Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Last night,  I attended Awkward Black Girl: Race, Gender and Hollywood.  A discussion about the amazing web series The MisAdventures of an Awkward Black Girl.  I saw the discussion posted in an email listing of events that I get and it looked good about a month ago, so I decided that I would take Snap as a bonding activity.  She wasn't interested, so I watched the webisodes and decided to go myself.  So last night, I was discussing this very awesome show that provides an normal woman image for young people.  There were lots of teachers in the room as well.  They often spoke of wanting more of this type of influence rather than reality TV for their students.  I could identify.

Then I realized - I was relating not as a fellow teacher of sorts, but as a mother.

I want Snap to see this show and see herself not believing that the music videos that she often watches are actually reality.  I want Snap to see herself in media, but still on this day in 2011 - she may have to look to people that look more me and even more so Jim, before she sees herself on TV.  I want her to have her own Tina Fey.  (I probably over identify with Tina Fey.)

I also realized, sitting in the discussion last night, that I will need to be more and more open to be in discussions like these so that I can parent and grandparent Snap, Smart Guy, and Sloth in ways that are affirming to their culture and world understanding.  I need to remember that too often my children will be judged based on their skin color.  I need to remember that as much as I try - my color will not let me completely understand their experience.  And yet, continuing to grasp at more understanding needs to be on my parenting goal sheet.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

In the last few days, I have done a lot of firsts... 1. First meeting of the principal to be told Snap is not the most well behaved child in the school. Jim had a first talking to Snap about how to manage the desire to talk back to teachers, managers - they can vent together at home. 2. First trip to the park with SmartGuy and Sloth....horrible! I set myself up - but wow was it a rough day. 3. First time washing dishes with SmartGuy - he loves it, which made it more tolerable for me. 4. Snap taught me how to prepare TV dinners for S&S. Apparently, they need more salt and pepper than provided. 5. First cry reading a parenting article with the realization that I am a parent. 6. My house is actually cleaner than pre-kids. Its because we feel the need to keep up instead of letting the house go to pot. I have cleaned something everyday since the kids arrived. 7. We had our first family meeting tonight. We discussed calendar events and the guidelines for our house (lots of communication, respect, and listening involved - and their are rules for Jim and I too!). 8. First meeting the new boyfriend. "What are you going to ask him?" Jim and I to each other, "Uh, give us a moment!" We introduced ourselves and then left them in the front room while we were in the kitchen. It makes me feel old! 9. First remembrance of the college pact that we made for me to take the jr highers and high schoolers of my friends. 10. First birthday celebrated - well, it was Tuesday but not celebrating until weekend! 11. Preparing for the first visit of (great) grandma and (great) grandpa Dutt. 11.
After reading some other foster parent bloggers, I have learned some ways to do it - make up names and post pictures of them doing things as not to show faces. So, let the fun begin of re-naming the kids! First, we have Snap. Snap is a teenager who quickly snaps to attend to her two children and also can easy snap at teachers, authority, and to rude people. Second, we have SmartGuy. He is 3, and he is super smart - already knows how to get to his day care from our house and is able to figure out how to get what he wants. Third, we have Sloth. He is 18 months. He is no sloth in terms of getting around - he waddles everywhere fast! However, he is fairly low key. He likes sitting in his high chair and loves picking stuff up with all his appendages.