So…The Girl is twelve!

So…The Girl is twelve!

LAWD HAMMERCY!  WHAT IS I’M GWINE DO!  (translation for you non-southerners…Lord have mercy!  What am I going to do?)

It’s my baby’s TWELFTH (why is there an f in that word?) birthday!  I can HARDLY believe it…Lord knows this has been a journey.  I remember it like it was yesterday!

4:30 am….Tuesday, August 7th…I felt a pain that was so strong I was jarred from my sleep.  I lay there thinking…”Oh Lord, Jesus…am I dying?”  I looked at the clock trying to figure out who to call at this hour!  I waited.  It only lasted a minute…then everything was fine.  I tried to go back to sleep, but 10 minutes later, I felt it AGAIN.  This time, it was so strong, it brought tears to my eyes.  Then it hit me.  “Am I in labor?”  I couldn’t fathom that just yet.  I just wasn’t ready.

I was two weeks away from my due date.  I’d just had an ultrasound the day before.  I remember the doctor saying to me that my baby was fully developed and was considered full term and any time after that day, she could be born without worries of premature birth.  I thought, “cool! alright…I”m about to meet my daughter.”  I’d just found her middle name using some program they had.  See…her dad is from Enugu, Nigeria…and I’d wanted to give her a name reflective of her African heritage.  Unfortunately, he was nowhere to be found (that’s another story entirely!)…so I couldn’t ask him….so…I was on my on.  But I’d found…the PERFECT NAME…Akanke – It was Nigerian…Yoruba…and it meant…”To know her is to love her.”

Anyway…back to the birthing story…I rubbed my belly after leaving the doctor and said, “alright little one…I’m ready to meet you…so whenever you’re ready, come on!”  I mean..I knew she could hear me and all…because I read to her and sang to her every day.  I didn’t know she was actually LISTENING though!

I waited in that bed for a full hour before I said a word about the labor.  My pains were coming every ten minutes and lasted a full minute.  Never in my life have I had the kind of pain that is so horrible that you cry the whole time it’s happening then stop as soon as the pain stops!  Craziest thing ever.  Well, at 5:30 am…after that pain ended…I figured I needed to find out if I was really in labor.  So…I called my best friend Karen who lived in a time zone one hour behind me…somehow, that didn’t occur to me.  It also didn’t occur to me that 1) she didn’t have any children and had not experienced labor, 2) if she could answer my question, it’d take her at least 3 hours to get to me and 3) my aunt was in the next bedroom.  So I got Karen on the phone…

Me:  Karen?  Are you up?

Karen:  No.  What’s up?

Me:  Sorry to wake you but I have a quick question.

Karen:  Okay.

Me:  (whispering)  What does labor feel like?

Karen:  Why are you whispering?

Me:  (crying) I don’t know.  I think I’m in labor.  Hold on.

I cried through the next contraction.  Then went back to our conversation.  The most hilarious thing I ever heard (well..looking back it is!)

I still waited a full 2 hours before I told my aunt.  I had a doctor’s appointment that morning and believed that I could make it at least until the doctor’s office opened.  I called them at 8 am and let them know that I’d been having contractions every ten minutes since 430.  They told me to come on in.  I finally told my aunt who was so flustered and excited that she began to have trouble getting dressed.  I also called my mom who happened to be starting her first day of a new school year with a new principal.  I later found out that she walked into the office and informed them…”Umm…hey…I gotta go…Grandbaby on the way…I need a sub..” and promptly left the building!  lol…

When I got to the doctor, I was disappointed and relieved to find out that I was not dilated and my doctor was about to send me home.  The doc left the room then came back 2 minutes later and said, “Umm…your blood pressure is a little elevated.  We’ll go ahead and get you admitted today.  Go on home, and call the hospital around 3 so that we can get you in alright?  I’ll see you later.”  I left the office and the person at the desk made me an appointment for the following week.  I laughed and said…”I don’t think I’ll make it…but okay.”

My aunt and I finally made it home and I when I tell you I had the darnedest time getting through to the hospital that day!  Every time I called, I was being told that my name was not on the list.  FINALLY about 7 pm, my mom (who arrived in record time!) called the doctor…never occurred to me to do that.  She hung up the phone and I kid you not….LESS THAN ONE MINUTE LATER, the phone rang.  It was the hospital calling…apologizing profusely and giving excuses about the nurses..charge nurse…blah blah blah…So…off we went to the hospital!

I got there and got checked in still crying every ten minutes for a full minute.  The doctor came in and was all nice and loving and she quickly informed me that I WAS STILL NOT DILATING…(for those of you that don’t know what that means…well..I’m sorry…look it up…lol…).  She said…”Because of your blood pressure though, we’re going to go ahead and induce you.”  She explained what all that meant.  I was angry!  After a perfect…and I do mean PERFECT pregnancy….I get to the labor and have trouble!  I was sooooo confused.  So..they gave me the daggum pitocin…that was supposedly going to speed up my labor…yeah…no such thing…all it did was make the contractions MUCH MORE PAINFUL!

So…yeah…if that speeded up the labor…I’d HATE to see how long it would have lasted had I not had it…I went all night and half the next day…FINALLY at 2:38 pm on August 8th…she made her appearance into the world.  She did not cry…..the only noise she made was a little whimper which made me nervous….My sister who’d found herself caught like a deer in headlights at the sight of the crowning…I love my sister…but…er…um…yeah…I don’t think she REALLY wanted to get to know me like that…I blame my friend Allan for the long labor…he always joked that I would have at least 36 hours of labor….well…34 hours and 38 minutes is pretty dang close!  When he showed at the hospital a day or two after she was born…I heard my family huddled in corner whispering…”is he the dad?”…NO!  lol…and to this day they still ask!  He’s just a friend…for real!

Anyway…we’ve had some tough times…and days I’ve really wondered where she came from….because sure no child of mine would…<insert thing here>…but she’s mine…mine…mine (okay..so she’s on loan from God…)  I love that lil girl…IDK what I’m going to do with her.  Guess I’ll just love her!

Happy twelfth birthday baby girl!

Until next time,

Hakuna Matata

photo 3 photo 2 photo 1 photo 4

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So…Working Out…whew!

So…Working Out…whew!

So…one thing I’ve learned over my many years of trying to lose weight is that the workout is important.  But good grief!  I ACHE ALL OVER!  I found out that I have extra places that did not previously exist!  GOOD GRIEF CHARLIE BROWN!  Alas, it’s a good hurt.  Knowing that I am improving my overall well-being is making me smile through the ache.  Best of all, I’ve found that I have THE BEST workout partner ever!

When I’m looking for excuses, she lets me have NONE.  When 5 am rolls around and I don’t want to go, she is bright and shiny (though I can’t get her up at 5 am for anything else!).  My work out partner is always around and always encouraging me.  Her name?  The Girl.  Yep.  The Girl.  Who knew?!  All this time, I’d wanted an adult work out partner because I knew I could have someone to chat with while I worked out.  Turns out, I needed the little 11 year old girl who would encourage me to get on up and go and tell me that I “can do it!” to come along with me.  While we don’t talk while we’re working out, we are getting to spend some quality time together.  I’m also leading by example on what healthy living looks like.

So, we’re getting fit, fine and fabulous together!  I love it!  Even though she’s entering those torrid teen years where she’ll probably hate me and not want to talk to me for days at a time, we’re building our relationship now…getting a good foundation.  Today though..she probably hates me from being sore! She is also making sure that I eat breakfast each morning.  I mean, she cooks if needed…heats up, brings it to me…whatever!  She is taking care of her mama!

I’m grateful…so grateful.  She helps me more than I ever knew she could.  My little sugar bean is growing up…today, when I took her to her summer program, she asked if I was still tired.  I told her I was and she said, “well you need to just take a day off mom.  You need some rest.”  Aww…yup…I guess I’ll need to remember all of this when she’s learning to drive and my knuckles are turning white from gripping the seats.

ANYhoooooo….Good news…the scale gods have visited and made my scale be nice!  It appears…I’ve lost 14 pounds!  WOOOOO HOOOOOOOO!!!  Now, given my size, some folks may say 14 pounds is nothing…but to those folks…POOH ON YOU!  I’m not in it for a competition.  My competition is that chick looking at me in the mirror.  I’m doing it for her.  And if it is going down, we’re happy.  So…yay me!

scale

So…we’ll keep at it…keep pushing…keep hurting…until the deed is done…Words of wisdom from The Girl, “Mom, you just have to keep at it until it becomes a habit.”  Really now? lol…Gotta love her!

Until next time,

Hakuna Matata

 

So…let’s talk about sex

So…let’s talk about sex

So…once I fell in love with reading when I was eight years old, I’ve always been curious. Words were like candy to me and I relished in learning new ones. Now, because I have an equal love of music and get excited when I understand or even better am GIVEN the lyrics to a song, I’m super excited. I like to sing along to the songs I like because it makes me feel good. Alright…GREAT!

Well, just before the beginning of my new love for words, Prince released his infamous Purple Rain album. To my delight, the album sheath contained the lyrics to every song on the album! I would listen to it every time I was able to when I was at my granny’s house. One day, as I listened, I came across a word I didn’t know. I mean, I could say it, and I read it and I heard it in the song, though I couldn’t figure out what it meant.

The song was Darling Nikki. When I came to the word, I figured, I better ask someone what it meant. So, I walked happily into the kitchen where my grandmother was cooking something. Eight year old Kimyatta started the following conversation:

Me: Granny, what is masturbating?

Granny: WHAT? <choking as she was tasting something from the pot>

Me: What is masturbating?

Granny: WHERE YOU HEAR THAT NASTY WORD?

Me: It’s nasty?

Granny: Where did you hear that?

Me: It’s right here on the words for Darling Nikki by Prince. <I pointed to it on the lyric sheet I held.>

She snatched it from me and I pointed to where it was on the sheet.

Granny: TURN THAT OFF!

I was confused. Why couldn’t she tell me what it meant? I had no clue what the word ACTUALLY meant until I hit sex ed three years later in fifth grade. Oh…(though I did wonder how Nikki was doing it with a magazine.)

Fast forward…twenty five years. My dear darling daughter and I walking out the door one morning for school. The girl, eight years old starts the following conversation:

The Girl: Mom, what’s a vibrator?

So, here, I was trying not to fall out the door as I had just stepped over the threshold.

Me: Um…it’s a something that vibrates. (Hey..I’m progressive, I can’t keep everything from her forever, right?)

She got silent and mulled over my answer in her head.

The Girl: Why would people put it in their pants?

Whaaaaaaa???

Me: Um…where did you hear that?

She wasn’t very forthcoming with her answer. It took the whole ride to school to get it out of her. She had overheard a conversation of two older girls two nights earlier who still were not old enough to be having a conversation about “those things”. I had a conversation with the parents of the other girls who were twelve and we got to the bottom of it. Apparently the cousin of one of Girl A found a vibrator in the house and was running around with it in his pants scaring the girls. So, Girl A was sharing the story with Girl B and my daughter was listening. When she asked them what it was, they said, “go ask your mama”. Well, they didn’t know the girl very well to know that she was going to ask.

Okay, so a year passed by. Age 9 rolls in and I knew eventually I’d have to start having “the talk” with her. After the conversation the previous year, I got a few books on girl’s health and the like and she had read them. So, I figured questions would arrive eventually. One morning, on the way to school, while I was driving she started this conversation:

The Girl: Mom, I understand how G-mama is your mom. She gave birth to you. But how is PaPa your dad?

Me: He helped.

I had managed to keep from swerving the car off the road. That answer seemed to satisfy her. I kept hearing this small voice in my ear saying it was time to really have the talk. I couldn’t bear to do it though and I ignored it.

Two days later, we had the same conversation, though with different characters:

The Girl: Mom, I understand how you’re my mom. You gave birth to me. But how is my dad my dad?

So, here, I figured the same answer would work. So, I answered it the same way.

Me: He helped.

The Girl: Yeah, but how? I mean, how did he help.

Me: He gave me half your DNA.

The Girl: Yes mom, but how?

She was NOT giving up. So, I told her. The ugly gory truth. A look of confusion washed over her face.

The Girl: But you and my dad didn’t do THAT.

I looked at her hard and long and nodded.

The Girl: Oh God…I think I just threw up in my mouth.

Only my kid…so dramatic.

All of this came to mind the other day when I was eating a sandwich and I made a face that I’d seen her make while eating and I began to wonder what other ways we were alike. Now, she’s much more outgoing than I ever was or ever will be. I absolutely love that about her. I think about me at her age and I never would have had the nerve to ask much of the stuff she asks me. She is not embarrassed by anything. I can only wish on her that she will have a WONDERFUL conversation with her 8 year old…in 30 years or so…lol.

Motherhood is the best job ever…

Until next time,

Hakuna Matata

So…you think you’re right?

So…you think you’re right?

So…the girl is 11 and is at that age where every day I feel like I have to prove I’m the adult. One morning, at 7:05 a.m., she came into my room and the following conversation ensued:

The Girl: Three ninths simplified is one third. In percent form that is 3.33%.

Me: You sure about that?

The Girl: Yes. 3.33% with a repeating 3. Any fraction divided by 9 is going to have a repeating 3.

(I’m wondering why we’re having this conversation when I’m trying to get a few extra zzzzs. I indulge her)

Me: No love. It’s 33%.

The Girl: No. The decimal form is 3.33 repeating. I said the decimal.

(I go back and read the conversation. I see percent. You see it too?)

Me: Okay. But still that’s not correct either. In decimal form, it’s .33 with the threes repeating. It’s 33 percent. The fraction is 33/100 also known as 33 hundredths. 33 hundredths in decimal form is point three three.

She continues to argue that it’s 3.33 repeating. Now that I realize I won’t get my extra 10 minutes of snoozing before she has to leave for the bus, I give her my full attention.

Me: Sweetie, that’s not right.

The Girl: IT IS!

Me: Who told you that’s right?

The Girl: Miss Little! (math teacher)

Me: Okay. Work it out on paper.

She goes to my desk and gets a pad and paper. There’s silence for a few seconds then she attempts to storm out of my room.

Me: Wait. Where you going?

The Girl: I have to get ready for school.

Me: Well, did you figure out what it was?

The Girl: Yes. (She turns to walk out of the room.)

Me: Wait! What’s the answer?

The Girl: (in a barely audible voice) It’s the same thing.

Me: The same as what? What’s the answer?

The Girl: Point. Three. Three. Repeating.

I sense a bit of an attitude and I sit up in the bed.

Me: That’s not the same thing. Would you rather me give you $3.33 or $0.33?

The Girl: (from the living room) Three dollars and thirty three cents. It’s time for me to go!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I have absolutely no idea why she feels like she has to be right all the time. I guess that’s what happens when you’re the intellectually gifted offspring of an intellectually gifted adult. It’s mornings like this with her random drops of knowledge that I wonder if I did this to my mom. I don’t remember being nearly as vocal as she is. I certainly never challenged my mom for fear of the belt. One thing I love about her though is that she will stand her ground when she thinks she’s right. I really wish though, she was better at losing when she’s been PROVEN wrong. Ah well…That’s my girl….

So, the next time you’re challenged with percents and decimals, just remember, I might be lurking ready to give you a math lesson.

Until next time,

Hakuna Matata

So…you wanna talk?

So…I met a little girl at church on Sunday named Gabby.  She was four years old.  She introduced me to her sister, Nya, who was two.   We met in the restroom.  Her mom was waiting on the handicapped stall so that the three of them could go together. Unfortunately, the mother’s bladder was impatient and she couldn’t wait. I told her I’d watch the girls while she went and umm…handled business.

Gabby engaged me in the story of her short life! She told me that she and Nya went to school and gave me the rundown of her daily activities and school and we had a WONDERFUL conversation.  She continued to talk to me and tell me about her family, including introducing me to her mom and telling me about her dad and her baby sister Savannah.  She was very excited.  Listening to her, I could tell that she was very smart.  I expressed that to her and how she spoke so well to be only four years old.
As we returned to the sanctuary her mom informed me that “she will tell you her life story if you let her”. The fact of the matter is that I was willing to let her!   The mom’s face told me that she had tired of her daughter’s talking. She is a married mother of three beautiful girls. She told me that they named her Gabby and she certainly gabbed. I said to her mom …”oh that’s her money maker.  Her blessing’s in her mouth.”  Her mom gave me a side eyed glance that said, “I just wish she’d shut up.”  I could understand her mom being tired.  She has girls, 4, 2 and less than 1.  I commend anyone with more than one child.  God knows who to give them to!

Anyway, that scene got me to thinking about my own child and what her gifts and talents are.  Gabby certainly has a gift for gab and I would not be surprised to see her with her own talk show or even a published best selling author before she turns 18!  Anyway, I wondered if my attitude has somehow dampened any of my daughter’s gifts.  Of course, it would be unintentional but I would hate to think that in my frustration or disappointment with my own situations, I have let that come across to my child as “I’m tired of you.”  Now, I don’t know what Gabby’s life is like at home, but she was the happiest little girl and was unaware of what I saw on her mother’s face or perceived in her tone.  As she gets older though, I wonder if it will still be there and if so, will she pick up on it?  Again, I wonder about my own child.  She has dreams that in my eyes seem all over the place.  But at 11, that’s exactly how they should be!  She is definitely an artist.  She’s no Da Vinci, but she can draw.  I know that when she draws a dog it’s actually a dog!  Unlike my own drawings that look like well…garbage on a stick to put it mildly.  ANYWAY….she’s artsy….she dances and has taken dance for 9 years.  She likes music and she is certainly dramatic.  I recently proposed that we move to a different city.  She was “distraught” in that she’d miss her friends and it would be different and her life would be over.  I mentioned that she might get a chance to go to a performing arts school.  An hour later, she came back and was wondering when we’d move.  The new school perked her interest and apparently was more important than some friendship’s allegiance.  Gotta love a tween.

I want to do everything I can to encourage her.  I don’t want her to look back on her childhood and think that something I did or said kept her from a dream.  She wants to act and Lord knows that’d be great, but all the opportunities that present themselves cost an astronomical amount of money to just get the “this that and the other” needed to get seen by the right people.  I know that if that is part of God’s plan for her, then an opportunity will present itself that will be within the means He set for us.  When she wants to be athletic, I’ll do what I can to help.  She’s in the band and chorus at school so those all have their expenses.  I just want to encourage her to be all that she can be.  I’ll do that to the best of my ability until she gets tired of me encouraging her and then I’ll keep on until I can’t do it any more.

So the next time you’re out and about and you see a wonderful little girl willing to tell your her life’s story, let her!  She might be the next Oprah and need you on her show one day!

Until next time,

Hakuna Matata

So…a little about me — Part 2

So…now that you know I’m fat, you should also know that I’m a mom.  Most of the time, where I am, that’s where my daughter is.  Many times we’re inseparable.  Well, at least until we get home.  My daughter is an only child, only grandchild and only great grandchild.  She is spoiled!  On top of that, she is entering those terrible teen years so I’m having a horrific wonderful experience!

The girl (it’s what I call her online for privacy AND to keep from calling her something else), is in 6th grade and always seems to be up to something.  She is crazy about Mindless Behavior (a music group) and loves fashion.  I’m dumb when it comes to both, so I’m always being “schooled”.

I do the best I can to make sure she has all that she needs.  Some days, I swear I want to shake her silly.  ESPECIALLY on days when she acts ungrateful or worse, like a teenager.  I swear sometimes I have absolutely NO IDEA what to do with or for her.  Don’t get me wrong, she’s not “bad”.  She is in the gifted program.  She makes all As, has perfect attendance and has yet to try to sneak out of the house.  She takes dance and is in her 9th season.  She’s just…at that age where you want to strangle hug her really tight all the time.

One of our biggest fights is about her hair.  She had shoulder length dark brown hair.  When we moved to where we live now, finding a stylist was difficult.  Suddenly, her hair was breaking!  I was FLOORED.  Now, her hair is different lengths all over and she INSISTS on no heat.  When I wash her hair, she has a complaint about everything I do.  “The water is too hot.”  “It’s too cold.”  “You’re pulling my hair.”  “You’re getting water in my eye!”  I told her if she doesn’t like the way I wash her hair then she needs to learn how to wash it herself.  She says, “But I can’t do it right.”  Honey…that right there? Pure foolishness.  Now, had I said that to my mom, she would have fussed and cussed and probably pulled out a switch.  I would have been told to take my whosiswhatsis in there and curl/wash or whatever to my own hair!  My daughter though, is one of these new millennium kids and everybody who has a new millennium kid knows that they are CRAZY!  What’s a new millennium kid you ask?  Any kid born with a birth year that begins with 2.  One day, when I lose my mind and decide to get doctorate degree, my dissertation will be on the difference in children born in the 20th century versus those born in the 21st century.  They have cosmic scars!

Anyway, I digress.  Just now, the girl came and asked me if she could watch Mindless Behavior TV.  Mind you, she JUST got her iPad back after being punished for a week for looking at inappropriate things on it so, she REALLY should be trying to ease back into having it.  She spends way too much time on it and is really going to have a fit when I tell her that the NEW time to be off of it is 7:30 pm instead of the previous 8:30 pm.  NOW, she’ll have to turn it in nightly to me.  If it’s late by even 1 minute, she’ll lose a day.  Parenting in the new millennium is NO JOKE.  Actually, there’s a book you should check out called The Motherhood Diaries by Reshonda Tate Billingsley.  I’m actually a contributing author on that book along with 22 others.  That’s what we’ll talk about on the next post.  Me, the author.

So…the next time your tween asks you the same question that you just answered only minutes after you answer, just look at them, lean in really close as if you’re going to whisper and start to sing at the top of your lungs, “AND IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!”  They’ll leave then….well…that always works with the girl!

Until next time…

Hakuna Matata!