Monthly Archives: November 2013

My ThanksGiving Reflections

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By: Davida Grant

For me, Thanksgiving is a day of reflection on the past year and all the blessings and favor bestowed on me and my family. I am thankful for so many things, big and small, that I can’t possibly name them all here. These are just a few that warm my heart.

My husband: Every year with him gets better. He loves me just as I am, all my curves and edges, all my perfect imperfections (courtesy of John Legend). He’s my friend, road dog, confidant, lover and much more. I couldn’t ask for a better mate.

My daughter, Simone: Simone is my miracle from God. She has taught me the true meaning of love, faith and perseverance.

My son, Grant: Grant teaches me just how infinite love is. I didn’t think I’d have room to love another after Simone, but my heart just expanded and continues to daily. Love that boy!!!!

My amazing mother, Gloria: To have a mother and best friend in one person is nothing short of amazing. She’s had such a challenging year, but remains strong. She’s a fighter. I’m still learning from her.

My brothers: I was raised with my brother Matt. He always has my back. I trust that and it’s such a comfort. I recently connected with my brother Anthony, and he is such a blessing in my life. He is so genuine and I love that about him.

My friends: I have ride-or-die friends who are there for me ALWAYS. They indulge my crazy musings!!! What would I do without them? Bario, Andrea, Sherri, Tracy, Tonya, Kim, Roz, Angela, Cledra, Charla, Pam and Nise – love you to pieces!!!!

My health: I’m am so blessed to be in great health.

My Lord, Jesus Christ: He is the Great I Am. I am nothing without him, something I continue to learn everyday. I am so thankful for all that He has done and will continue to do for me and mine, because I sure don’t deserve it. That’s love!

What are you thankful for? Please share.

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I Won’t Be an Outsider in my Kid’s World

By:  Davida Grant

Has a friend or acquaintance ever said something to you about child-rearing that made you say, “Wow, I never thought of it that way?”  That happened to me this morning.

My bestie and I were catching up and he shared that his 9-year old badgers him everyday for a cellphone.  We chatted about that and how difficult it is to be patient with our kids, especially when they want us to see things their way.  I  shared that this “patience” thing is more challenging than I could have ever imagined, and often sends me in a tailspin.  Baby girl will call my name a thousand times to tell me the same thing over and over again.  After about the 20th time, I’ve had it and I can sometimes be a bit snippy with her.  Case in point, on our way to school this morning, Simone pointed out every single pumpkin in sight.  Now, being the Fall season and all, every few houses had a pumpkin on the stoop.  Every 2 seconds, Simone alerted me to the fact that she saw another pumpkin, to which I had to offer some type of response immediately or she’d call my name incessantly.

I shared this with my bestie and he said, “why don’t you just join in. Pick out the pumpkins you see.  It could be fun and even more you’re no longer an outsider to her world, but a participant.”  This really struck a chord in me.  Yes I participate in many Simone-initiated activities, but never with the view of being “a part of her world.”  It’s more like, I’ll join in if I feel like it or if it the activity seems fun.  And if not, I simply sit back and watch her have fun in “her world.”  Today’s conversation highlighted that I have yet to fully grasp the notion that my day-to-day existence is no longer about me.  It’s really all about my kids.  I have to get better at seeing the world through their eyes, and making sure that I’m an active and consistent participant in “their world.”

I’m sort of excited to see if this new found perspective materially improves my patience.  If I consistently participate in “Simone’s world,” won’t our interaction diffuse the rising irritation and impatience I feel when she peppers me with questions or repeatedly tries to get my attention?  I suspect the answer is a resounding yes.  We’ll see.  

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There’s a Teacher in All of Us

Simone at SED

By:  Davida Grant

Simone’s preschool class is tackling the alphabet.   Baby girl already knows the ABC song, and can sing it with great feeling and enthusiasm.  If you point to an individual letter, there’s even a good chance she’ll get it right.  Truth is, she really doesn’t know most of the letters.  My baby has mastered the art of guessing.  I wonder who she takes that after.

I am a strong believer that parents should reinforce what their kids learn in school.  When Simone’s teacher advised that we should work with Simone on identifying lower case letters, I thought it would be a piece a cake.  I reasoned that Simone hadn’t mastered the skill because she didn’t have sufficient one-on-one time with her teachers.  Uhhhhhhh, not exactly.  I quickly surmised that it’s going to take a boat load of repetitious activity for Simone to learn her letters.  Oh how I long for the days when all I did was read Simone two books before bed. 

I was not prepared for the amount of work, or maybe I should say effort, involved in educating a child.  Simone and I will spend 30 minutes reviewing three letters.  We’ll go over and over and over them and when we finish, I’m convinced Simone has it. We celebrate with high fives, lots of “good jobs,” even a happy dance.  Then, literally five minutes later, I’ll ask her to identify one of the letters – say the letter c – and she’ll look at it and say, “I don’t know.”  How do teachers do it day in and day out with 20+ preschoolers, all at different stages of pre-literacy development?   God bless them!!!  I now know without a shadow of doubt that “teaching” academics is not part of my skill set.  It does not come naturally and it really is a bear.  If I could find a way to completely hand this off to my hubby, who by the way often conveniently disappears from the room when Simone and I begin an alphabet “teaching” session, I most certainly would. He thinks he’s slick.

On a serious note, as I reflected on this particular journey with Simone, I started thinking about all the things I am good at in terms of “teaching.”  I teach baby girl how to be courteous.  I teach her what it means to be a lady.  I teach her what it means to be beautiful, inside and out.  I teach her how to show love.  I teach her how a wife should treat her husband.  So, even though I may struggle with “teaching” her academics, I excel (yep, I am tooting my own horn) at “teaching” baby girl so many others things, things that are equally important to her growth and development.   I’m happy to say that I too wear the moniker “teacher” and Simone is and always will be my star pupil.  

Oh, and as far as continuing to do my part to reinforce Simone’s academic learning at home, in the words of Olivia Pope, “It’s handled.” 

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My Monday Funny

Friday Morning

Me:  Babe, can you make sure you get Grant’s animal pacifier when you pick him up from daycare?

Husband:  Okay.  Where is it?

Me:  It should be in one of his cubbies.

Husband:  Okay.

Friday Evening

Me:  Babe, where’s his pacifier?

Husband:  I looked in both of his cubbies and I couldn’t find it anywhere.

Me:  Did you ask one the ladies in the room where it was?

Husband:  You didn’t tell me to do that.

Me:  **blank stare**

I love that man!

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Report Cards are in. Why was I so nervous?

Simone at school

By:  Davida Grant

My preschooler, Simone, got her first report card this week, or rather I should say the hubby and I got it.  I was a bundle of nerves before the parent-teacher meeting.  I really want baby girl to do well and being the overachiever, straight-A student I was, I was fearful that I would not respond well if Simone’s teacher gave her less than favorable or even mediocre scores.  I know this sounds a little crazy because she’s only three, but hear me out.  Simone had serious medical issues her first year of life which impaired her ability to verbally express any sound until she was 1-years old.  Since then, she’s been in speech therapy classes (thanks Stacey Raina, a Brookland area DC mom) and at home, we’ve put a lot of effort into developing her pre-literacy skills.  We apprised her teachers of her issues and Simone has been consistently working with a school speech therapist.  Her communication skills have improved dramatically.  While I would expect Simone’s report card to take into account her communication issues, those issues should not be used against her.  I’m not having that, PERIOD. Simone, from a cognitive perspective, is on track (she’s had multiple tests in this area) so I fully expect the majority of her scores to reflect that she is on target.

The hairs on my arms (nope, I don’t wax those) were literally standing at attention when I sat down for the meeting.  I braced myself as her teachers (she has two) slid over the white envelope containing her report card.  You could hear a pin drop.  WHY WEREN’T THEY TALKING!  As I opened it, the sound of my heartbeat was pounding in my ears.  I know this sounds overly dramatic, but it’s the truth.  My hubby stared at me, not knowing which Vida Marie he’d see if I didn’t like those scores.  I know he was silently praying, Lord please let Simone’s scores be good AND Lord, please don’t let my wife embarrass me.  I marvel at how that man deals with me, but I digress.  I quickly glanced at the report card, focusing on her scores.  I took a deep breath, and the meeting began.

Her scores were a mixed bag.  She scored “on target” ( a 3 out of 5 rating) in most areas (YAY), but received a “1” and a “2” in a few.  As her teachers explained the “low” scores, I did my best to remain calm and focused.  After all, the purpose of the meeting was to identify any areas of concern and that’s valuable.  So, how did I do?  Well, surprisingly I took it in stride.  My hubby was so impressed with me!!!!  He was positive I was going to grill them. Thinking back on it, there was something about her primary teacher’s demeanor.  It was soothing.  Somehow, she made me feel like everything was okay.  I say hats off to her because I know I can be a piece of work, especially when it comes to my babies.  I heard and more importantly I received her message.  Simone is generally on track and only needs a little more help in a couple areas.  We agreed that there were additional steps the hubby and I could take at home to reinforce the classroom learning, and they agreed to apprise us on a fairly routine basis regarding her progress.  That’s a win-win for everybody. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

How was your child’s first report card?  Feel free to brag.  I love celebrating excellence.

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