Friday, August 27, 2010

Strategic Parenting Plan

I have been in strategic planning mode for work.  The African American Studies program is in the process of proposing a major and doing other (hopefully!) exciting things and that has necessitated a writing out a deliberate plan of action.  Apparently I talk about this strategic plan a lot because here is a conversation Brian and I had this morning after dropping children off at school.  But first the back story:

Last night, after being asked repeatedly if she'd done all her homework, Frances decided at 8:00, her school night bed time, that she had to redraw a picture of Abraham Lincoln.  She had drawn Lincoln at Gettysburg (complete with RIP headstones in the background as he delivered his speech), but decided she wanted to draw him getting shot at Ford's Theater (she ultimately drew a picture of John Wilkes Booth with a gun in his outstretched hand chasing Lincoln across the theater).  She spent an hour whining and groaning in her room because she couldn't get the picture right and she was tired and just wanted to go to sleep.  I was deeply annoyed.  And then this morning she informs us at 6:45, when none of us are dressed or fed, that she wants to get to school by 7:30.  She normally gets to school at 7:45 and with advanced notice can get to school at 7:30, but of course there was no advanced notice and so she got to school at 7:45.  She grumped away from the car, letting her pout indicate her extreme disappointment in my parenting. 

And Cate decided to wear flip flops to school today (because you need to wear open toed shoes with dresses), despite the fact that the new rule at her school is no open toed shoes on the playground.  A huge fight ensued, with Cate insisting that she couldn't possibly where sneakers with a pretty dress and ending with flip flops on her feet and sneakers in my hand. And remember that this is happening while Frances is pacing up and down upset because she wants to get to school at 7:30.  When we got to Cate's school her teacher saw the sneakers in my hand and said it was great that Cate would have an extra pair of shoes to change in to when she played outside.  Very happily Cate replied, "Yeah! That's a great plan!"

It was a challenging parent morning.  And so here's the conversation:

Brian:  I'm going to email you and schedule an appointment.

Conseula:  For sex?  Why are you always talking about sex?

Brian: No not for sex.  We need to write a strategic plan.

Conseula: A strategic plan for what?

Brian: A strategic parenting plan.  The mission will be "preventing Consie from strangling children through a deliberate program of equitable co-parenting."

Thankfully for all of us Brian continues to stick around.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Insert Snappy Title Here

I've been inspired by this post over at She Writes.  In it Kamy Wicoff discusses the five ways blogging has helped her writing.  Most useful for me in that post was the reminder that blogging is a useful way to exercise the writing muscles on a regular basis.  There's something to be said for forcing yourself to sit down and churn 500 or so intelligent and intelligible words about whatever happens to be on your mind at the moment.  Plus, people keep asking me when I'll post something again and it seems so lame to say that I'm just too lazy tired to actually write anything other than a syllabus.

But what to write is the question, isn't it?  Going back to the reason I started this blog in the first place is a good place to start.  I felt and still feel that there are too few afrogeekmoms speaking their truth in the world.  I'm convinced our numbers are legion (surely there's nothing special about my love of comic books and Star Trek and the Jonas Brothers [I totally blame that one on my children] or about my blackness), yet too few of us speak up and demand to be counted.  And so here I am to be counted.

I'll try to post regularly about things that are foremost in my mind lately:

(1) Our oldest kid is going to middle school next year and our youngest is starting kindegarten.  That means, for those of you doing the math, that Brian and I will spend this fall touring and applying to tons of schools.  In a perfect world, buckets of money would fall from the sky so that we could send Cate to a Montessori school and Frances to an all-girls prep school.  But since I decided being an English professor at a public university was a good career move, that seems unlikely to happen.  The entire process, which I haven't even begun yet, makes me want to crawl in a hole and cry. 

(2) I am working on a project (the shape of which has yet to be determined) on contemporary African American romance and erotica.  I'm currently writing an article on two Zane novels and trying to figure out why no one has written a book on African American romance in film (if I'm wrong about that, please please tell me).  I have many thoughts on black women and sexuality and depictions of black love that will probably never find their way into a book or article.  I should share them here.

(3) There should be more geeky stuff in a blog that features the word geek so prominently in its title.  I'll try to fix that problem with tales of my geeky adventures.  For instance, last weekend I watched, for the very first time ever, an entire episode of the original Star Trek (several episodes actually).  I alternated between unadulterated giddiness at the sheer greatness of the storytelling (why didn't anyone tell me how great original Trek is?) and utter horror at the incredible, unapoolgetic sexism (have you seen "Who Mourns for Adonais?" and don't get me started on Uhura's outfits).

Stay tuned.