Stuff White People Do…And So Do I….

Black people laugh at white people all the time.  We laugh at the awkward gyrating convulsions they call dancing. We laugh at them when they get excited about soul food like grits and greens.  We laugh at their inability to feel cold weather hence their uncanny style of winter dress: shorts and a North Face. We even laugh when they use words like “swag” and “bling”.  But nothing sparks a round of giggles like the ones uttered when we laugh at little white kids and the seemingly nutty things white parents do to them. I admit, I used to be a giggler. I’d laugh and point with my fellow black people at the foolishness white parents put their children through. Then, I became a mother and realized white people weren’t that crazy after all.

 Leashes: White people!!!!!  Why do you put your children on leashes?  I know I know!!!!  Because if you’re not holding your 3 year old’s hand at ALL times, they WILL run away!  I admit, the leash is a little barbaric, but when visiting a crowded place like the zoo or museum where all children seem to be wearing the same outfit, it’s a pretty good idea. No amount of “home-training” in the world will keep a child from running to the ice cream man at the park. Sure, you can correct it when it happens, but there will always be something that sparks a fire in a small child causing them to run. It’s called being a kid and frankly, a lot of my black people shut that down as soon as our children begin to walk. We forget their innocence and believe they are capable of behaving appropriately at all times. Children are curious by nature and unfortunately, many black people stifle it by not allowing their children to explore. I’ve seen black parents dragging their kids down the street for walking too slowly or cussing them out for walking too fast. Yeah, I’d rather see a kid on a leash than be called a “muh fucka” for his legs being too short or imagination being too big. Besides, white people are laughing at us too. Black people don’t take their kids anywhere but Chuck E. Cheese and the 9:15 showing of Nightmare on Elm Street.

Cowboy boots, angel wings, and a pajama top – White kids dress funny. Why the hell does that little boy have on rainboots at the beach?  It’s called imagination!  My daughter wears whatever the hell she wants.  Her desire to express herself is much stronger than my need for her to match. There are very few aspects of her life that she is in complete control of, but what she wears is minor compared to everything else.  Kids grow out of wanting to dress like superheroes and princesses. It’s very hard to regain one’s creativity once it’s been taken away by well-meaning parents who don’t think shorts and tights really go together. My daughter wanted to wear her red sparkly Dorothy shoes all the time and I let her. It didn’t kill me and didn’t make her any less of a person. When we’re out on a Saturday running errands, who cares what she’s wearing?  She’s clean, her clothes fit, and she’s happy. I may never wear a tutu and blue jeans outdoors, but I’m not four either and I’ve learned to pick my battles. Guess what black people?  White people laugh at us when they see a two year old boy with an earring and a four year old little girl with blond weave braids.

 Tantrums – Every child has had one. It’s their developmentally appropriate response to handling a difficult situation. Some children have them more often than others and black children are no less likely to have them than white children. What’s different is parental reaction. Our black parents have taught us to beat a child into obedience. Many of us use corporal punishments as a means of solving everything our children do wrong and to no surprise, it doesn’t always work – especially for tantrums. My child might have the smartest mouth on this planet and rarely a day goes by when I don’t have to pop her in it for saying something she knows she has no business saying. She also throws temper tantrums and I refuse to spank her for them. She’s four and eventually, she’ll outgrow them. Whenever she has a fit, I ignore her. Some old school black folks always want to interfere and tell me to make her get up, but unless she’s endangering herself, I let her lay there and flail until she realizes she’s not getting her way. After about a minute or two, she shuts up, comes over to me and apologizes. I used to get embarrassed (and someone I know told me I still should be) but frankly, I’d be more embarrassed by being arrested for whipping my child in public. Don’t be mistaken, she knows she’s in trouble for acting up, but if I want her to stop crying, why on earth would I whip her – something that makes her cry?  I used to shake my head and say what I’d do if that were my kid o the floor screaming, but unless you’ve parented that particular child, you have NO CLUE what you’d do in that situation. Tantrums are a phase that children grow out of, as long as you don’t  give in to them or beat them. FYI: white people laugh at us when the only way we can get our children to obey is to beat them.

 Being a parent has taught me a great deal – to pick my battles, to do what’s best for me and MY child, and there’s no right way to raise a child. I still laugh at white people and their children – It’s 40 degrees, why doesn’t that baby have on a hat?  Isn’t that kid eight, why is he in that stroller? But now I realize that white people aren’t all that crazy. They just can’t dance.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Venus
    May 18, 2010 @ 23:00:27

    I don’t have any kids but my twin 3-year-old niece and nephew lived with me for a little more than a year and I remember saying the exact same thing. Leashes? YES, twin leashes. Letting them put on whatever they desire to wear? YES, including my nephew wearing his sister’s clothes. Letting my nephew fall to his knees with a full-on scream in Best Buy on Christmas Eve because I wouldn’t let him put his fingers in a laptop cooling fan? YES and I didn’t even threaten him. That was definitely not a fight worth fighting, I was too busy fighting over a $100 netbook. 🙂 I too learned that we gotta let kids be kids even if it makes the adults look like simps. hahaha and yeah, I can’t dance either

    Reply

  2. Dawn
    May 19, 2010 @ 01:39:20

    Good isht Jen… Clap Clap Clap!!!

    I laugh at white people when their son, who is 5 climbs up on Mommy’s lap, grabs her tit, and says “I need to nurse”!!!! They laugh at us paying $25 for a can of formula at the gas station!

    Reply

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