A Boy and His Flag 

This is our flag. It’s pretty awesome.

After studying American symbols and landmarks in his Kindergarten class, my son came to me and asked for a flag. An American flag. He thought it was the prettiest flag of them all and wanted to hang it up in his room.  Many of you are probably shrugging your shoulders and thinking, “And? What’s the big deal?”

The deal is:

  • We are African American.
  • We are very well educated in our American history (even the shitty Jim Crow/Japanese internment camp parts.)
  • When he asked for the flag we were fresh off of the 2016 elections where an asstool was elected in to the highest office in the land; and the bigots, kluxers, and white power zealots were dancing in the streets.
  • America was nestled firmly on my shitlist at the time.

With all this being taken into consideration…surprisingly… I did not immediately say no to my child. All of these things ran through my head. All of the anger that was inside of me started bouncing around like a tiny rage filled rocket. I didn’t let the kid see this though. I didn’t go into a diatribe about how for the last eight years it seemed as if we as a nation had come so far and now it looked as if it was all falling backwards at a breakneck speed. He is only six. And while he is very smart and I’m sure he would understand many of the facts – at this time – I don’t think he needs to know any of them. He will learn in due time that while there are many things that make America great, there are many things that this country has done and will do that make it a downright shit show. He will learn that once upon a time people had to sit on the back of the bus based on the color of their skin. He will learn that women and minorities have not always been able to vote.  He will learn that not that long ago his best friend’s two mommies could not be married. He will learn that these bovine, inbred, backwoods ass concepts were the law of the land.

Because he will learn the bad things – I need for him to learn the good things first. He will know that his great-great-grand father and great-grandfather became doctors in this country when that was RARE. He will learn that 4th of July fireworks are awesome and so is apple pie. He will learn that spending an entire Saturday in your pajamas is considered a successful day in our house. He will know that there are many races and religions represented in this country and they make fabulous friends and neighbors. He will know that all of those things, when you boil it down, mean happiness and freedom and that is what that flag stands for.  And I mean happiness and freedom for ALL just in case you were wondering.

That is what the flag, that he so eagerly asked me for, stands for. So when he asked me for the flag I looked at his little round face and asked, “A little flag or a big flag?” Of course he wanted big –  so big is what I bought. Since it arrived, he has learned how to properly display the flag, fold the flag, and the ceremony for destroying a flag when it is past its prime.  My brother who is a retired U.S. Air Force vet has offered to make the trip with us to the local American Legion where they will do it for us.

When the time comes he will learn why people will sometimes  fly the flag upside down. Or why some people will burn it and how it is their right to do so if they choose. As his parents we have those conversations now. Those are some heavy discussions; and we think they will be made a wee bit lighter with the knowledge of what good  can be found in those stars and stripes. Call me a tree hugging optimist but I know this country has more than a few things going for it. They are why we live here. They are why we gave birth to him here. They are what we work hard for and champion every day.  They are why this flag flies outside of our front door.

Waving our flag proudly,

The Pinkeltons

 

Be Merry Be Bright

We Talk. We Shop. We Attempt to Refrain from Farting or Burping on Others.

 

A kid in a growler shop? Why not? All beer is good – Even beer of Root!

 

When our son was a baby all I wanted him to do was talk. Now that he can talk I often times wish he would just be quiet. I know that children are a blessing but dang son – do you have to keep talking about farts? I must admit though there are times when having a kid that can form complete sentences is great. We are able to have conversations and share opinions on random things and it is a joy to see his personality develop.  Every so often he says some amazing things. Sometimes he says things that shock the heck out of everyone around us. And then there are times that he makes me say things that I immediately have to translate for non-Pinkelton folk. Here is a brief but true list of just a few of those things…

  1. Walking into a liquor store with the four year old he announces, ” They have my favorite drink here!” Every fucking body turned around and stared. He is talking about pink grapefruit juice by the way.
  2. While in the produce department the boy yells, “I want artichokes/asparagus/pomegranates for dinner!” You’d think folks would appreciate his adventurous pallet. Nope, they all turn around and stare at us both.
  3. “Can we go to Circle and Dot? Short grandma took me to Circle and Dot and we got lots of toys!” Short grandma = mother in law who is 5’2″ tall. Circle and Dot = Target. (We are trademarking that kickass nickname so don’t even try to snag it Target.)
  4. We celebrated his fifth birthday at Catch Air where they showed a slide show of photos of the birthday boy while playing his favorite song.  I hand the party planner my thumb drive of pics and she asks, “What’s your son’s favorite song?” My response, “‘American Woman’ by Lenny Kravitz.” From the look on her face you’d think I’d asked her to play Body Count’s “KKK Bitch!” Come on people. Not every kid listens to “The Wheels on the Bus” on repeat all day long.
  5. While walking in the park he says, “Do you know why children aren’t in jail?” I was dying to hear the answer to this one. “No, I don’t son,” I replied. “Because they are so small they would just climb out between the bars. Grown ups are big so they can’t do that. But a kid- they would just slip out and roll away.” Not because kids don’t do crimes that warrant being punished in such a way. It’s only the width of the rails that keeps the little criminals out of the slammer.
  6. After his first day of Pre-K I asked, “How was your day?” His response, “I didn’t fart or burp on nobody.” Well damn kid, I guess that’s all one can ask for. I am rarely able to say the same at the end of the day so hats off to you.

Stay tuned folks. He is a chatty little dude with an ever expanding vocabulary and I’m sure more gems are soon to come.

Five Ways to Get Away from Your Little Kid and Get Some Me Time aka Waste Time on Pinterest 

You are looking at one of my happy places.

You are looking at one of my happy places.

Oftentimes you need a little non-kid time even when you have kids. This does not always come at a convenient hour (after the kid has gone to sleep), so here are a few ways to grab a couple of minutes in your happy place. Mine happens to be the wonderful world of Pinterest. Yours may be Candy Crush, knitting, binge watching something on Netflix. Whatever it is, these tricks are guaranteed to get you a few minutes in your magical zone where no one is asking you to wipe their butt.

1. Let them play in the dirt. Dirt is awesome because it hold surprises like grass, leaves, bugs, rocks. Add toy, cars, shovels, buckets and other “good in the dirt” toys. Add some water to the equation and those suckers are making mud pies and stomping in puddles. Estimated Pinning Time: 20-30 minutes

2. Feed them. A nice plate full of several different new food choices (baby bento box). Persimmons, mangoes, yogurt covered raisins, purple carrots, whole grain crackers. An array of new visually appealing things on the plate will grab their attention. Tell them they will get a donut or ice cream if they eat it all and you have added at least three more minutes onto your Pinning time.MOTHER OF THE YEAR! Pinning time: 15 minutes

3.  Take them to the playground. Those other parents who are on their phones know what they are doing!  Seriously, I float somewhere between helicopter mom and DFACS being called. It is a happy medium I think. Make sure he doesn’t try to jump off of the TOP of the swing -Pin a pair of boots. Remind him not to eat woodchips – Pin some Ikea bedding. Tell him not to climb UP the slide – Pin fall decorating ideas. We all win at the playground! Pinning time: 15-30 minutes but this may vary if there are no other kids there, you need to push them on the swing, or those moments when they say, “Ma! Look at me!”

4. Put them in the tub- I don’t know about your kid but mine would stay in the tub playing all day if he could. He does a lot of imagination play, talking to his toy dinosaurs and drawing and writing with tub crayons while I hangout and relax. (This only works for those kids who are past tub-drowning age and you do need to be just outside the door and look in on them periodically) Pinning time: 20-25 minutes

5. Sit them on the toilet with:

  • An Oriental Trading Company/Toys R Us catalog
  • A Look and Find book
  • An iPAD/smart phone. I’m sure I will hear people gripe, “Screen time, blah blah blah.” I respect your choice and your child rearing regime. But I get a little bit of Maria time, am able to talk uninterrupted to my husband, wash the dishes or take a crap myself with this trick.
    Just think about how much time you have wasted doing a tinker-stinker or looking at that JCrew catalog on the can. Put a small stool under their feet so their legs don’t fall asleep (like mine do) and enjoy your Pinterest time. Pinning time: 15-20 minutes

Happy pinning! Or pedicuring! Or Dove chocolate eating……

Parenting Journey Number 2

photo courtesy of Flickr Commons

During bath time our son enjoys playing games. Sailing tiny boats, spelling words with foam letters – usually the usual for a three year old boy. A now a new game has been added and it is a laugh riot! It involves him putting a purple plastic linking ring over his Johnson and then asking us to look at how funny it is. Isn’t that just side splitting?

The first time he did it I just shook my head. Prior to this, he enjoyed simply pulling his twig and his berries like an old school Stretch Armstrong, while exclaiming, “My penis is awesome.” By comparison this ring toss game isn’t as bad as it doesn’t put the possibility of grandkids in peril.

The second time, the ring around the wanker was showcased with a pelvic thrust that would put the cast of the Rocky Horror Picture Show to shame. My response to the performance? I shook my head and walked off. Dad was not home for that show; but laughed out loud when I told him. I’m glad he thinks it was funny.

Recently Aaron’s best friend exposed himself at school to a less than appreciative crowd. If our son decides bring his own private parts performance to the masses I will send his number one fan aka Dad to go to bat for him. I’m sure it will be hilarious.