I will no longer try to improve the well being and hygiene of my family. I give up on that part of motherhood. From now on, my obligations are only the newborn and myself.

From THIS DAY FORTH, I vow to be as NASTY as these muthas running around in this house.

I will no longer look to see if the dishwasher is empty and put dirty dishes in there. I’ll just leaves my plate, cup spoon and fork on the desks and living room. Maybe I’ll just leave my dishes on the little counter space we DO have, and add an extra cluttered look.

When I drop food on the floor, I won’t pick it up. I’ll just leave pesto, icing and herbs on the ground for hours because after all, MALAKA, will clean it up.

I’ll purposely throw my dirty clothes NEAR the laundry basket and not in it. Heck, why not really follow the crowd. I’ll just leave my dirty shorts in the middle of the bed room floor, right next to my shoes where someone can easily trip over them!!

From now on, I will NOT clean up after myself in the bathroom. I’ll leave my toothpaste stains all over the sink and mirror. If I HAD a beard, I’d also leave my facial hair all over the sink and floor. But what I CAN do is this: When I douche, I’ll just leave the empty container in the tub and wait. Wait until someone says something. But since that sh*t only bothers ME, I guess no one will object.

When I take a piss, I will aim for the floor and seat AND WALK AWAY. When I take a dump, I WILL leave skid marks on the rim.

Oh yeah, this is war!!! Y’all think you’re the only ones who can play this game??? You didn’t grow up with me. You can’t win.

Is having a boy different, you ask? For Nana Appiah-Korang


You asked me a few months ago to let you know how different it is to have a boy after having two girls. Your son’s conception, like mine, was unplanned. In FACT, my brother refers to my son as “False Start”, as he was not due until June of 2010. But he’s here now, and that’s all that matters!

Now that the boy is nearly 3 months old, I feel that I have enough time spent with him under my belt to appropriately answer your query. Yes, there is TOTAL difference. Let me lead you in by saying this:

There is a reason the last 3 or 4 generations of men have been hedonistic, narcissistic douche bags, and it’s because of women like me…and the men who leave women, with similar behavioral patterns to mine, to raise boys. THERE IS NOTHING MY BOY CAN DO WRONG.

The first 2 weeks he was home he peed on me a total of 8 times, including a chest shot and a whiz between my legs. I delight in every soiled diaper, even if it’s at the expense of a new dress that I’ve worn only once. He’s not permitted to cry more than 43 seconds. When I feel something hot and runny coursing down my back, the alarm I feel after being unwittingly puked on turns to joy when I see that milky grin on his face. The other night my husband put his foot down and said the boy MUST sleep in his bassinet from now on, and not in the bed with us. You should never sleep with your baby, I know, but we have a super-king size bed, big enough for 4 people. If HE (Marshall) would move his country fed self over to the left some, then maybe my boy would have more room without fear of being crushed! I had perfected the art of sleeping perfectly still…why couldn’t Marshall??? All these thoughts raced through my mind, until I found myself about to suggest that MARSHALL go downstairs and sleep on the sofa bed so that Stone and I could get a good night’s sleep without his grumbling about “safety”.

I felt these things, in appropriate moderation, for my girls, but I can unequivocally say I did not delight in changing their poo soiled layettes. In FACT, I am pissed that at the ages of 4 1/2 and 3 they do not get all the stains out of their little cracks after taking a poo, and am ashamed to say that I will happily check behind my boy at the age of 23 if he needed me too. That’s what’s wrong with these men today. They think they can take a crap all over women and they’re just supposed to take it and like it. It’s my fault, and I don’t care. There is no shame in ruining your boy with your love, because it’s his DAD’S job to toughen him up and lead him on the straight and narrow. It’s why the Spartans separated sons and mothers at age 10 to sent them to warrior training camp. A mother like me is sure to raise a punk. And it doesn’t help that other women coo and fuss over him and give him pet names as well. One lady said his smile and demeanor helped brighten her whole day and made her forget that she was on medication.

“He’s a healer!” she proclaimed. And no, that “he” was not Jesus Christ, but my mere mortal son Stone.

So, if you find yourself confused by this new range of emotions and subject to some level of disregard for your girls’ well-being, take comfort in the fact that you are married to a wonderful man who is there to cover your back and take up your slack; whose JOB it is to turn the boy into a man. It’s the only thing that lets me rest easy at night when I fall asleep holding my own dear boy in my arms.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

When I was getting ready to go to college in 1996, that was the big interview question we couldn’t wait to be asked from a potential employer. We had whole sessions about the appropriate answers to give, interview gems and catch phrases that would wow the interviewer and land you the job. Yep, that was during the boom years of the Clinton presidency. I fully expected to get a job earning $45-50K, right out of college, with little more than a bachelor’s degree, as my predecessors had done. Most likely living it up in some fast paced cosmopolitan metropolis with my equally cosmopolitan friends. I had lofty goals in those days. I’d be a svelte size 10, with a weave down to my butt, driving a red Mercedes Benz convertible. 10 years after graduation I’d be in Ghana as the head of my own media company. I couldn’t wait to hit the real world!

Fast forward 10 years later.

I don’t even think most corporations ask the question “Where do you see yourself if 5/10 years” anymore. Most Fortune 5000 companies’ balance sheets are riddled with more holes than a pitted pomegranate. Many of them don’t know if they will be in business next MONTH. The dot com bubble burst, making paupers out of millionaires overnight; Al-Qaeda decimated the stock market when they took down the WTC; and the freaking Pirates in Somalia and Nigeria finished up the job by affecting oil supply and jacking up prices. No one saw this coming. And I certainly didn’t foresee myself where I am today, either.

Nearly 10 years after graduation, I am a tired mother of three. I have an afro puff and am a hefty size 18. It has taken me 6 hours to sit down and write this note, because I can’t get a private moment to myself. Even now, someone screams “Mommeeee!!” incessantly in the background. My lofty goals of media domination have been reduced to just being happy if I can crank out one good story for my online newspaper sometime during the week. I pray daily that readers will find it in their hearts to click on a few ads to beef up my Google AdSense and generate some revenue. No one is on my payroll. In fact, I am vulnerable to the whims of the federal government, who at any time can stop my unemployment payments and leave me gobsmacked and one check away from homelessness.

What is the point of this drivel? It’s to ask myself again, where do I see myself in five years: As one of the happiest frikkin’ women on earth, that’s what.

If 5 years, my oldest child will be 10, able to do laundry and make a mean pitcher of Kool-Aid. The second born will be 8 and able to read a book to HERSELF. Both will be in school all day. The youngest will just be beginning kindergarten and I can feign the sort of sadness at his departure that makes your kids TRULY believe that you “wish they could stay at home with you all day, you really do, but the system won’t allow them to.”

In short, I’ll be a free woman. Free to write, free to think, free to go number 2 without someone bursting through the door and standing between my legs while I try to deliver a sinful payload to the porcelain throne below. Free to dream again.

Ms. Celie couldn’t have said it better: I may be black, skinny (hopefully), and ugly (most likely), but dear God, I’ll be here…and FREE!

Back to school "hateration"

Back to school time can be a source of joy and aggravation. For the parents who have toughed it out with listless children for an entire summer, something breaks on the inside when that school bus pulls up to the stop for the first time. Stay-at-home moms do a private jubilant jig that would put Savion Glover to shame. Stay-at-home dads are pleased to get their man caves back, and begin the elaborate process of remarking their turf. The immediate nuclear family is restored to a state of harmony.

And then there is the rest of the world.

For the rest of the community, back-to-school is met with veiled antagonism and at times, outright anger. For other commuters, the aforementioned school bus is perceived as an instrument of destruction, sent by agents of Hades. Getting caught behind a bus boarding children in the morning is a sure fire way to ensure an already late twenty-something will NOT make it to work on time. Irritated middle aged men ready their middle fingers to flick off cautious soccer moms as they ferry their “precious cargo” to school. Why, if it weren’t for this creeping thrill killing mini-van, he’d be zooming down I-85 in his freshly waxed BMW. Television programming will be changed to suit the after school demographic. Wal-Mart will relocate all your essentials from the front of the store to showcase Coco Pops and Crayons. Then…and then…there is the dreaded annual school fundraiser.

As someone who was single and childless no less than five years ago herself, I remember it well. I hated September! There is no worse feeling than being confronted with the pleading eyes of a pre-schooler, fundraising brochure in one hand and begging bowl in the other. Scratch that. The only thing worse is a mob of the aforementioned buggers. They attack you any and everywhere, but nowhere are their tactics more effective than in church.

“Go ask Ms. Malaka to buy something,” you hear their mother and my supposed friend
encourage them. “She single. She got money.”

No I don’t. What I “got” is a desire to buy some boots for the fall. And to get these boots, I’ve been living off of Ramen and cereal for the last 6 months, you evil inconsiderate wench.

The cute 5 year old approaches, asking me to support her school. I sigh and write a check in purchase of some wrapping paper. $8.00 for some wrapping paper! Seeing her success, her pack of little friends makes a beeline for my wallet. By the time service is over, I’ve bought cashews, chocolate and more wrapping paper. 8 weeks later when I receive my purchases, there is barely enough wrapping paper to cover 2 boxes and the chocolates and cashews are housed in tins considerably smaller than the magazine led to me to believe.

Deceivers, all of them.

And now in 2009, I find myself a part of the same scheme I so despised. This morning my daughter’s school director had donuts waiting for all the parents at carpool, with more “Holiday Wishes” brochures on the table right beside. As I reach for a donut, she reminds me that the deadline for all sales is next Monday.

“All we need is for each child to sell $50, then we can reach our goal,” she says. “We can buy books, supplies and give partial scholarships. We need each child to do their part.”

By “their”, she meant “you”.

Dagonit! Shouldn’t have stopped for that donut. The guilt was overwhelming. Up until that moment, by daughter had sold a grand total of $0 worth of goods, and I felt fine about it. Settling back into the driver’s seat, I frantically begin texting friends and family, asking them to buy crappy fundraising items and exorbitant prices. I feel dirty, but it must be done to keep egg off Nadjah’s ultra-competitve face. I acutely remember being the kid in my class who did not sell enough stuff and the disapproving looks that followed; and Nadjah will have none of that.

My sister was the first to respond to my APB via text.

“This is why kids shouldn’t go to school. It costs their relatives too much money to support their antics. Sign me up for 15”.

She’s such a good sister. On the other hand, that, ladies and gentlemen, is why all your relatives hate it when your kids go to school.