Category: Dad

Unemployed to Self-employed

In Feb. 2016, I left a job that I wasn’t really content with, even though it had a lot of benefits. The pay was good, and I’d been there a good while. But then the wave of pink slips started rolling out and I didn’t want to be caught off guard coming in on an unsuspecting Monday morning, and find my access badge being denied; or better yet, get to my desk and find that my login codes rejected. I could go on with different scenarios, but you get the point. I left on my own terms. I’ve seen how that shit works.

It was a job working in Escrow. Like I said, the job had many benefits, with one being no micro-management. But where were the supervisors and team leads when a motherfucker needed one? What I didn’t like about the job was the environment. Most of the team I was on, was all cliqued up, like the other teams. Bunch of gossip and greater rumors, and shit like that.

There was favoritism for a chosen few, while everybody else just got in wherever they could. The managers didn’t know a damn thing, so nothing ever got figured out. It was like watching a bunch of screaming monkeys trying to fuck a football.

Anyhow, whatever. So when I “left”, I’d been sitting around the house figuring things out; well trying. My dad called me – which was out of character for him, and he asked me if I’d ever thought about starting my own landscaping business.

I told him, I hadn’t given it a whole lot of thought since I didn’t have the equipment or a truck. I certainly wasn’t going to use my main vehicle. He said he’d give me his old ’94 Dodge Dakota if I wanted it. His true reason was that he just wanted to get that ugly ass, oxidized rig off of his extra driveway. I mean it runs extremely well. It’s just an ugly green color. There’s nothing nice about this truck. It’s got a very strong engine, though. So I told him, I’d come down and pick it up.

Anyway, moving forward. So, after returning with the truck, along with some cash my dad had given me to get started, I bought some used power equipment. I ran a few ads in the paper, got some biz cards made, passed out a few flyers, and pretty much waited a few days, and like magic, my cellphone started ringing. I was happy and ready for any and all maintenance opportunities. So much so, that I was charging less than I should’ve been to do xyz job. But the reason why, was very simple: I was just trying to bring in an income as soon as possible.

Looking back at February 2016 and now – almost a year later – and because I’m so hard on myself, I feel I haven’t reached the cruising altitude of viability; to comfortably say, “Yes, I’m in business for myself.

With time constraints of school aged children, I feel I’m missing out on an additional third of potential business, possibly. I enjoy being in business for myself, but I also enjoy the peace of mind dropping kids off at school and picking them up because I know they’re okay…blah blah..

So how does a lion go conquer the world when he’s also got a mother hen complex? Always worried about the wellbeing of the chickens. Haha.

That being said, enter the writer/blogger in me. Business still functions, but I feel that I should cast a wider net, allowing optimism to reach opportunity.

Don’t let me confuse you about my ambitions. I live in Phoenix, therefore landscape maintenance isn’t on my to-do list. The summers are brutal. It’s just a means to a greater option. I prefer to write, blog, vlog, produce music, do photography, that sort of thing there. That’s where my heart is, but we must hustle for our own causes. In no way, shape or form, is a maintenance business something I sought out to do. It’s only a stepping stone to something else.

So this is just a look at what I’ve been doing for the last year. Anyhow, this is a journey from unemployed to self-employed. The next stop I’m aiming for is to work from wherever my laptops are.

With that said, please leave your comments below. Thank you for your time

-Denory

Parenting

Parenting is a wild adventure. So how could another parent not feel the say as I? Wait? What? The hell am I talking about. I must be running a fever from all the drinking I do, due to parenting. Ha-ha. No, I’m kidding.

Listen, there is nothing easy about parenting. Ruling with an iron fist becomes very heavy, nah, all the time. I have one that runs up my pant leg, another one that lives in my wallet, and a third one that eats all the Colby jack shredded cheese. Anyway, parenting cannot be their children’s best friend. These children must understand place value, like math. At home, there’s a parent or parents. At school, there are friends and enemies; hopefully no enemies, but hey, they exist. Anyway, at home these three kids are relentless. They are never satisfied. No matter what they’ve just received: new phones, money, combo meals, etc, all of that shit, they still have the mind frame of “but dad, what have you done for us lately?”

It is in those moments, I jokingly wish I could say, “Get out my damn house! Take that lazy ass baby with you. Come back when your 40. If I still remember who you are.”

No, Im kidding. However, children bring out a part of you that is inherently a slice of yourself. So with that said, do I ever feel like I’m struggling with myself? Hell no, these fuckers are ruthless. I can’t even enjoy a bag of chips, a single bag of fruit snacks, or a glass of milk or juice, because I feel that if I ever plan on sampling the shit that my money buys, I’d better drink it as I’m backing into the garage. Otherwise, that shit is good as gone. They will stand around the snacks until that shit is gone. But then I ask, “Why don’t you assholes stand around the goddamn green beans and zucchini?” Oh, that’s right, because it don’t taste like fruit snacks, Nutter Butters cookies, or Cap’n Crunch cereal. Pardon my funny French, I only cuss in this medium as a means of emphasis.

Anyhow, Im going to test out the new Samsung fingerprint reader for the pantry and fridge. Hahah j/k

Early bird, night owl

I’m not sure about you, but I’m an early bird and a night owl. There’s just something that I get from the night owling that keeps me up, doing whatever. It’s quiet, the kids are sleep, and I can hear my thoughts. I can plan the next day. Maybe eat a fat bowl of Frosted Flakes, watch some Animal Planet, maybe an episode or two of some Netflix show. Truth is, the night owl lifestyle is my creative timezone to work on vlogs, blogs, music, etc.

It seems I have more to talk about in the evening. Then suddenly there’s a rip in the fabric of my quiet time. It’s a Zoie-saurus screeching down the hall, riding a wave of emotion, like I’d done something to disturb her. She doesn’t want anything other than to cramp my comfort by sitting on me while I -NOW- try to blog or vlog. Shit, eat my bowl of Frosted Flakes for that matter.

Even with that stated, I still love to burn that midnight oil because she’ll be sleep just as fast as she climbed up on my lap. And she does it like I’ve got nothing better to do than to hold your sleeping ass.

I use to stay up until 4a doing whatever, and still get up before 8. That’s 8 A.M. if you needed clarification. But now, I try to go to bed around 230, and get up around 630 to handle the days business. If I could stay up non-stop for a week, or some undefined date, I’m sure I would. Sleeping eats up some very valuable and production time, that you don’t get back. Therefore, I’m aware of every second. That’s part of the ambition, and the focus, right? Good ole parent stuff

Grocery list

There was a time when I’d always take the kids with me to do grocery shopping. Don’t ask me why, either. In fact, there was a time when I didn’t even need a list to go to the grocery store. But since that point, I have. At first, I figured it was because I was getting older. But fuck that shit, yo. I use a list because everybody has a goddamn request, that’s in addition to the main grocery list. Plus I think the list is about efficiency. Meaning, I’ll begin a shopping list every Monday for the trip I’ll make the following Monday. However, there are random trips in between for things like bread, red grapes, milk – and for my black ass – cases and cases of brown whiskey. Ha-ha, no I’m kidding. I don’t drink that old man syrup.

Anyway, the reason why the kiddos no longer participate with me is simply because, they distract me from the important shit I have to get, like ass wipe and whiskey..I mean, FOOD.But back to that list thing for a moment. The list is just a safeguard for me because I have so much shit to think about. Grocery shopping isn’t a tiresome thing for me like it is for many others.

Now, I’m not saying I buy the same stuff for dinners every week; month in month out, but I generally know what I’m missing.

I remember going grocery shopping with my mom as a kid, and every once in a while, when I’m in town, I’ll ride with her to Safeway. Well one time not too long ago, I went shopping with her, and I realized where I got my shopping style. I was pushing the cart, the same way I’d done as a kid, and she was walking double time through that store, the same as I remembered in childhood. She knew where everything she needed was. It used to amaze me how she’d blow through those aisles, not missing or forgetting a single ingredient. Well that’s me now; except I bring a safeguard [read: checklist] just to make sure I don’t have to bring my black ass back in a day. The kids don’t ever ask to go either, they’ve grown wise to the game. They just have requests, yet they’ll text me if they need to amend their snack and beverage requests. The audacity, right?

Baskin Robbins

*WARNING* Graphic language

I love and enjoy a nice fat double scoop of Baskin Robbins ice cream. In fact, this past dollar-scoop Tuesday, I went into a Bask Robbins, 31-goddamn-flavors, and order two heaping scoops of pineapple coconut and a nutty coconut..double scooped that one too. I was good. I was nice. I was excellent.

Well, no sooner that when I finished the first cup, which was the pineapple coconut, my stomach started misbehaving and being rude. I had gas, solids, and liquids in me that weren’t mixing well. Alright fuck it! That ice cream gave me the shits. I’m not intolerant to dairy or sugar. It was delicious, but I never thought there was a possibility of ingesting ‘bad ice cream’. What kind of world do we live in, where a forty year old man can’t even enjoy a double scoop of ice cream excellence.

Man, I was in the bathroom having shit contractions, unwrapping toilet paper, spraying air freshner, lighting matches. It wasn’t nice at all. Shit, I even turned the light out, but I’m not going to bad mouth Baskin Robbins, but goddamn, is there a possibility that I was given a bad scoop..well double scoop? (rhetorical)

So when I finished knocking holes in the plumbing, I came out and my son asked me if I was okay, and I told him to get outta my business. I’d become someone else momentarily, it seemed. I walked out slow and bow-legged, like a fat cowboy with two six shooters, riding the fat part of a 1-ton turkey leg.

I found the couch and laid down on my stomach, trying not to flex any muscles. It was an ordeal. Fucking ice cream. How could I have enjoyed two whole scoops and not feel something was wrong until I’d finished wolfing it down?

I’m not terribly sure I’ll be visiting Baskin Robbins any time in the next twelve decades. I just can’t take that chance on dollar-scoop tuesdays…or whenever that was.

Making sandwiches

“Well, why don’t you make one for Zoe, too? You know she looks up to you. She wants to do everything you do.”

Type of things I constantly tell these kids, especially Lexie. It amazes me how they can’t figure this one simple thing out. They refuse to understand that the youngest gets every goddamned thing she wants. That’s how it is everywhere you go. As dad, that little four year old is unstoppable. Haha.. No you guys, I’m just being silly. However, it does remain true that the youngest gets alot of shit, and gets away with alot of shit.

Cameron is the oldest, and well, he endured this very thing with Lexie (aka Alexandra) when she started getting around the house on her little legs and having her way with him. He couldn’t understand how she got pretty much anything she wanted. He’s four years older than Lexie, and fifteen years older than Zoie, so I’m sure you can imagine his plight. Ha-ha

Now with Lexie, she’s not so smiley faced now that she’s a big sister. Zoie has her way with her, too.

“Dad, are you just going to let Zoie eat another bag chips? That’s her third bag.” It’s funny to me, because Cameron also complained about shit like that, too. I just smile back at her and say, “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it.”

Children don’t understand the parent, and the ways of a parent. They don’t understand that even though we don’t get up right away – in some cases – to iron out some stupid issue, we always zero out the balance of bad behavior.

So back to this “Make one for Zoie” too thing. There have been times where either Cameron, or Lexie, would make themselves a sandwich-all the while knowing Zoie’s standing right there, practically up under the wheat bread, wanting one too-and they’d just walk away like that four foot creature wasn’t screaming for a sandwich too. I’d tell whoever just made a sandwich, to go back into the kitchen and make an extra sandwich for her.

I reason that it’s only fair that they do this because in the opposite scenario, they’d be screaming, also. Now some of you out there might thing that’s rude of me, or some crazy opinion, but there’s more to it than just making a sandwich. As a parent I teach consideration and thoughtful character. I show these kids how to do things around the house for themselves. Parenting is all about preparation and lessons. That’s a topic all in itself.

Zoie can be a pain, but she’s really just trying to keep up, participate, and be like her big sister, Lexie. As for her and Cameron-though- I think she (Zoie) wants to kick his ass a few times, but that’s the German in her. All three of these kids have German in them. Their mother is half this, half that. So that’s where the German comes in. Zoe is her own nation and government. She rules the house until I get up and straighten her out…henceforth, the ‘zero balance’.

Late Night

“Yo Cameron! It’s time to get up man. What time did you go to bed last night?” I ask. He rolls over and looks at me, and says, “Around two o’clock. I was up late.”

“Well, it’s almost noon, dude. You’ve gotta get up and make something of the day.”

“C’mon dad, it’s Saturday. Why can’t I just sleep all day?”

I’m still standing in his doorway, waiting for him to scratch his ass and get. I tell him the reason he can’t sleep all day, is because he has chores and he has to participate in them. It’s a beautiful day to spend effectively. When I was a kid, every though we stayed up late, we still got up no later than eight or nine. Not because we had to, but because it was Saturday, and me and my brothers wanted to get our allowance and our basketballs or footballs, run down to the corner store and buy some candy, soda, and chips. We’d get into our day and use it all up. There wasn’t a second lost in our weekends. The last place we wanted to be was in our rooms. We couldn’t wait to go outside. Outside! Can you imagine that? These kids nowadays think outside is punishment. Outside is where the adventure is.

The reason he tries to sleep in like this is because he sits on his ass playing PS4 all night Friday, after school, after his homework, after his chores. So I told him that if he couldn’t get up at a decent time, then maybe I’ll just have to enforce an earlier bedtime.

I’m so passionate about this. There’s no way in hell, he’s going to lay around like he’s worked a 12-hour shift. I don’t care if it’s Christmas Break, and school doesn’t begin for another two weeks. The way I see teenagers is very simple: Everything is habit forming, and falling out of a regular sleep schedule is just not good. Too much sleep makes you tired. I have an older cousin that used to sleep in until two o’clock when we were kids. The grown folks would wake his ass up, and he’d have a shitty attitude..we were like eleven and twelve years old. It would literally take him the rest of the day to bounce back from his twelve hour sleep pattern. He’d have endless headaches, backaches. He was sluggish. It was just ridiculous how this dude moved around like an old man. The rest of us youngsters, had already been up since seven or eight, had breakfast, been outside, etc.

I remember that stuff like it was yesterday, and I’ll be damned if I let Cameron fall into a crappy sleep schedule. So recently, on Friday nights I’ve been telling him, “Listen, if you can’t handle getting up at a decent time on the weekends, mainly Saturday, then you better go to bed at a decent time. You don’t work a 9-5, so you better set that alarm on your phone to something like eight or nine. Don’t sleep later than that. You’re a young dude, get outdoors with your basketball. Go running, get that exercise in. You can take a nap in the afternoon, but you need to be up. Don’t become lazy.”

Now, sometimes, I feel I come down on him a bit too hard. But who’s going to teach him these things. Who’s going to teach him about ambition, fitness, responsibility, etc? Who’s going to take the time out to give him advice and perspective? Nobody. It’s a father’s job and responsibility to lay heavy perspective on his kids, especially the boys. I’m not saying a mother can’t. I’m only saying that a man must instill the jewels of ethic, time management, decision making, and PERSPECTIVE in his children.

Laundry

It’s Saturday all day long, and I haven’t seen him do anything in the way of responsibility, such a his laundry. I dont say anything, just going about my way. Damn, now it’s Sunday, and it’s been Sunday all day long. I’m painting a picture for you about my teenage son. Now I still haven’t said anything to him about anything that he should be taking care of for the coming week ahead. I’m just observing and waiting to see if he has any initiative about himself. I always preach about business before pleasure. Get this stuff out the way before you do what you really want to do so that you don’t have to re-visit that business later.

This is me in prior instances. You know, I’m just trying to instill some direction in him; and to show that the day is all about you, if you get things in order, because there’s nothing like not having anything else to do but watch TV, play video games, surf the internet,etc. Hell, take a nap if you like.

So like I said earlier, it’s now Sunday evening, roughly 2 hours before bed. He still hasn’t done his laundry. He has other clothes he can wear, but the rule is to get your laundry done so that the laundry room isn’t a mess going into the next week. Not to mention getting it done so it doesn’t start to mess.

So finally, it’s exactly one hour and some change before bed, and guess what? Yep, laundry still not done, but guess where his black ass is? You got it. In his room, with the door closed, Beats headphones on, talking to one of his friends who’s half way around the world in Belgium or some shit, and they’re laughing and whatnot over the PSN Network.

I look at him, leaning against the door, and asked him when he was thinking about doing his laundry. He told me, he thought he’d already done it, even though it’s pouring out the top of the hamper that’s sitting right there next to his tv. I mean, you can’t miss this big ass clothes basket. But at fifteen years of age, I guess it perfectly possible. WTF!

I asked him, when exactly did you think he did it? He tells me he doesn’t remember the time. Now Im rubbing my bald head, because it’s clear to me that he thinks he can feed me some bullshit. He knows damn well he hasn’t done any laundry. He uses that, “Oh I forgot”, or that “I was getting ready to do it right now,” crap.

Strange how it’s always perfect timing that he’s about to do something when I question him about his lack of responsibility, or drive to get things done, etc. So I told him to turn the video games off and get started on his laundry. Then I remembered that I also told him no video games two hours before bed. Can you imagine his response… don’t worry, it’s coming…5..4..3..2..1…

“Dad, I don’t remember you telling me that.”

“Well Cameron, I find that very offensive of you, considering the fact that you asked me last night, what time you had to be off the game on Sunday.”

His response? “Ohhh, yeah that’s right.” In that moment-right then and there- I just told him to bring me the controllers to the PS4 AND the PS3, because it’s clear to me that he doesn’t remember anything, and if he does, he’s just playing dumb. So to remedy that, I told him he won’t be playing video games for the next two weeks. You should have seen the big teardrops falling from his eyes. I felt bad for him, but hey, if I was his friend, I would’ve forgiven that shit, but since I’m his parent, then it is my duty to confiscate shit and not give it back until he starts taking responsibility and minding these simple expectations.

“Now you have time to do you laundry,” I said. “That’s all, son. Get moving.”

Planning and Thinking

“Cameron, I need you to start planning and thinking about your life. No, I don’t mean go out and land a job or anything. I just mean you need to begin thinking about what your interests are and start looking into them to see if they still interest you or not.

You’re getting to that age when every second will start to count in favor, or against you, because there are alot of things you can choose from, and it can be overwhelming as to which path to take. So start now. Every decision will also begin to affect you, too.”

This is the level of conversation that I am quickly approaching with him. Not that the kiddie gloves have to come off now, but the language I use is more aligned with the real world. I remember my dad telling me that a young boy doesn’t go to sleep one night and wake up a grown ass man, but that behaviors and the choices made will foster results that affirm that he is indeed coming into manhood.

I wonder if Cameron is ready for that world of cold hard truths about life. Or maybe I’m more concerned than I should be. I think it has alot to do with my expectations of him, rather than let him be a young man who will reach the standard of a man that will become more than what I believe he can be; for himself.

He’s interested in Robotics, and computer sciences, but he also likes cars, and tinkers with the idea of becoming a high end certified mechanic, which is not what I thought he’d pick since I’m always telling him to think about going to school to become your own boss, as opposed to going to school to potentially get a job working for someone else. Then he tells me he’s interested in Sports Medicine. Well that’s a good direction too, since he likes to tell me about muscle groups and how they perform. It’s really interesting stuff.

Like I said, I’m not telling him specifically what to do. No laser-focus here, but again, as a parent, I think it’s a good idea to have him begin looking into his interests alot sooner than what it appears he’s doing.

I’m sure sometimes he thinks I’m rushing him to grow up, but actually all that I’m doing is equipping him with some basic knowledge. Like boiling pasta, washing clothes-which I did when he was probably ten or eleven years old. Things like paying for shit at the grocery store. Using measuring cups, Browning ground beef for different things. I could go on and on. So I don’t think it’s about raising him up too fast. It’s about equipping him with a little know how.

For example, he’ll ask me a quick question about something, and usually I’ll answer, but sometimes I’ll ask him if he checked with google first. I could answer him in two seconds, but I challenge him to be resourceful, to be creative, and think through possible solutions to some things. TO THINK!! That’s what I’m doing here. Training him to get by with at least some knowledge, because the rest he can figure out however he chooses to.

A parent who is really invested in a child’s wellbeing-in my opinion-will challenge that child to discover; but without reckless abandon. In the animal kingdom, those animals are brought up quickly to hunt and survive. I understand that it’s a tough example, but the idea behind it all is that we equip these children with a few basic know-how’s.

Raising Kids

I wonder how many parents today would raise their kids like, and in the same fashion that their parents raised them. As for me, I give thanks to both of my parents for being as stern as they were. But everybody has a different approach to raising kids. Otherwise in my early years, I may have veered off path and become something else. And I say this because as kids grow up and pay dues to become functional adults, they don’t understand the reasons behind the answers their parents give them when they [the kids] don’t get what they want. It is not in a parents best interests to always, or ever make their children happy. It produces nothing for society but more cleanup work. So I thank my parents for making sure that my three brothers and I grew up with the coping mechanisms for when life doesn’t always give us what we want.

But with that said, Im a different parent to my kids. In the time that I grew up, kids didn’t have opinions, well we did, but our parents weren’t open to a child’s words. In that time, a child did what he was told. That was all there was to it. Even if you weren’t responsible for that broken window next door, you received punishment anyway. The reason for this was crazy. Let me explain.

Your parents couldn’t prove you were involved in that window breaking next door, AND you actually had nothing to do with it, other than just being outside. Well what would happen is the asswhooping with the belt was still coming, because the parents would just whoop that ass for something else that they know you did. So the asswhooping was always a ‘just in case you’re lying to me Im going to give you this discipline’ kind of thing  ..WTF..crazy right?

So, in some ways I’d raise my kids how I was raised, but I definitely allow my kids to use their voices, and to explain what actually happened in a given situation. And my reasoning is that, if your children cant express to you how they feel, how in the hell will they be able to articulate how they feel when they come of age and need to be able to defend a position on some decision, or what have you?

Also, you can be your child(rens) friend without be their friend. What I mean is you don’t always have to have an ironfist. You don’t have to wait until those kids are grown folks to get to know them. You can get to know your child(ren) right now. That way they can always come and talk to you.

My parents approach to raising us was, “Kids should be seen and not heard from’. Well that doesn’t promote open door policy…

Bottomline is this, your kids should understand where the line is drawn when it comes to dialog. They should also understand whats expected of them. And with that expectation comes reward.

Bedtime

Bedtime use to be between 9-9:30p, but then I realized that when I’d go into their rooms around 11p to check on them, they [Cameron and Lexie] would still be woke, looking at the ceiling and walls. I’d asked them why they were still up, and the response was clearly the most obvious: “I’m not tired”.

So I decided to let them stay up until 10, and they’d actually fall asleep by 10:30p. It’s like magic. They get up every morning around 6-6:30a and are ready to leave for school within the hour.

The reason why I’m saying this is because as parents, somehow we think we know everything about our children. When in fact, we don’t. We know that we want them in bed at a certain time, but this is due to the fact that they need to be bright-eyed and bushy tailed for class lectures and assignments, so that the good grades come to them. We can assess when they might be tired and cranky, but we don’t know things just because we are parents. We make assessments. We give instructions. We aren’t all-knowing, we learn as we go.

I never gave or made my kids take naps. Well, when Cameron was probably two or three, and he’s the oldest, I stopped trying to make him take a nap. I’d look at the clock and it’d say 2:15p or something early like that. I’d decide that, “Oh it’s time for a nap.” I’d take him in the room make him lay down, even though he wasn’t tired. He’d be fussing not because he was tired, but because I was trying to make him sleep. Well forty-five minutes later, he’d given up and gone to sleep.

Now, that he’s sleep, I’d say to myself, I can now have a short while to myself. No sooner than when I’d leave the room, he’d be up running around like we were never in his room to begin with. Seriously, ten minutes after leaving his room, he was up. It would make me mad that I’d wasted nearly an hour trying to make him go to sleep, because I decided he was tired. That’s crazy. So because of that one instance nearly fourteen years ago, I have never been so bold as to make them take naps.

But now the beautiful thing about it this, even to this day, they’ll take a nap when they get ready to, and they’ll sleep one or two hours and be functional.

I don’t think it’s worth the time trying to make two, three, and four year olds take naps, unless they’re clearly cranky. I noticed that as they get older like seven, eight, and nine, etc….they’ll lay down all by themselves.

I know things in terms of learning and growing, parenting, etc. But I don’t know when another human being should take a nap.

Inappropriate

This morning, Lexie tells me that there’s a kid in her classroom who behaves inappropriately. I’m not going to say his name or anything, but I will speak on his behaviors. So I asked her exactly what it was that this young man was doing in class. She tells me that one of her other friends was having the same issue with this kid until she asked to be moved away from him. So now this kid is messing with Lexie. What he’s doing is putting his hands down his pants, rolling his eyes around and making inappropriate sounds and though he’s…..well you know.

I said, “Well, how long has he been doing this in class?” She says he’s been carrying on like this for quite some time.

I asked her if she’s brought it up to her teacher or the principal, and she said that she talked to her teacher, but that the teacher didn’t do anything because she didn’t see the kid behaving this way.

It really infuriated me that her teacher simply blew her off like it’s no big deal. So today, I went to the school and spoke with the Dean of Students before the first bell rang, and to my surprise, there’s already a list of complaints about this kid. I should have

This morning, Lexie tells me that there’s a kid in her classroom who behaves inappropriately. I’m not going to say his name or anything, but I will speak on his behaviors. So I asked her exactly what it was that this young man was doing in class. She tells me that one of her other friends was having the same issue with this kid until she asked to be moved away from him. So now this kid is messing with Lexie. What he’s doing is putting his hands down his pants, rolling his eyes around and making inappropriate sounds and though he’s…..well you know.

I said, “Well, how long has he been doing this in class?” She says he’s been carrying on like this for quite some time.

I asked her if she’s brought it up to her teacher or the principal, and she said that she talked to her teacher, but that the teacher didn’t do anything because she didn’t see the kid behaving this way.

It really infuriated me that her teacher simply blew her off like it’s no big deal. So today, I went to the school and spoke with the Dean of Students before the first bell rang, and to my surprise, there’s already a list of complaints about this kid. I should have requested the Dean of Students talk with the teacher to make sure that all students in her classroom have a voice and not feel like they can’t bring their concerns to them.

Before I met with the DoS, I asked Lexie if she wanted to be in the room with us. She said she didn’t because another student told her that the Dos wanted her to describe the sounds this kid was making while his hands were stuffed down his pants, and Lexie didn’t want to do all that. I was surprised when the DoS asked me if I knew of any specific sounds this kid was making. I said yeah, but I’m not going to provide any demonstrations. It was very odd. I mean what does it matter what sounds this kid is making when he’s engaging himself in the learning environment, making other students feel uncomfortable? What the hell is going on in the homes of some of these kids? If nothing else, this kid isn’t understanding any of the social cues that might tell him, “Hey, what you’re doing isn’t appropriate or respectful. Please stop.”

Anyway, rant closed.

Hair

I called my mom one day to ask her how often she washes her hair. She said she washes it once or twice a week, but definitely on Sunday. The reason why I called her was because I realized Lexie has been washing her hair every day. So after talking to granny, I told Lexie not to wash her hair more than twice a week. I told her that granny [my mom] told me to make sure she wasn’t doing much more than that, as black/mixed hair produces its own oils. Now her mom thinks she should wash it every day because she washes hers every morning. Well I told Lexie that she and her mom have different types of hair, she can wash it five times a day.

So when she stopped washing it so much, it started looking much better, and responding to different black hair oils. One thing I don’t care for about her hair is doing it every Sunday. It just eats up so much of the day, and then to add to that, is the fact that Lexie doesn’t like to sit still for the duration, which is fine with me because I don’t like to stand up over her head for over an hour. I’m impressed at how hairdressers find the motivation to do hair all day.

I do Lexie’s hair because I want her to look presentable at school. She deserves to have her hair done, even though it’s tiresome.

One Sunday, she was in her bathroom trying to straighten her hair by herself, and I kept hearing her say “OUCH!” So I knock on the door to see what progress she’s made, and she’s totally crying because she can’t figure out the whole mirror thing, and-well- her hair was a mess.

I told her from that point, if she wants to do anything to her hair, just flat iron a small section near the front, or twist it. You see, I don’t know hair lingo. I’m only describing my experiences. Anyhow, I don’t know how she’s accumulated so many hair oil products. I did, and still do, advise her not to process her hair. It’ll be cost effective and she won’t have to stay on top of new growth.

Start Planning your life

“Cameron, I need you to start planning and thinking about your life. No, I don’t mean go out and land a job or anything. I just mean you need to begin thinking about what your interests are and start looking into them to see if they still interest you or not. You’re getting to that age when every second will start to count in favor, or against you, because there are alot of things you can choose from, and it can be overwhelming as to which path to take. So start now. Every decision will also begin to affect you, too.”

This is the level of conversation that I am quickly approaching with him. Not that the kiddie gloves have to come off now, but the language I use is more aligned with the real world. I remember my dad telling me that a young boy doesn’t go to sleep one night and wake up a grown ass man, but that behaviors and the choices made will foster results that affirm that he is indeed coming into manhood.

I wonder if Cameron is ready for that world of cold hard truths about life. Or maybe I’m more concerned than I should be. I think it has alot to do with my expectations of him, rather than let him be a young man who will reach the standard of a man that will become more than what I believe he can be; for himself.

He’s interested in Robotics, and computer sciences, but he also likes cars, and tinkers with the idea of becoming a high end certified mechanic, which is not what I thought he’d pick since I’m always telling him to think about going to school to become your own boss, as opposed to going to school to potentially get a job working for someone else. Then he tells me he’s interested in Sports Medicine. Well that’s a good direction too, since he likes to tell me about muscle groups and how they perform. It’s really interesting stuff.

Like I said, I’m not telling him specifically what to do. No laser-focus here, but again, as a parent, I think it’s a good idea to have him begin looking into his interests alot sooner than what it appears he’s doing.

I’m sure sometimes he thinks I’m rushing him to grow up, but actually all that I’m doing is equipping him with some basic knowledge. Like boiling pasta, washing clothes-which I did when he was probably ten or eleven years old. Things like paying for shit at the grocery store. Using measuring cups, Browning ground beef for different things. I could go on and on. So I don’t think it’s about raising him up too fast. It’s about equipping him with a little know how.

For example, he’ll ask me a quick question about something, and usually I’ll answer, but sometimes I’ll ask him if he checked with google first. I could answer him in two seconds, but I challenge him to be resourceful, to be creative, and think through possible solutions to some things. TO THINK!! That’s what I’m doing here. Training him to get by with at least some knowledge, because the rest he can figure out however he chooses to.

A parent who is really invested in a child’s wellbeing-in my opinion-will challenge that child to discover; but without reckless abandon. In the animal kingdom, those animals are brought up quickly to hunt and survive. I understand that it’s a tough example, but the idea behind it all is that we equip these children with a few basic know-how’s.