Best. Breastfeeding. Video. Ever.
Seriously, watch it. It’s catchy and informative!
How cute is this baby’s hair!? Gonna have to tuck this one away for when Babygirl’s hair gets longer. And her little outfit is giving me life right now.
As a university tutor in my hometown, a city which is roughly 40% black and 37% white, I still had students asking me, “Do they just never learn how to talk right?” I pull up a chair when this happens, “Listen up, gang.” So what do I tell them? Well, the goal is to convey that, scientifically speaking, non-standard varieties of English such as the English spoken by Rachel Jeantel and the ‘proper English’ they’ve been taught are equally communicative. I go over the differences and point out that both have a rule system that must be followed to speak convincingly.
But then, I don’t see why there should need to be that justification. So I end up trying to teach respect. If they have a student that speaks a non-standard variety of English, they need to understand that that student is therefore competent in understanding at least two versions of English: the version they speak at home and other safe environments, and the one forced upon them when listening to you. Respect that.
The alarmingly pervasive idea that standard English equates to ‘good grammar’ and non-standard English equates to ‘bad grammar’ is false and exclusionary. When it’s used in conjunction with intelligence and credibility of a young black woman, it’s reminiscent of the faulty scientific racism of “The Bell Curve.” But language shaming is currently acceptable behavior in the status quo. It is one of the last bastions of unabashed racism and classism.
But also just because “standard” English is most common doesn’t mean it is best or right and I feel like its reference as “standard” here rather than “common” reinforces that idea.
A Moment of Silence
“That Justice is a blind goddess
Is a thing to which we black are wise.
Her bandage hides two festering sores
That once perhaps were eyes.”
— Langston Hughes, “Justice,” 1923 (via harriettumbles, via itsmemo)
Those who know me well, know that my silence following the trivialization of Trayvon Martin's murder is an unusual one, pregnant with despair and anger and helplessness. I'm having a difficult time searching for The Solution; there are no rainbows over there, my smile doesn't shine in my eyes, my heart doesn't envision a bright side. I have no words that make sense of it all, no thoughts on how we can change this country into a land that values the lives of Black children, no rallying cry to spur you to action. I can only pray that the hope I see in my child will be birthed into the world, whole, healthy, and screaming for all it's worth, forcing this country to attend to it.
B+G M Featured As One of Red Tricycle’s Favorite DC-area Blogs
“Mom Kenrya spent so much time waxing poetic about the virtues of pocket diapers and why she can’t live without her baby carrier that she decided to compile her thoughts and tips into one handy eco-minded blog. She feels that being a Black mother who has worked in media for more than a decade gives her a unique perspective on the green movement and she strives to help others realize their “hippie” potential. She hopes you can pick up a couple tips to make your parenting journey easier, healthier, greener and more fun.”
Thanks, Red Tricycle!
Unexpected Treats: Non-toxic Nail Polish
While I’ve always been a throw on a dress and go kind of girl, I’ve never thought of myself as girly. I’m not huge on makeup, or heels, or pink. But I am raising a daughter who thrills at the sight of nail polish—which I never put on her, because anything that smells like that can’t be good for you.
But I like giving her little surprises. So before we ventured to Mexico earlier this year (all my friends are getting married, nearly all at once), I went in search of a safe polish I could put on her tiny nails. After digging a bit, I found Piggy Paint. This non-toxic, eco-friendly polish is water based and free of Bisphenol A (linked to allergies and immunotoxicity), formaldehyde (cancer), phthalates (developmental and reprodcutive toxicity) and toluene (developmental and reproductive toxicity), which are all commonly used in traditional polish. It’s three main ingredients all score a zero on the Skin Deep scale: water, acrylates copolymers an melia azadirachta (neem oil).
I went with the Birthday Bash Gift Set, ordered from Amazon to take advantage of the free two-day shipping. When she went down for her nap before the wedding—after a long day at the beach—I polished her toes with the purple polish. She noticed it as soon as she woke up, and spent the next hour showing everyone. It was a hit!
It scrapes off pretty easily; don’t think your little one’s manicure will last more than a day or two, though pedis hold up a little better. I loved the teal color so much I did our fingers to match one day, but I looked a mess by day two. Oh, and it comes off with a bit of alcohol, so no need to order the Piggy Paint polish remover.
Hot As Balls
We’ve been having 100-degree days in the DMV, so this happened. Yes, Babygirl is in a sprinkler in Baltimore harbor, wearing nothing but a diaper. No, it wasn’t my idea. I packed her bathing suit, a swim diaper, and her swim shoes. But someone made me downsize the bag before we left the car. And another someone had to get in the water. This was the solution. But the fact that it wasn’t all on me didn’t stop my BFF from saying, “Your Cleveland is showing!” when I sent her this picture (no Instagram filters here, btw, there was just gorgeous light). Whatever. Let’s just blame global warming, shall we?
How do you help your little ones cool off? Show us!Tweet
It’s A Good Thing
Babygirl is a big girl now.
June 29. After two years and about three weeks, Babygirl is off the boob. Long ago, I thought I would have mixed emotions on the day that I got my breasts back, but there’s nothing at all conflicted about the way I feel: happy that we’re moving into the next phase of our relationship, proud of her for being such a big girl, proud of myself for going so long, relieved to be done.
I truly loved breastfeeding the kid. It was magical from the beginning. I loved that there was something that only I could give her. I loved how her little eyelids fluttered then quickly closed after she latched, the warm milk like a sedative she was powerless to fight. I loved how happy (and fat) it made her. I loved how quickly it calmed her when her world seemed crazy. I loved seeing her little hands frantically sign “milk” at just seven months (fittingly, it was the first sign she replicated). I loved that I was doing something that, while it was definitely difficult, was great for her health, general well being, and even future success.
But I’d be a lie if I said I wasn’t ready to stop. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve remembered that I’m a woman. I actually polished my nails (toes and fingers). I worked out three times last week for the first time since I gave birth (I used to do it five times a week, but it’s a start). I bought red lipstick. Word.
And Babygirl made it. She didn’t keel over from thirst. She didn’t cry herself to death. She didn’t turn on me. And she has a new measure of freedom that she doesn’t yet realize. She can stay out all day with Daddy without needing to check in to the boob. She can sleep through the night in her own big girl bed (!) without waking to get a taste. She can brag to her friends about moving on to the next big challenge (potty training!).
So it’s a good thing. On to the next…