Big Kids/Small Strollers: What the…???

I know I’m going to step on some toes here, but what the hell is the deal with mothers who carry big ass babies in strollers? Babies that are big enough to push their moms around, carry groceries, and mow the lawn?  Are there so many dependency issues that are un-discussed that this blatant baby stroller abuse is exceptional?

Hellooo…ATTENTION BABY STROLLER ABUSERS: This madness must cease! 

I don’t place blame on the super smart children who are clever enough to pull the wool over their parents’ eyes and have them push them around town like programmed robots.  I commend those brilliant little rugrats actually, and wish they’d send me a ‘How-To’ manual.

Who I do place blame on are the oblivious parents who are stupid enough to push around these midgets.

If you parents don’t wake your asses up and make these children walk!  This is the reason why we have loud, rude and obnoxious children running amok inside our local grocery stores, malls and subway stations.  Parents are cradling their children and giving up their parental control even before the children’s evil little minds develop enough to understand the power of parental manipulation.

As a spectator and avid fan of all babies, from the ages of infancy to late toddlerhood, it’s time for someone to take a stand and tell you overly dependent mothers to stop hogging the treadmill and let those babies exercise their legs a little.  Children like to walk.  Something about activities keeping their bones strong…[I don’t know].  Besides, you look stupid pushing around those big little people and I have to admit that people like me are forced to talk about you and exploit your idiocy.

It’s evident that there are a host of “holding ons and letting goes” that parents have to do as part of raising their children: from relating to friends, to going to school, to buying a candy bar, to sexuality, to safe health practices, to driving, to voting, to getting married and having children of their own.  What the parent(s) need to understand is that the phase of letting go becomes easier once they tip the stroller forward and force the kid, who’s probably all of 12 now, to get up and stand on his/her own two feet.  This will teach the child to be independent, confident, strong, and totally not the geek in over-sized glasses who gets picked on and beat up every Friday at 3PM.

The history of strollers extends back centuries in time even before the first automobile made its debut.  There was a time when a baby carriage (as it was first known) was considered a luxury only afforded by those of elite society, who actually carried babies inside the carriages. Today any household with an infant (or a puppy) is more than likely equipped with a baby stroller [cue Tori Spelling].  Over the past few, oh gazillions of years or so, a plethora of strollers have been designed for all different purposes, terrains and activities.

You have your:

  • Double strollers, triple strollers…even your quad seating strollers
  • Jogging Strollers (stroller choice for parents who are serious joggers or runners)
  • Combo Strollers (stroller choice for parents who want a versatile stroller that can be used for their child’s infancy and throughout toddlerhood. This stroller consists of a toddler stroller base and a coordinating infant bassinet)
  • Pram/Carriage Strollers (stroller for taking leisurely walks through the neighborhood with your newborn)
  • Lightweight Strollers (stroller for traveling or running errands since they weigh less than 12 pounds)

But there is not a stroller built for those children whose legs drag the ground as their parents push them, while the kid sends text messages on their Cricket cell phones.

Parents, it’s time to let go a little.  Take a deep breath and cut the umbilical cord already.  If need be, I’ll buy you a damn pair of scissors myself.

Too much holding on and too little letting go and those poor babies will believe that you don’t have confidence in them and they’ll eventually fail to learn from their own trials and errors what they need to know to navigate into the adult world.  They are going to grow up to be needy helpless adults who live in your house and eat all of your food until you’re old and dried up and unable to fold their laundry and spoon feed them soggy Captain Crunch cereal.

Typically when I see this moral code of conduct violated, I don’t know whether to drag the kid by the collar out of the stroller or smack the parent in the center of the forehead for putting that big mofo in a stroller in the first place, but I’m just one person.  If I’m the only one who’s willing to take a stand, then I’m simply begging for a few years in jail or a serious up ass kicking.

What I can do however, is offer a little advice:

There is an excellent parenting book that I stumbled across that deals with this dynamic. It’s available in most book stores.  The name of it is Getting Those Big Ass Kids Out of Those Small Ass Strollers For Dummies.

Make the effort.  Read the book.  Have some courage and let your kid walk.  Truth be told they’re probably holding their head in shame as you strap them inside that baby stroller while they’re studying for their pre-calculus exam.  Cut the cord.  Let them evolve into a capable adult.  Stop making excuses and start making some changes!


Quote of the week:    “Parents who are afraid to put their foot down usually have children who step on their toes.”

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What We Can Learn From Living in the Hood

Konnichiwa, dudes and dudettes!  Today we are going to talk about valuable lessons learned.  Not just any valuable lessons, but lessons that we can learn from living in the hood.

Many of you may not know that my toilet bowl was not always made of 14 karat gold.  I know, I know.  It may come as a shock to you, but I too, did not grow up with palm trees and rollerblades to get me from point A to point B on the boardwalk.  In fact, my neighborhood was quite the opposite.  But despite the bald patches in the lawns of my neighborhood’s less than grassy pastures, there are a heck of a lot of things that I’ve learned from living in the hood.  And it’s time to pass on my knowledge to those who daringly turn their nose up to some of the world’s most seemingly tainted communities.

Pack your bags kids, because after seeing all that can be gained from living on the wrong side of the tracks, you may just be ready to plan your next trip to a neighborhood where your best bet is to double-bolt the locks on your doors!


Lesson #1 ~ The Value of Discipline and Respect

In any ‘hood’, one of the first two things that you learn is discipline and respect.  Discipline begins with what your parents teach you at home and is usually supported by a thin switch pulled off the closest tree or any belt pulled from whatever pair of pants your daddy is wearing at the time.  Both [the switch and the belt] are enough to keep your ass in check when they strike your behind like stray bullets.  It may sound a little harsh, but it’s a consequence most misbehaved kids have to endure for being disrespectful to their elders…aw hell, being disrespectful PERIOD.  Things like stealing, sassing and lying are most common reasons for getting that ass tapped.  Also getting caught making out in the basement with no adult supervision anywhere in the house (every kid on the planet knows they aren’t supposed to have company while their parents aren’t home) or sparking up a fat blunt are sure ways to reserve a one way trip to WHOOPING WORLD. KIDS, DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME IF YOU KNOW WHAT’S GOOD FOR YOU. Luckily, getting back-handed in the lips is what most parents go for today, just to remind their kids of what is to come next.

NOTE: When daddy’s belt is unleashed, run for your life!  When grandma’s switch is swinging, bob and weave. Only be sure to get hit on purpose at least once. The more granny misses with that switch, the angrier she becomes and the worse the whooping is. FYI, if your parents send you out to pick out your own switch, just keep on going.  Don’t bother going back in the house.  Pack a PB&J sandwich and run-away. Don’t come back until you think your parents have forgotten they owe an ass whooping. PS, good luck with that. Parents don’t forget something as important as hopping on that behind!

Keep in mind, though, that in the hood, it’s not just your parents that have all the fun of whooping your tail.  It’s also the neighbors.  There’s a little saying that I grew up with that goes, “It takes a village to raise a child,” which to me says everyone in that village has a right to spank you when you’ve screwed up.  Having said that, respecting the rules and knowing your place as a child are the keys for not getting popped.  As you become an adult, you’ll quickly remember the sting of whelps the next time you want to get out of line and disrespect someone.

…AND in case you didn’t know, children are not the only ones susceptible to a spanking. Adults can get out of line and say some slick shit, too. When they do, they should watch out. You never know when you’re going to open your mouth and your daddy steps out, reaching for whatever belt you’re wearing at the time. #PutUpYourDukes


 Lesson #2 ~ Appreciation for the Simple Things in Life

Let’s be real.  Most people live in the hood or the projects because they just can’t afford a better grade of land.  It’s not a bad thing.  The hood has the best parties – that is before the cops arrive to break up the fight that almost always inevitably causes the party to go awry.  But because most [or let me speak of my own personal experience] project dwellers do not have much, appreciation for the simple things is imminent.  Things like:

  • Kool-Aid, the least expensive beverage on the planet…next to tap water, of course;
  • Oodles & Noodles, the cheapest, easiest and most popular dinner choice of all the little greedy kids that selfishly grub on noodle juice at the playground;
  • Cable TV, because it saves money on aluminum foil.  How does it save money on aluminum foil?  Simple.  Thanks to cable TV, aluminum foil is now only used for kitchen duty and no longer for getting a better reception when wrapped around a television antenna.
  • The final piece of appreciation is beer.  On almost every street corner in the hood there’s a liquor store.  Beer is the cheapest of alcoholic beverages and probably the most easiest to get.  As you become old enough to stop sneaking sips of the malt beverage or slick enough to stop paying random dumb adults to purchase your booze for you, you save money on your spirits when you’ve finally graduated to a higher class of associates who like to hang out in nightclubs and local bars.  While they’re spending loads of cash on their gin & tonics and long island iced-teas, you’re saving your Benjamins on bumbers, 24oz and 40oz sized Steele Reserves and Budweisers, leaving you plenty of cash in your pocket to load up on the economy size family pack of oodles & noodles, which will come in handy when you’ve blown all of your money on something completely worthless. Not referring to beer of course. Beer is not worthless. Beer is a culture of the hood.

 Lesson #3 ~ The Appreciation of Music 

One can’t deny that music is a big part of living in the hood.  Granted, you may not hear Mozart, but it is very easy to be reminded of the tribal drums of Africa, thanks to the sounds of particularly loud bass echoing through the speakers of a pimped out ‘hoopty’, usually at the most disturbing hours of the night.


Lesson #4 ~ Social Interaction  

Because there are all types of people and personalities in some of the city’s most questionable neighborhoods, we learn the value of diversity.  As a result of living in these neighborhoods, we are able to gauge the best way to deal with some of the best and the worst people.  For example; bullies, winos, hustlers, hoes, nosey neighbors, crooked cops and Jehovah’s witnesses.

You’d be surprised how these types of people integrate into today’s society and dress up their debatable personalities in the common workplace.  Living in the hood gives you an advantage over when and how to run and duck for cover when you see these folks headed in your direction.

 

 

 


  Lesson #5 ~ Fashion Awareness 

Fashion is the final piece of hoodiology, because no matter what you don’t have [while living in some form of the projects] the one thing that everyone does have is a means to get a brand new outfit to wear to the club, even if that outfit consists only of a spanking white pair of tennis shoes, which nobody better step on if they don’t want to catch a beat down before the last call for alcohol.


So many people misconceive those who were raised on a little bit of nothing; who grew up on back alley streets; shadow-boxed and played street football because they couldn’t afford to attend stadium sporting events; whose credit is bad and who has criminal records longer than some of the wrap sheets of some of Hollywood’s most notable out of control young starlets.  But the thing that they don’t know is that some of society’s most capable people are born and raised right in the crappiest of neighborhoods, where values and responsibility is surreptitiously at its highest peak and free fun reigns supreme.

Never forget where you come from or what you’ve learned from where you’ve been.


Quote of the week:   “Money can’t buy you happiness but it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery.”

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HottywoodHelps.com Names Mother and Son as May 2012 Junior Hottywood Artist

May 2012 – In recent issues of HottywoodHelps.com’s Junior Hottywood Artist feature stories, recognition has been given to individual students, church choirs, and school classes. Continuing with the theme of recognizing the most note-worthy of unsung artists, this month’s kudos is extended to a special team – Dequan Kamari Wooten and this mother, Kirsten Williams.    

Dequan, a 6th grade student at Waldon Woods Elementary School, like many children his age, enjoys spending time with his family. He has a passion for sports that is further exceeded by his desire to greet that passion head on, which is what makes his story such a remarkable one.  Like many young boys Dequan dreams of one day making a name for himself in the sports arena. Unlike many with the same dream, the one thing that separates Dequan from other common dreamers is his Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy.  

Born 3lbs 3oz and nine weeks before his expected delivery date, doctors diagnosed Dequan, one half of a set of twin boys, with spastic diplegia just before his first birthday and was expected never to walk. The news fell hard on his parents, more so when epileptic seizures complicated his condition even more.  Refusing to accept the possibility of her son’s inability to walk, mother, Kristen immediately sought orthopedic treatment from the Georgetown University Hospital, Physical Medicine and Rehab Department and HSP Pediatric Center in an effort to propitiate Dequan’s desire for mobile independency. After receiving two major surgeries, he is now able to walk with the aid of leg braces. 

Understanding the difficulty and frustration of not being able to play field sports with his peers, his school coach afforded him an opportunity to help coach the school’s [sports] team(s), broadening his knowledge [of sports] from a different angle.  Kristen saw the joy in Dequan’s eyes from the support he received from his family, friends, school and doctors and continued her struggle to seek additional aid. With her commitment came a ray of hope. Upon the recommendation of doctors, Williams was able to solicit help from members of the Staff Rehabilitation Equipment Professionals group, a leading supplier of wheelchairs in the Washington, DC area.  The group donated a loaner custom made orthopedic bike, allowing Dequan to recreationally pedal freely with his friends, strengthen his gait as an alternative means to daily physical therapy, and most impressively enter into this year’s Special Olympics of Maryland, an organization that focuses on year-round sports training and athletic competition for persons with intellectual disabilities. 

Dequan’s strength, determination and perseverance for living out his dream of being active in a sports arena, specifically his role in the Special Olympics of Maryland, has earned him a spot on the mantle as this month’s Junior Hottywood Artist! 

Albeit what sounds like a sad story has blossomed into quite the opposite on paper, the scrolls haven’t quite fully unfolded.  Knowing that the bike provided by the Staff Rehabilitation Equipment Professionals is on loan, Dequan’s family now finds itself in the middle of a tumultuous battle with an insurance agency to provide financial support of a new custom bike – one that is paid for by the family rather than borrowed from a third party source. Despite the medical experts’ documented acumen for the need for paralytic mobility, the insurance company has denied Williams’ claims multifariously on the speculated grounds that the coverage is for mere convenience rather than ennobling need. 

Not accepting “No” as an option, the arbitrate mother has since spearheaded community fundraising projects to help raise money to purchase the new bike, sans the support of the refusing insurance company.  On Sunday, April 29th she hosted a bake sale in the Clinton, Maryland community and plans to host another one in this coming month. It is because of her industrious effort as a concerned and supportive parent that she is acknowledged as this month’s second Junior Hottywood Artist honoree.     

Kats and Kittens, please join me in a round of applause for the first time ever Mother/Son Junior Hottywood Artists, Dequan Kamari Wooten and Kristen Williams!

 

HottywoodHelps.com Announces July’s Featured Junior Artist of the Month

July 2011 – Guys and Gals, it is yet time to spotlight another hidden talent in the Metropolitan area.  This month’s Junior Hottywood Artist of the Month is none other than Arrington James Lassiter, a recent graduate of Luke C. Moore Senior High School, class of 2011.  

Arrington, 19, has been featured in over 500 dance performances, productions, and events throughout the DMV area, in addition to New York, Florida and the state of Georgia, alongside dance greats such as Arthur Mitchell and Debbie Allen (who once taught at my alma mater, the Duke Ellington School of the Arts) as both a dancer and choreographer.  With such training and experience under his belt, while [currently] performing with the Northeast Performing Arts Group, located in Washington DC, he also teaches children ages 3-10 the joy and art of dance.  

Arrington is not only being acknowledged for his rhythmic accomplishments and contributions, but also for giving his time and talents to children younger than he who shares his passion for dance.  For this reason, HottywoodHelps.com honors Arrington James Lassiter and wishes him much success as he prepares to matriculate at Anne Arundel Community College to further his education in academic studies as well as the performing arts. 

*Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in a round of applause to Arrington James Lassiter for being this year’s 7th official Junior Hottywood Artist of the Month!

Arrington James Lassiter, age 19 Washington DC

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Announcing This Month’s Junior Hottywood Artist of the Month

June 2011Kats and kittens, half of 2012 is almost over and this month HottywoodHelps.com has a new light to shine on another set of bright young diamonds in the rough, the BodyMoves Contemporary Dance Company (BCDC). Located in Fort Washington, Maryland, BodyMoves is a community movement center that hosts a variety of programs for youth, including martial arts, gymnastics, and of course dance!

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to see the dance group in action as they celebrated their 5th Anniversary Jubilee.  They danced through time and culture on pointed toes and perfect extensions and carried their audience to whimsical places far beyond any theater seat.

This impressive youth group danced like swans to classic rhythms; classical, contemporary, jazz, gospel, hip hop and African dance, with so much eloquence that their talent completely dispeled their age.  “Bravo!” BodyMoves Contemporary Dance Company.  “Bravo!”  I say, to a job well done on your part in proving that the art of dance places no discrimination on age and soul. 

 

*Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in a round of applause to the BodyMoves Contemporary Dance Company for being this year’s 6th official Junior Hottywood Artist of the Month!

-Hottywood

BodyMoves Contemporary Dance Company, Fort Washington, Maryland

Hottywood Helps Announces May Junior Hottywood Artist of the Month

May 2011 – Kats and kittens, five months into the new year and HottywoodHelps.com has decided to expand its appreciation of young artists, beginning with this month’s featured student, Dominique McCoy. 

Dominique is a student at Francis Stevens Education Campus located in Washington, DC. Her hobbies include reading Fancy Nancy books, coloring, playing with dolls and bonding with her brother. She was chosen to be this month’s featured student artist for receiving the honor of having her art work displayed in the 11th Annual Student Art Exhibition, now showing at the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. This exhibition showcases an array of student artistic achievement in the District of Columbia. 

Though many schools participated and hundreds of artworks are currently on display, this month we give recognition to the adorable and charismatic Dominique for proving that there is no age requirement on talent nor art.

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*Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in a round of applause to Dominique McCoy for being this year’s 5th official Junior Hottywood Artist of the Month!

Dominique McCoy, age 4 Washington DC

To see all of this year’s Junior Hottywood Artists of the month click [HERE].

HottywoodHelps.com Announces This Month’s Junior Hottywood Writer of the Month

April 2011 – This month, we are not simply going to celebrate the honors of one gifted student for his/her impeccable writing abilities, nor one school.  Instead, we are going to celebrate an ensemble of youngsters who sing praises to the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  After all, songs are words set to music.  

Ladies and Gentlemen, please join me in a round of applause to the Angelic Choir of Second Baptist Church Southwest for celebrating 48 years of lifting up the name of Jesus in song!  

On Sunday, April 3, 2011, twenty-nine gifted and talented youth came together to render musical selections to dozens of witnesses who gathered in the sanctuary of Second Baptist, a community church located in Washington DC’s Southwest district, to commemorate the achievement of another year of the choir’s musical service.  Drums beat, voices lifted, and the holy spirit filled the building as the melodic adolescent group sang, danced and recognized the scholastic achievements of those [choir] members who landed a place in line for this year’s honor roll.  

HottywoodHelps.com chose the children of the Angelic Choir to honor as this month’s Junior Hottywood Writer(s) of the Month because of their dedication, faith and commitment to God’s word.  

In the troubling times that we face now, children have a tendency to stray towards the gray areas of life – but not these children.  Instead of stomping their feet and rolling their eyes at the sound of the word “church,” these children are proudly and prayerfully taking in proper lessons from their parents, pastor and choir coordinators to follow a road promised by a power greater than all powers.  

These children have rallied to say “No” to the fast life and “Yes” to the promised life!  And for that, they are to be commended. 

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*Please join me in a round of congratulations to Second Baptist Church Southwest’s Angelic Choir for being this year’s 4th Junior Hottywood Writer(s) of the Month and the first church [choir] ever to be chosen for this rewarding title! 

-Hottywood

Second Baptist Church SW Angelic Choir, Washington DC