Archive | September, 2008

Rough times a coming…

30 Sep

So no bailout, and yesterday’s market took a serious dive, I have been working today so I haven’t heard how today ended as far as the markets. I daresay rough and tough times are heading our  way. Now technically its been a tad rough at my house since last year when my former employer and I went our separate ways and our family income did a fancy nose dive. Needless to say we have been surviving with belt cinching and my decision after months of a not so productive job search of going into business for myself, making us a family of two self employed adults. The perks are when client business is good, then life is good here but there are those times when clients are slow to pay and an outing involves a trip to the library and maybe a stop at Starbucks for a coffee. That’s about where I am right now.

Anyway I have been noticing everyone’s wondering what happens if…. you end up jobless, or inflation drives us the cost of goods so high that everyone will be googling bean dishes since for the average Joe, a pot of beans will be about the only thing we can afford if shit gets any rougher. Bye-Bye soda, Cheetos and all the good extra tasty shit we are used to throwing in our carts. Of course, when I joined Weight Watchers 2 years ago, I had to give up the goodies, so nothing new for the kid.

No, seriously at least 2-3 of my normal blogs that I visit have posed the question of what will you do if we are thrown in to some fucked up third world status. Once upon a time this line of thought would have seemed silly, but maybe not so much anymore. I am intrigued by how many folks are starting to prepare for a worse case scenario by planning gardens, learning to make shit… all that shit we used to do years ago before we all caught a case of afflueza and shopping became our national religion.

As for the kid, I must admit I am thinking of taking up sewing and while I don’t think I can grow much right now with the cold weather coming, I am planning to buy some bulk items from some local farmers to put into a root cellar. In our case knowing that if our clients suddenly can’t pay, as contractors I know we won’t be at the top of the payment line over employees so I figure having some spare items will be good. Plus truth be told, I hate shopping anyway.

So, do you have a survival plan in place for a worse case scenario?

Being poor and a lifetime legacy

29 Sep

The past few days I have been hanging at a fellow blogger’s site where the issue of Black woman and money came up. Its one of those times where a blog reading really hit a place in me and made me sit back and think, rather than trying to continue that dialogue at the other bloggers spot, I figured I would let that conversation serve as a launching pad here at my house, casa Black Girl.

In many of my postings I have made clear reference to the fact that I grew up as I like to say poor on a bad day, working class on a good day. My little brother can attest to the fact that ours was a house that getting real Oreos and real Frosted Flakes was cause for celebration, in hard times we once had to resort to using newspaper because we had no toilet paper and mustard in tuna because that’s all we had to eat and to this day I hate English muffins because they remind me of food we got once from a food pantry. Yet in the midst of hard times my folks worked to keep me and later my brother motivated to make decisions in our life that would chart a different course for us and considering that they turned out 2 decent adults, they did an ok job. However there were some life skills they didn’t have and therefore didn’t pass on to either of us and both of us still are paying the price for their lack of financial skills.

See, my folks rarely had 2 nickels to rub together, pretty much in 33 years together they lived paycheck to paycheck. Sometimes affording tony areas like Chicago’s Lincoln Park, though when we lived there, we had no furniture and slept on the floor. However living in a good area does make doors open since as a young child I had access to great parks, the zoo and museums and more importantly good schools. Unlike by the time my folks moved to the south-side of Chicago in the late 80’s when gang warfare made the area park a place that you avoided at all costs. An area that lacked a full service grocery store and the library was inadequate, a place with nothing for kids to do since going out and playing wasn’t all that safe.

Anyway living paycheck to paycheck mostly off my Dad’s earnings since my Mama was a stay at home Mom for many years meant, there was just enough money, never extra and sometimes not even enough. We never took a family vacation, closest we ever came was the family reunion on years that my folks could scare up the gas money and staying at a hotel… well I never stayed at a hotel until I was an adult staying on my own dime.  The way my folks lived meant they didn’t use banks, they either cashed checks on the bank the checks were drawn or they used the check cashing joints which in Chicago are known as currency exchanges. I don’t ever recall seeing my parents sit down and write out checks, I only recall one time they had a checking account and it was a short lived affair. No, they got money orders to pay bills at the currency exchange, I recall the times when they didn’t have enough to make ends meet and seeing Mama on the phone with the utility company trying to keep a utility from being shut off.

Watching the way they lived meant in my early adult years I modeled the behavior that was shown to me, for years I didn’t have a bank account. I lived in a cash economy, when the spousal unit and I started dating I remember he was stunned that I didn’t have a checking account. At the time, I was making good money as a sales rep, living in a nice area of Chicago yet I still handled my finances the same way I had seen my parents. It had never even dawned on me to open up a bank account, though it was not long after we started dating that I decided to change course and use a bank rather than a mattress for saving money. On a slightly different note though, if the economy keeps going the way it is, more of us may be going back to that mattress.

In my early adulthood I often chose to buy at places that advertised low monthly payments rather than paying attention to the long term, again it was because it was the behavior modeled to me and it wasn’t until I was exposed to anything else that I realized there were other options.

I share this because over the years especially in my lines of work  when I did direct service human services work, I would encounter folks who didn’t get why po folks made the choices they did, why go to rent a center and be overcharged when  in a few months you could save and own a TV outright? Well as someone who has been in various places economically, I understand all too well the focus on short term fulfillment over waiting. Being poor sucks plain and simple. Life is hard when you are poor and sometimes the need for some sort of frivolity is what keeps you sane even when its not in your best interest. I suspect this is one of the reasons for addiction issues being high in areas of scarcity, folks wanting an escape and often cheap booze, drugs or cigarettes provides that momentary relief. Or some choose to have tv’s and gaming systems to keep them sane.

Yet what about folks who are no longer poor yet still engage in poor folk behavior? Honestly and I say this as a parent, I think the way we are raised impactsus more than most of us would like to say. For me having kids over the years has brought back a lot of the memories of scarcity. One of the worst memories I have is of being 10 and taking ballet lessons which by some miracle we got for free, yet at recital time my folks didn’t have the money for the outfit so Moms rigged something up courtesy of the thrift shop, as you can guess I was laughed at. Its those memories that for many years drove me to overspend in regards to my son’s needs and making sure he would never be the laughingstock. Its those memories that for years drove my desire for designer purses. It was my way of saying I am just as good as so and so.

Thankfully I have dealt with those demons for the most part but they still rear their ugly heads from time to time though just last month, they resurfaced when mini me was interviewed for a swanky Montessori preschool. So I know they still exist its just that I am in a place where I have learned to identify them and work on them.

Frankly I think financial education should be taught in high school, seriously how many folks don’t know how to properly balance a checkbook? I have friends who grew up with abundance who regularly bounce checks because they don’t keep track of things. The difference between them and a poor person is that my friends have access to resources and can transfer money from a savings account, wait till payday or get a loan from the parents. Options that folks on the edge don’t have.  In the ideal world, parents would teach their kids these things and I know I do, along with other fundamentals like cooking and taking care of oneself. I didn’t learn domestic skills at home since my folks wanted me to aspire to higher places yet when I found myself at 18 and married, it was a hard lesson to learn. I also suspect that if more folks actually knew how to cook from scratch at an elementary level we would all be better off health-wise. 

Poverty does not stop just because one stops residing there physically, the lessons that are often modeled for a child growing up poor still live within you even when you become a college educated professional. By the same token my observations of folks who grew up with privilege regardless of race, even if they hit hard times the lessons that were modeled to them still reside in them. Our upbringing impacts us more than we realize which is why for those of us raising kids, we must be mindful of the lessons we model for our kids.

Friday Ramble

26 Sep

Tis Friday which means its time for me to wind down for the week. Looks like McCain will indeed show up for the debate, so hopefully I can steal some TV time away from the girl child to catch this debate. Speaking of the election and world happenings, it seems another bank bit the dust. Bye-Bye WAMU, you assholes turned me down for a card last year and now you are no more… guess I didn’t need that card anyway.

Sarah, Sarah, Sarah, how come every time you open your mouth up, you just dig a deeper hole of possibly being dumber than the current president. I caught the second part of Palin’s interview with Katie Couric this morning and nearly dumped my coffee all over the keyboard. Any moment I expected Palin to do an ole school “Sike” and really answer the fucking questions. I was at a blog this morning where the blogger said that despite Palin’s fancy clothes, hair, glasses, and make-up, she really belongs in a trailer park, now I know not all trailer park residents are dumber than bricks but Palin is pretty fucking stupid. Instead of getting the cliff notes for questions, someone needs to give her a primer of World Events 101 for the past 20 years… I mean when the Rethugs themselves start publicly and loudly declaring she is not right for the gig, well you know its bad.

Anyway today’s post is short since the spousal unit and I are cutting our respective work days short to steal a little time together before we free mini- me from the child work place known as daycare/preschool. Rain is projected all this weekend here in Maine, but I am hoping I can keep my promise to myself to keep off the computer when its not an actual work day, instead planning to connect with family and friends.

Have a happy weekend and see ya on Monday. If the world keeps going as its been lately, maybe only one more financial institution will go belly-up this weekend and the debates will actually yield something positive. Peace out!

What is this? The Twilight Zone

25 Sep

Ok, with all the world happenings, its time to take a break from talking about me and my life and rant about the world at large. Is it just me, or is anyone else starting to feel like we are living in some extended episode of the Twilight Zone?

Seriously, we all knew that when it became clear that Obama had a real chance at winning back in the primaries when he was up against Hills that this was going to be one for the history books. Then when he actually got the nomination and the convention happened, we knew it was going to be exciting or at the very least interesting as hell. Yet who knew that McCain was going to start getting nuttier than a fruitcake first by picking Sarah”dumb ass” Palin, and now this latest stunt, suspend the campaign. Um, dawg the election is what 39-40 days a way, now is not the time to suspend shit. In fact an intelligent person might say its a good time to show us (that would be the American simpletons) what you working with, give us some insight into your game plan. No, it is not the time to take a time out. In fact taking a time out right now looks bad, but I suspect the Rethugs will spin this shit so that in the end Obama will look power hungry and they will remind us that ole John is all about “Country First” as his motto tell us.

Maybe he is taking a break because well this is a man that up until a few days ago truly  believed the economy was fundamentally strong, but wait then he told us it was the American worker who was strong… um, which is it? Or are you having a senior moment?

Don’t even get me started on Bernanke and Paulson who are now trying to beg for the bailout otherwise the country will be fucked..newsflash mutha fucker, the average American is already screwed, I say if Wall Street gets a bailout where is my bailout? I am sure that pesky bill collector would be happy if I could pay him but guess what I don’t have any cash and ya know what, I am learning to live within my means. Yeah, I got a collector or two calling me these days, see when I lost my job last year and the family income took a nosedive Mr. Visa and Mr Discover didn’t want the $10 a month I offered, so they sent a sista to collections. I will pay them but right now my priority is on keeping the basics, you know shelter, lights, food etc taken care of and whatever else left goes to the collectors alas I am not paying as fast as they would like, but what can I do? After all I doubt I am alone, but for average Joe/Jane we can’t get a bailout and that silly stimulus they gave us was basically gone before it got here, in my case it saved me from owing a ton more to the IRS. See no bailouts for us simpletons means I am gonna have to fix the old car rather than getting a newer one. See, once upon a time in America we were not a nation of consumers, we actually produced something, now we have an economy based on consumption and now the average Joe is realizing we can’t keep up. Call me crazy, but maybe its time for a collective shift in how we do things.

Back in the old days, eating out was a treat, not a right. Shopping is what you did when you needed something not because you were bored and no one outside of the hip cats and artists drank espressos and they weren’t served at places as ubiquitous as Starbucks. No espresso to go, you went to the place and sat down and drank it. Now $5 drinks are all the norm or least they were before average Joe’s realized they needed to start cutting back.

I’m not saying the market needs to crash and burn but rather we need to make a fundamental shift back to living within our means and not getting caught up. Right now this bailout is intended to get the markets flowing, it seems credit is getting harder to get for Joe Sixpack, I don’t know maybe that is not a bad thing. Hell, when I was young you saved your ducats and bought when you had the money, you wanted a house, you saved until you had at least 20% down, not no money down. Sorry but buying a house with no cash down is just a fancy form of renting IMO.

So while the powers to be are all screaming the economy is screwed, tell me something I didn’t already know. As for McCain, guess the big question is will he show up for the debate or will he call up like he did David Letterman with some bullshit excuse.

Nope, I dare say this country is starting to look like some strange episode of the Twilight Zone, where the rich get even richer and everyone else barely gets by. Where the fat cats on Wall Street are screaming they need help, yet just 2 years ago folks at the same firms going belly-up were getting bonuses that were equal to the town budget in places like Maine.

In any event we have 39 more days of fun shit before we find out who will lead us out of this mess we are in thanks to the Bush-Cheney regime.

More on acceptance… no more comparisons

24 Sep

It wasn’t my intention to write another post similar to the last one but this morning while doing my daily prayer and meditation, I had a bit of an epiphany. I must stop comparing myself to others especially as it relates to parenting, its really starting to drive me crazy.

See, I spend a lot of time on-line. Back when I worked in an office or shelter (actually even at the homeless shelter I had an office), I could stop and take a break and chat at the water cooler or at someone else’s desk but seeing as how I work at home, that’s not really an option unless I want to wander upstairs and chat with the spousal unit who is hard at work in his office. No, what I do when I need to take a break is surf blogs and discussions boards, the past year or so I have become completely enamoured of crafty/Mom blogs. Oh, I love checking out blogs of crafty chicks who are either making gorgeous handicrafts or amazing meals every day from scratch. Don’t get me wrong, I do the cook from scratch thing except in many cases I keep my meals simple, I make a homemade soup but buy the bread from the store, you get the picture.

In some cases reading about the lives of others inspires me to try my hand at something different, like tonight I am making spaghetti from scratch but too many times I end up feeling inadequate especially when I end up talking to some of my local Mama buddies who don’t use childcare to work (yeah, the plans to take mini-me out of daycare went up in smoke, no way I can get my work done effectively so she is still in preschool/daycare 3 days a week) yet they seem to have the patience of a saint with their kids and still create beautiful meals from scratch when by Wednesday I am drained and ordering sushi for dinner.

No, sometimes comparing ourselves to others can create havoc and at this stage in life, I just don’t need it so I have decided to limit my blog surfing to Black or political issues, as a fairly uncrafty person why kill myself to be what I am not. Sort of how at the beginning of spring I had planned a large garden but when a good chunk of work fell in my lap, I had to give that up but truthfully digging in dirt is not my thing.

The good thing about getting old and with 36 only a few months away, I am getting older, its time to accept myself for who I am, and not some made up fairy tale version. Truth is I am not the most patient mama in the world and while I love reading to mini-me, after 15 minutes I get tired of playing in the floor with the little one and you know what, that’s ok. Elder boy at almost 17 seems happy and well adjusted and I rarely played in the floor with him and Lord knows my own folks didn’t get down and dirty with either me or my brother and we are ok.

So as we start a new season with the arrival of fall, maybe its a good time to survey your life and see what you can do to better love and accept about yourself. After all life is too short to strain to be what you are not..

Being yourself

23 Sep

Last night my body decided it wasn’t happy just battling seasonal allergies but needed to add a common cold to the mix, the combination of pesky allergies and a cold sent me to bed earlier than usual which meant I had time to indulge in some mindless TV watching since my brain was too bogged down to read a book. I should mention that I am not a regular TV watcher, I have no favorite shows and can’t even begin to tell you what the fall line up looks like. The last time I watched TV with any regularity was when I was pregnant with the daughter and took up watching ‘My Name is Earl’ however once mini-me came that was the end of the TV viewing. The only exception is when my insomnia is kicking my ass and I flip between Nick @ Night, TV Land, Vh-1 and occasionally the E channel. Even Lifetime movies are no longer as appealing as they used to be years ago, too formulaic and too depressing.

So last night while laid up and hacking my lungs up, I settled on watching the E channel and checking out Dr. 90210… why, is that shit on tv? I admit it was my intent to keep flipping between channels but seeing the Black doctor and then the cheese-ball youngish doctor who I swear thought he was a model, piqued my interest yet it was the patients that really got me.

Let’s see, there was a young interracial couple where the young Black man was looking to get some surgery done because despite his daily exercise routine, his abs were not as tight as he wanted them to be, guess he had a hint of love handles and wanted the abs of Fifty Cents the rapper. Apparently the Black doctor who himself had a 8 pack was going to liposculp the brothas body to perfection.. wow! Brotha-man’s  old lady, a young white girl wanted a new nose. It seems they were both performers and wanted even better bodies, now at the end of the show, we were treated to a performance by the plastic duo, if only someone had given them some talent. Now seeing young folks fuck with nature while silly, pissed me off less than the other patient on the show.

The other patient was a white woman who had had several kids, at least one was grown and Moms looked to be just a tad older than me so she was probably just a hair over 40. She wanted a tummy tuck and some new breasts. Now I will confess I like to joke that if I had the cash, I would get both of these done but truth is for the most part I am happy with the body I got. Admittedly after 2 kids, years of breastfeeding and a ton of weight loss, I got the flab and sometimes I am bugged but the older I get I have an appreciation for the body I have, it’s served as a vessel for life, its literally provided nourishment and barring a health need, at the end of the day it just seems wrong to go fucking with it for vanity sake.

I shared all this to say that the older I get the more disturbed I am by the fact that folks are less willing to accept the bodies they were given. Too many of us buy into the media hype that says we must be perfect but who the fuck is really perfect? None of us, who even wants to be perfect? Like I said young folks though it saddens me, I understand wanting more physically but it used to be you got older and with age came wisdom and frankly at 40 wanting the body of a 20 year old is silly.. now I admit I wish I had the enrgy of a 20 year old but these days I look at young folks and I am glad I made it through my youth.

I think its a sad commentary on our society that we even have shows like this on the air and in light of the freewheeling last decade where it seems we all got caught on the consumption roller coaster, shows like this seem to tap into that desire to have more, to be more yet do flat abs, or big breasts make you a better person? I think not. Back when I was in my early 20’s, I had a body that wouldn’t quit and my self confidence was nil, it was only when I stopped focusing on that outer appearance that I came to know and love me.

Shows like Dr. 90210 only seem to reinforce that being yourself is not enough but I think being who you are is more than enough. Shit, if I was single and some cat decided he didn’t like the belly pooch that no matter what I do won’t go away, I’d tell him to take a hike.. I say love yourself and accept what you were given.

Off I go to hack some more and sip my steamy mocha misto.

The Return of the housewife, the 2008 model

22 Sep

The past 4 years I have spent a lot of time online, in part getting pregnant with mini-me and having no Mom to lean on and being out of practice with the baby thing, I immediately took to researching all I could about having a baby. (you’d have thought I had never done it before, granted having a baby in your 30’s is a whole lot different than having one at 19)

During the course of my pregnancy I researched the merits of vaccines and whether or not we should get them, diapers, cloth versus disposable and a whole array of things. Now I will say that this second go around on the mommy ride I did make some different changes, used a midwife rather than OB, actually used cloth diapers though I will admit it was only because I found an environmentally friendly diaper service (sorry but cleaning shit nearly made me stop eating when I tried). Turned out having a baby these days is definitely different this second time around.

However one of the more interesting things I have stumbled on both online and in my day to day life was what looks like the return of homemaking, new millennium style. The past couple of years I have met more and more women, primarily white women but some of the sistas are there too, who take the task of being home with the kids seriously. I’m not just talking cleaning and cooking. I am talking making everything from scratch, I have met and know women personally who don’t just clean but they even make the cleaning materials, soap and shit from scratch. Then there are the hardcore Mamas who plan on homeschooling or are already homeschooling… now I will be honest I find the idea of homeschooling attractive yet I suspect that my introverted aka give me space personality coupled with mini-me’s very extroverted personality might not make us candidates for homeschooling. Though right now I am doing some initial learning about it since my real basis for seriously considering homeschooling is that I am concerned how mini me will do in a predominantly white school. However school is a couple years off for now.

No, today’s housewife looks nothing like the Mama I grew up with, my Mom cooked, even cooked from scratch but it wasn’t her passion or bliss. She even sewed like many of today’s Mama’s but it was a hobby, she didn’t make all our clothes from scratch. Me, I can’t sew to save my life, lets just say I didn’t get the handiwork gene at all, sadly a sista barely can sew a button on a shirt. I tried to learn to knit a few years ago but gave up after spending gobs of money on materials.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not bashing these women, shit, part of me is in awe since while anyone who knows me will tell you I am a good cook, as my Pops would say I cam throw down in the kitchen and the spousal unit’s slowly expanding waist line could be a testament to my cooking. However I don’t love to cook, its just that living in Maine especially in a small town, its often easier to cook than go out to eat since there are whole categories of food I love but you won’t find in any local restaurants around these parts (hello, Mexican food).

Seriously though while I would never call myself a feminist, though my leanings are more womanist, I do wonder about the long term feasibility of being a housewife. Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband and I trust him but having been divorced and knowing that spouses can check out of life early, I have a strong desire to keep a foot in the work world. There is also the fact that I like working to some degree, not enough to show up every day at 8 am, but enough for the work I do. Plus the pesky fact that I owe a tad over a hundred grand for that pair of degrees I earned and I need to keep Sallie Mae at bay with some monthly cash and my payments are just high enough that expecting the spousal unit to cover them plus our house/family expenses might border on being a tad unfair.

Seems the 1950’s housewife was not really happy and I do wonder if this new millennium model is also happy. I also wonder about the inherent unfairness that keeps many Black women from embracing this model, then I wonder do we as Black women even want to embrace this model of womanhood?

Personally while I find some segments of modern homemaking exciting, I am not sure it feels like a step in the right direction for me, what about you? Do you want to tend the kids all day and being completely in charge of the house but doing everything yourself? If so what is the role of your partner in this? Is he/she reduced to being a paycheck or do they play an active part in this lifestyle as well. I ask because I also know women who are living like this but pissed that their partners are not respecting them.

Ok, Monday morning ramble over, time to drink more coffee and get to work.

Thank-you and a Shout Out

21 Sep

Ok, this is a drive by post but I just wanted to give a huge shout out to a fellow blogger, Hagar’s Daughter who gave me a Honest Blogger award a few days.  I was really touched because honestly when I started this blog a while back, I wondered who the hell would want to read the ramblings of a sista trapped in Maine. Anyway thank-you Hagar’s Daughter. I am working on my old hinky ass computer and when it comes to be technologically savvy as far as this blog I am not too good at that, so not really sure how to link to others. So I am not able to list other blogs that I did though most are on my blog roll.

I will be back tomorrow for a regular weekday rant, back to enjoying the weekend and the stack of books I am reading. Peace.

A Season for Darkness

19 Sep

The past 6 years of my life have been a roller coaster ride of epic proportions. I moved away from my hometown, went to graduate school and got my masters, lost my beloved Mama and Granny and lastly had my daughter.. oh and have seen my income decrease by about 40%. Talk about being an overachiever, I feel I have hit many of the huge life issues in a fairly short period of time.

Any one or two of those things was enough to make a sista get a tad depressed but combined and I am being brutally honest but there are mornings I swear the only reason I wake up and don’t go mad is because of God’s grace. Now I rarely talk much about my personal faith here, but in a way I will today. I am a born-again Christian, that said, my faith has also been on a roller coaster ride. See before life got in the way, it was easy to praise God and trust that all would be good. Yet it was right after my Mom’s unexpected and untimely death that things got kind of heated between God & I. Now I will say I have made a lot of peace with the things that have happened but that childlike naive faith that initially had me thinking things would always be peaches and cream doesn’t quite exist. Instead I know that despite what happens I will be ok, its like that line from the Elton John song, I am still standing, in this case I am standing with God’s grace.

However despite standing there are days well, when I am a tad shaky and some might say even depressed. At one point I considered getting my MSW and becoming a clinician so I know a bit about depression from my case management days and while truthfully I do get depressed, reality is no I am not about to jump off any bridges or harm anyone else and though I have my moments, overall I enjoy life. Yet the reality that I have come to grasp as I recently shared with the spousal unit is that sometimes we just have dark seasons, but I am convinced they happen for a reason.

For me the dark season has lasted a while, yet in the midst of this ice storm known as my life there have been many good moments and I am at a place that while I sure as hell wish shit would change quick fast and in hurry. I have come to realize there is a reason and a season for everything, which is why I think rather than wishing change would happen quickly that maybe I should look for the beauty in the midst of this storm and see what changes happen in me that I can take from this time. I just started reading Thomas Moore’s Dark Nights of the Soul which from the first few chapters I have read so far really seem to speak to where I am.

I think its easy to get sucked in wanting and wishing we had what others have, but the fact is we have what we have and I don’t want to waste my life trying to get to the next level at such a rapid pace that I forget to enjoy the ride. KWIM?

Anyway its a gorgeous though nippy Friday here in Maine and since I am playing hooky from client work, I figure its time to head into the city and hit my favorite consignment shop. Have a good weekend, catch ya on Monday unless I am moved to write over the weekend.

Sneaking food..the hypocrite Mommy

18 Sep

Back when elder boy was born almost 17 years ago, I was still young and dumb and there was no internet to tap into for parenting advice. Yeah, there were parenting books but compared to nowadays where we are on information overload, I relied on the advice of my Mom, Granny and then Mama-in-law to guide me with parenting plus my own instincts.

Needless to say I didn’t get in a huff about what baby boy ate, he ate what I could afford, sometimes it was good shit and sometimes well, not so good. As you can imagine having baby girl though as a college edumacated real adult who was pretty much into information overload, I told spousal unit 3 years ago when she was born that I wanted her only eating healthy food. Her first food was avocado slices which she promptly spit out, for her first birthday I was so concerned about only putting healthy natural goodies into her that she didn’t even get a birthday cake. No, I made zucchini muffins though I did allow a smidgen of ice cream.

Well in the past year, specifically the past several months I started easing up on my strict dietary regime when it came to mini-me. It started when she had a freeze-pop at a friend’s house, she liked it so I bought some for home. Shoot, I grew up with freeze-pops how bad could they be? Well it continued with her introduction to Mama’s secret stash of cold cereal specifically the Lucky Charms. This summer baby girl took to the unnatural dyes and quickly became hooked like most kids did. We tried to moderate but one thing I started noticing a few months ago is that whenever baby girl ate a freeze-pop or some Lucky Charms, she started acting crazy. I am talking crazy enough to make me wanna channel the spirit of my Pops who believed that beating a kid was the way to keep em in line. No, I didn’t but I sure wanted to, I suspect her crazy behavior has played a role in my puffing on more than a few butts a day as a way to keep sane.

Now mister hubby tried to tell me it was my imagination, that the food was not making her go nuts and that I was spending too much time reading the hippy dippy Mamas boards that I belong too. Well lets just say over the weekend he became a true believer and told me we must get rid of the junk. So Sunday night Papa Bear tossed out all her goodies (and some of mine too) leaving Mama with just the Frosted Flakes hidden behind the Cheerios, Raisin Bran and $5 box of cereal from the health food store which looks like shit flakes but boasts 6 grams of fiber.

Mini- me has not been happy but she is snacking a lot better on cucumbers and other good stuff, she did throw a rather large fit when I explained the junk went bye-bye but all in all she is managing. Which leads me to today, why was I dying for a bowl of cold cereal but had to wait three hours till nap time until I could eat my bowl of frosted flakes for lunch. For a moment I felt bad for sneaking forbidden food but times like this I remember that I am the boss and while I like to run a democratic household sometimes it just can’t be that way.  That cereal was sooo good. 

Parenting these days is definitely a trip and I am convinced that the goodies of our youth have been modified to create crazed kids because I swear cold cereal never made elder boy or myself buck-wild.