooba wanted to play naked. Forbid it? Only at home? What’s the official party line on nudity? Right now, we all get naked in front of each other. I imagine at 5 I’ll have to cover up more? 7? Does Husband just get to be naked when ever? That sounds unfair, but I’ll get the naked whenever privileges with a girl, hopefully.   Or maybe we’ll just be the naked family that’s super cool with nudity. We only put on clothes for company. Hmm. Whatevs. I guess we’ll see. Since Scooba isn’t potty trained yet, we’ll at least keep him diapered. In a year or so though, that naked kid you see could be mine.  Is that cool with you?