Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Turkey Day

I love Thanksgiving. Hands down, it’s my favorite holiday. Sure, the food is great, spending time with family and friends is fun and having a four day weekend is fabulous. But what I enjoy most is the spirit of the holiday. For me, Thanksgiving is an opportunity to take a whopping cleansing breathe of thanks for my countless blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving y’all!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Anniversary

Seven years ago today, Loverman and I got hitched. Yup, it’s our anniversary and true to form, both of us forgot this momentous occasion was almost upon us until late last night when while speaking to a girlfriend about her Thanksgiving plans, she mentioned heading to Vegas for her father’s nuptials later this week. Well, my friend’s plans sounded pretty familiar because that’s exactly what we did two thousand fifty-five days ago today.

I’m sure you’re wondering how can I forget my wedding anniversary? But, it happens every year. In fact, when our first anniversary rolled around, it was Loverman who remembered and not I. I felt pitiful and made a mental note not to forget again, but each year the date seems to creep up on me and I either forget about it altogether, or I remember at the last minute, too late to even run out and grab a card professing my unending love to my life’s partner/babies’ daddy.

It’s not that I don’t think taking time out to celebrate my union with Loverman is important, it’s just that we seem to be rolling along quite fine and instead of reminiscing about the day we exchanged our wedding vows, we’re earnestly working together to take care of this family and raise these babies. We’re living our life in the now. The date also usually falls on or around Thanksgiving and I guess our focus is on our plans for the holiday.

But, like I said, it is important to take a moment to acknowledge this wonderful man and father I am proud to call my husband. Through him, I have learned how to be a better person and mother and I’m honored to be his wife. I do love my Loverman!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Making a Comeback

My weekend is not complete until I make run to Target. Now, let me be honest, I usually get to TargĂ© more than once a week, but it’s a given that at least one of those visit will be on Saturday or Sunday to stock up with provisions for week.

Today, as my mom and I headed over to Target, we were surprised by all of the traffic headed in and out of the shopping center. Once we finally found a parking spot and made our way into the store, it became quite apparent that consumer confidence is making a comeback, because folks were buying up a storm.

It will be very interesting to see what happens later this week on Black Friday, because if today’s any indication, folks are primed and ready to spend.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's Good to Share

A few weeks ago I mentioned allowing Miss Olivia to get her own email account. It seemed like a good idea at the time, she corresponded and resolved an issue with her 4th grade teacher and sends weekly updates to her grandparents in California. The downside of her new email habit is she expects access to my laptop on a daily basis. It’s driving me crazy!

After picking the kids up from school, we head home, jump right into homework, fixing and eating dinner, then cleaning up the kitchen and at about 7:30pm, I’m finally seeing the light at the end of my tunnel of the day and all I want to do is get on the computer and do a little blogging. But, no… now I’ve got to share the computer with Olivia so she can check her email and Yannick’s not to be left out, so he wants to hop on and play a few games on All of this must be accommodated before their bedtime at 8:30pm.

I knew this day would come, just not so soon. The kids have a desktop PC in the playroom, but we’ve never wired it for the internet, and to do so, would require us to add a phone line to the room.

Loverman and I are extremely cautious when it comes to the kids to extending their digital footprint. We’re also pretty strict when it comes to allowing them to play video games. They each have handheld Leapsters, but that’s only because Leapster only offers educational games. I have been lobbying Loverman to loosen up a bit because both are jonesing for Nintendo ds or at least a Game Boy, yet I’m completely on the same page with Loverman in my concern that these handheld video games often distract children to the point where it stunts their social/emotional growth and they become less social and able to engage folks in meaningful conversation. Let’s not even get into the content of some of the video games. It’s ridiculous. I do suspect we’ll be just as vigilant with the amount of time the kids spend playing with these things as we are with monitoring the amount of time and what they’re watching on television.

But, back to my limited access to my laptop… I really do want them to be completely computer literate, but ever since I invested in this swanky Mac laptop, I’ve viewed it as “mine,” and the kids’ insistent interest in getting their grubby and often sticky fingers on “my” toy, is really challenging Mango Mama when it comes to the concept of sharing.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


The Mango Tribe found itself in a nasty situation this past weekend. It began when I left Olivia’s soccer game to take Loverman to work. I’d called my dad and asked him to sit in on the last half of the game in our absence. On my way back to the field, my dad called told me to meet him, Olivia and the rest of her team at McDonald’s for a team lunch. Once I arrived, I was confronted with several team parents relating a nasty exchange that occurred at the end of the game when a parent from the opposing team rushed on the field, grabbed Olivia by her sleeve and aggressively berated her for spilling water on her daughter. Olivia burst into tears and tried to explain that it was an accident. My father immediately tried to console Olivia, and by the time he turned around the offending mother was nowhere to be seen.

I called Olivia aside and asked her what happened? She related the same details and recounted how frightened she was by this woman’s behavior. Olivia’s coach approached me and asked me what he’d like me to do as other parents from our team offered to act as witnesses to the event. I was flabbergasted. I wasn’t sure where to start, but decided to collect their numbers and make a call to the league’s commissioner. Let’s call him Rob.

I called Rob and he explained that he was on the field when the incident occurred, but didn’t see anything, and went on to say, “The situation had been resolved.” When I asked “how,” he assured me someone had spoken with the out-of-bounds parent. I asked, “who?” He said he wasn’t sure, but again tried to assure me that issue had been addressed. I asked if the soccer league had a policy in place to address such situations and he replied, “no.” I couldn’t believe this and informed Rob that indeed the situation had not been resolved. I told Rob I wanted this parent’s name and telephone number to speak with her directly.

Once I hung up with Rob, I called and relayed the details of the event to Loverman and he then called Rob directly, again demanding the contact info for this broad. Rob called Loverman back in less than 5 mins. with the woman’s name and telephone number. Think he had the number all the time?

Loverman immediately called the woman, introduced himself and before jumping in her ass about putting her hands on our girl and speaking to her in a menacing tone, he asked if she had been on the playing field hollering at a player. She admitted that she had, but didn’t know the child’s name. Loverman asked the woman to describe the child and after stuttering for a few seconds this is what she said----- “A colored girl with those long braid things.” No lie, four days after the election of the first African American president, this biddy is still referring to Black folks as “colored.”

This, of course, illustrated exactly what we were dealing with and we proceeded knowing this woman isn’t ready for prime time. She went on to pitifully apologize for her actions offering that she knew now that she was wrong and didn’t mean to make my daughter cry. She even said she didn’t even remember how she made her way onto the field and has no recollection of putting her hands on our girl.

After reading this woman the riot act and threatening her with legal action, Loverman instructed her to call me immediately. She did and offered another lame apology, begging us not to call the police. I put my foot further up her behind and informed her that she needed to apologize to Olivia directly. She complied. Olivia accepted her apology.

But, for us, the story doesn’t end here. I’m really peeved with how the Lansdowne Boys and Girls Club (LBGC) handled the entire situation. Why did Olivia’s coach ask me what did I want him to do 45 mins. after the fact and why did the league’s commissioner tell me there is no policy in place to address inappropriate parental/adult behavior? Why did no one step up and advocate for Olivia right there on the field? If I’d been there and someone had put their hands on a kid that wasn’t my own, I know I would have been right in that adult’s face letting them know their actions were unacceptable. Why did no one from the league contact us, why did we have to reach out and demand this contact info to attempt to get resolution for this situation?

As Loverman and I grappled with these questions, I decided to contact the LBGC president and ask him these questions. He promptly responded to my email and informed us that there is a policy in place and this offending parent has been banned from next week’s game.

I’m not sure where to go from here. I do know this incident is making me put into practice my new internal barometer--- WWBD (What Would Barack Do). Olivia hasn’t mentioned the incident since Sunday and doesn’t seem to be dwelling on what happened. Some of my anger has dissipated, but I still think more should be done, not only on Olivia’s behalf, but also to ensure a message is sent that this type of behavior will not be tolerated. I do know Lansdowne’s Boys and Girls Club needs to be doing a much better job in informing both their leadership and volunteer coaches of the league’s policies.

It’s also clear to me that as upsetting as this situation was, the divine was definitely at work, because if either me or Loverman had been present when this occurred, it would have erupted into an extremely ugly scene and Olivia wouldn’t have been the only person leaving the field in tears.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

say it, spell it, say it

Yannick has his first spelling test tomorrow. His list of words include:
•el oso
•el nenĂ©
•el mono

In preparation for this quiz, we’ve employed the very same game plan my dad used with more than 30 years ago. It includes writing each word on an index card, with the definition on the back of the card, or in Yannick’s case---- the English translation; then using these flashcards me, Loverman and Miss Olivia take turns reviewing the spelling of each word using say it, spell it, say it method.

I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I remember my dad telling me that this is the method used my the Scripps Spelling Bee folks and to be honest, even though it used to drive me crazy, I am a very good speller. It seemed only natural for me to employ the same method when Olivia started learning how to spell a few years ago and since she and Yannick are learning in Spanish it’s made learning to spell even easier because Spanish words are spelled just they way they sound.

So, let’s wish the little guy well. He’s studied hard and is really prepared, so I guess the moral of this story is----- If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it and say it, spell it, say it.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama Buzz

Yesterday, I had one of the most amazing days of my lifetime. And this morning, I awoke full of hope and good cheer, but also with a hazy head and a slightly unsettled stomach that I’ve carried with me for most of the day. Despite the fact that I didn’t drink a drop of alcohol last night, I feel as if I have a hangover--- that’s right a happy hangover—an Obama Buzz.

Monday, November 3, 2008

No Ordinary Day

I’ve received dozen of emails warning me not to wear any political paraphernalia to the polls here in Pennsylvania, and I will follow the rules and be sure to remove my Obama/Biden button before I head out tomorrow morning, but in my mind’s eye, I imagine African drummers lining the sidewalk, drumming their heart out as I make my way to the polls and the pouring of libations calling out the spirits of the ancestors who made this moment possible. So clearly I see my grandmother, Veronica Nelson, a community organizer and an alternate delegate for Jesse Jackson’s bid for the presidency at both the 1984 and 1988 Democratic National Convention, taking my hand--- leading me forward to cast my vote. I imagine the spirits of Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Fannie Lou Hamer, Malcolm, Martin, Shirley Chisholm and countless others crowding me and I add my voice to this historic election. Sure, I’ll follow Barack’s impeccable example and tow the party line, but make no mistake, tomorrow is no ordinary day— God willing, it will be an historic day which will change our lives for better days to come.