Discipline and Reprimanding (Redone)

Ok first of all, I would like to apologize.  It was’t until Friday night that I realized this post did not go through for some reason.  While I don’t remember everything I wrote, I will try my best to do so from memory as much as possible.

My six year old nephew is a smart kid.  A really smart kid.  He was tested to be skipped and aced a test that was the equivalent to one you’d take upon completing first grade and can currently read at almost a third grade level.  With such brilliance there is a downside: boredom.  Boredom leads to  getting in trouble and no stimulus too late can lead to being extremely lackadaisical.

How do I know? twenty years ago that was me.  In the most humble way I mean that I was that smart kid who was bored out of his mind and  pretty much talked all through grade school.  By the time middle and high school came around I breezed my way to honor roll without doing homework because I didn’t need it.  However, that not handing in homework had adverse effects on my grades which eventually cost me getting a free ride through college.  A mortgage of student loans later, I wish I’d done that homework.

The other day my nephew came to me while doing his homework and asked me what is a proper noun.  I said to him “You should know.  Didn’t you do that in class?”  He looked at me and said “No.”  I looked at him and said “Look, no teacher in first grade is going to assign something for homework that they did not do in class.  What were you doing during writing class that you did not catch that?”  He started rolling his eyes in his head as he does when he starts to lie.  I said “Don’t even go there.”  I knew he learned it in class because he was able to explain to me what a common noun.

As I was reprimanding him he kept looking around and fidgeting.  I pointed out to him that doing all of that is how you miss out.  I asked him  “What do you do when someone is talking to you?” He answered “Look them in the eye.”  I said “Good.  Now you’re going to figure this out without me telling you what a proper noun is.  Let’s use this as a sentence: Courtney is in trouble for not fooling around in class.  What are the common and proper nouns in that sentence?”

He answered that class was the common noun and fooling was the common.  I answered “False! Fooling is a verb.  Try again.”  He stopped and thought about it and said that Courtney is the proper noun.  I asked “Why?”  He couldn’t answer.  I asked “What are the three things that are proper nouns that everyone learns?”  He couldn’t answer.  I then asked what is the difference between Courtney and class?”  He answered that “Courntey is a name.”  I said “Right!  A proper noun is a person, place, or thing and is almost always capitalized.  I gave him examples of different words and asked which were proper and common nouns.  At the same time I explained to him what common meant.  Those words were common nouns because they are used commonly which meant a lot.  I then had him give me a bunch on his own which he did on his own and then proceeded to do his homework.  Before he went back upstairs, I said “You see how if you had paid attention that would have saved you of going through this for twenty minutes?”  He said “Yes.”

As a parent your second major job is to save kids from themselves.  It’s the same thing my parents did for me in telling me about my uncle and that being too smart for your own good could be your downfall.  My uncle was that brilliant kid who without studying got like a 1570 on the SAT’s.  He wound up getting into lots of trouble and never finished college and is the prime example of cautionary tale.  I know I’m going to have to do this over and over again with him, but hopefully he got something from this conversation much more than what is a common noun.


The Waking Up Too Early Struggle

Hours of fighting and she woke up as soon as I moved.

Since birth, Cydney has made her own plans. She forced herself to be born on Valentine’s Day (I’m convinced) just making it at 11:25 PM. She takes naps when she feels like and goes to bed in the same fashion as well. For the last few days Cydney has been getting up around 7:45 AM. You would think that’s a good thing, right? No.

It’s not a good thing because I get up at 6. Go for a quick two mile run and do most of my work before 11/11:30 AM. I let her go to bed around 12 since she doesn’t take a nap. It has been strategic and worked like gangbusters. Until a few days ago. Well, she wakes up startled out of her sleep bawling. I think what happens is she rolls over and doesn’t feel me in the bed.

She gets out of bed yelling and then walks downstairs looking for me. As soon as she finds me she really starts hollering and wants to be held. When she gets into my arms, she screams until she passes out. I try to continue working with her in my arms for a good fifteen minutes. As soon as I lay her down its as if she never went to sleep. This goes on between 7:45 until 11 like clockwork and then she’s up for the day. Now mind you, she still refuses to take a nap.

I’m concerned because I want her to get adequate sleep. I also am a couple days behind schedule now as well. Eventually I’ll get it together. The funny thing is when she’s actually sleep for the night she doesn’t lay on me or anything which makes it off putting. I think she feels like she’s missing something in the morning. While it may be a setback I know this won’t be this way forever. As I say that I am crossing my fingers that right now she stays asleep another three hours.

A Post About Relationships

Normally Wednesdays are dedicated to the struggle and I definitely have one but I will share that tomorrow.

This last week, I’ve had the same conversation twice in very different contexts but it came down to the same thing: someone adding value to you life in the context to being with a person long term and with someone you’re just starting to talk to and get to know.

In the first conversation it was about whether or not adding value to someone means actually making one better.  While it can possibly be a catalyst its ultimately your decision on whether or not you aspire to be great.  Adding value is a fluid concept.  It could be they just make you happy to you’ve learned a few tricks in the boudoir.  The second conversation was yesterday and I was asked about my parameters when it comes to dating.  I was asked whether or not do I assess whether or not something is worth pursuing based on whether or not they add value to my life and whether or not they could make me a better person or not.

It wasn’t until this morning that while I had answers to both conversations what my answer to all of that is.  Cydney woke up early this morning and was bawling her eyes out and would not fall asleep unless it was in my arms.  When she eventually went back to sleep, I thought about it.  Cydney doesn’t necessarily add anything to my life right now.  She’s a toddler and all she does is take.  She’s inspired me to do much more than I’ve done before.  But she makes my life worth living because being with my little girl makes me happy.

As I thought about Cydney it made me think of her mother and my five years together.  Lord knows we’ve had some good, bad, and volatile times (BOY could I tell some stories).  If you’ve got married those vows you take are the blueprint.  I feel like with my recent life experiences I’ve self actualized pretty young.

 I told my friend from the second conversation this morning that after having a day to think about it in context to relationships I find myself having more in common with my grandmothers who have both lost their husbands than people my age.  Losing a partner makes you see things differently. While most people my age in their mid and late twenties are looking for who and how someone ass value to their life, how you all can grow, and take on the world as a whole, I’ve found myself more concerned about just having good company.  Now that who I thought was my life partner is gone, I don’t think about wow, she made me a very good person, how she made me grow, or any of that.  I think about what a good time we had together.  All of the adverse things that made the lows we went through just a little easier as well as the days when we wanted to give up keep going because you want to continue having good times with that person.  Since I am still young and there is much room for improvement, someone who can keep you on your toes is still important it comes second as of now.

I told my friend who is a newlywed that those vows they’ve taken can become are all about holding on through the best and the worst of times.  However, the most important part which isn’t addressed is being good company.  Being that makes all adversities not so bad.  Plus you’ll always want to improve to make them so that you two can continue to be great company to each other.


Mommy’s Lullabies


That’s my baby,
That’s my honey,
That’s my ladybug,
That’s my darling,
That’s my lovey,
What’s her name?

February 15, 2011 I woke up from a few hours of sleep excited. I received a text message from my fiance in the hospital that said “Good morning, Dad.” What a high. I responded “Good morning, Mommy.” She told me they brought Cydney in from the nursery. I knew she was excited as I was getting dressed to head right up to the hospital.

I remember putting on a pink Polo button down shirt for my little girl and she said “Guess what? I made up a song for Cydney!” She sent me those lyrics that I typed. I smiled and thought it was adorable and my girl being a mom really sunk in right then. As a musician I loved it. I always used to ask her to help out with a song lyric or two because she wrote poetry. She only did maybe a couple of times. She was a singer as well but only sang for me once and that was at the very beginning of our relationship. In person that day I got to hear it live. When they came home from the hospital I made a recording of me playing it on piano for them as a welcome home.

My pink shirt on 2/15/11

Around July when we were neck deep into her cancer treatments I caught a moment on video. I remember thinking as I filmed it this is a sweet moment and if she were to pass away this video I would show Cydney growing up letting her know her mother loved her dearly and here’s where you can see it and know she’s always watching her. When she passed I had the video on her laptop and couldn’t find the charger for months so I never watched it.

That March, I found the charger the day my mother had her tumor removed from her own cancer battle. As my mom was actually in surgery and I was waiting I found the video. I was waiting in a room for surgery like I had done many times in that last year and it felt surreal. As I watched the video I began to well up a little bit. I was missing her and my little girl I hadn’t seen in four months at that time. That was the only time I had teared up about my fiance since she died. I mean that, too.

Since I’ve had Cydney back she’s had plenty of sleepless nights. Many times I’ve felt the urge to sing that song but just couldn’t. It would be sitting in My chest and I just could not utter it. I’d sing it in my head and would always confuse the words a little bit. This morning, Cydney woke up startled and would not go back to sleep. After trying for a good forty-five minutes. I said “Here goes nothing” and sang it to Cydney. She calmed down immediately. As soon as I sang it the words just how she wrote them came back to me. I didn’t get overwhelmed with emotion as I sang it but felt peace like doing that was really the last thing I needed to do to say goodbye and really continue to move on from my love that was no longer with me.

Of course she woke up and continued to holler for another two hours. But at least we had that moment.

The Last Chapter: Back in New York





After everything that had happened with the melee in Virginia, I had began plotting my way out of there for a few weeks.  I had begun speaking to my friends who lived in the DC Metro area about trying to find government positions and somewhere with great benefits.  I had started the same thing in New York as well trying to become either a teacher or a cop (neither things I wanted to do, but its all about making things happen).

I got back to New York November 20.  It was a Sunday and while I was in the foulest of foul moods I didn’t feel that way by the time I touched down.  I had quite a peace about it and knew that it was time to start planning and making my next moves to get my family back with me knowing that my fiance would understand.  I knew that even if her parents lied and told her that I abandoned her and Cydney in her right mind she would find me and contact me somehow.  However, knowing how her family was they were going to control everything.  She’d have no access to her phone, it would be off, and she could not get to a computer as well to email me.  Once again, knowing how they would be playing their next couple of moves, I called every two or three days; I left voicemails, corresponded with emails as well.  I knew that was needed because if it ever came down to having to go to court my paper trail had to be immaculate and consistent.  If I called one time and they said she never wants to talk to me again and sent me a video of her saying “Chad, I hate you” I still would be making phone calls.

In an effort to have something right away, I took a class to become a security guard.  It wound up being a longer process because my driver’s license was a Georgia one still.  While waiting for everything to clear (unpaid parking tickets in the Peach State) all I could do was just chill and continue to get everything else together.  I began to contact my legal beagles about what did I need to do.  I was wary of wanting to pull any legal triggers because it would require 1) Suing my fiance and that would have made me look like an asshole and 2) In the back of my mind, if she came out of this I didn’t want the damage to be permanent.  I spoke to a judge or two that I knew as well as a lawyer and they told me that my best bet was to do everything in Virginia. That was fine because it would give me time to build up my case and have a trail that was irrefutable.  Once again, all I had to do was wait a good month to have my ducks in a surgically precise row.

I remember one time talking with my sister about everything that was going on.  She said that she noticed how that when I talked about getting a job with said benefits how my wording had evolved.  It went from getting a job to take care of Cydney and my fiance to just taking care of Cydney.  She said that it was very interesting how that had changed.  I didn’t notice it until she pointed it out.  It made me realize unconsciously I knew it was the end.  I kept replaying that last time I saw her.  She was eighty-something pounds, looked weak and tired, her teeth slightly eroding from throwing up all the time, and I then started playing in my head over and over again her saying “No two weeks.”

When she said “No two weeks” it made me think of my grandfather who had died of cancer when I was fifteen. I was at the house the night he died.  When I saw him he looked GREAT compared to how he had been looking.  I asked him how was he doing.  He was staring out of his window in his easy chair.  He turned around and responded with the most serious face that almost spooked me and said “Chad, I don’t feel well, but I’m doing better than I have for a long time.”  When it was bed time I tucked his feet in the bed because he had trouble with that and said good night.  He had such a look of peace when he said it.  He died in his sleep that morning.  Remembering that moment from eleven years earlier once I looked back I knew exactly what it was and just knew from that moment on I’d never see her again.

The Weekend In Pictures: Thanksgiving and Birthday Edition

My birthday was thanksgiving this year. Due to all of the craziness last year, this was my first birthday with my daughter which made it extra special.

Watching the parade
Traffic heading towards Long Island on Thanksgiving
Cydney trying to help
Me n my twin
The table
Getting a little fresh air
On the court
She tries to handle the ball
The boys tried to huddle up and plot against my friend Tre and I.
Cydney trying to help fold clothes
My card from my baby
Her signature

Thankful That 26 Is Over

5, 16, 22, 27… These are the ages I’ve turned when my birthday was on Thanksgiving. It’s pretty cool because every few years all of the family is together on your day and you are guaranteed the best dinner of the year. I don’t try to take advantage so generally, I only make one request: ribs.

I was born and raised in New York, but I’ve only been to the Thanksgiving Parade once. We went on my sister and my fifth birthday. However, we were so late that we only saw Santa Claus and that was from a distance. Just thought I’d share that quick little anecdote.

I’m not one of those “What I’ve been thankful for” people on Thanksgiving because I feel that should be everyday. What I am thankful for is that 26 is over! It was a pretty rough and trying year. Between my fiance, getting Cydney back, my mother and many other years it has been beyond trying. There have been plenty of great moments as well. Most of those being many people who have come from virtually out of nowhere or the past who have added something and I hope I have to them as well.

I’m glad that this Thanksgiving I have my little girl back with me. It’s my first one with her and there will be a picture of her in her outfit as well. Last year this time I had to wonder how she and her mother were doing while seeing nonsense on Facebook written about me being a deadbeat dad. Oh well.

To everyone still traveling have a great day. To everyone else enjoy your day, loved ones, and meals!

The Uncle Chad Struggle

Today’s post will be on the short side for those who are traveling today and its late.

Now, there is nothing I enjoy more in the world than being called “Daddy” with eyes that light up like nothing else. You wait a good year and change for them to talk and a little longer to get from Dada to Daddy. It could warm up the Grinch’s heart at the beginning of the movie. As Dada became Da-yee and has become Daddy, I am now Uncle Chad.

Of course my nephew calls me Uncle Chad. Every once in a blue she would as well but only in context when he’s around. As of last week its become more frequent to all the time. Of course everyone finds it funny and encourages it. But hey, I worked hard for Daddy thank you!  When she’s yelling for me its “Uncle Chaaad!”

I try to correct her when she calls me Uncle Chad. I said “No, Daddy!” She replies “Uncle Chad!” Ugh! I know its a phase and it will pass but I like Daddy. As I’m writing this, Cydney is playing with toys and saying Daddy and then calls for my attention yelling “Uncle Chaad!”


As Promised: Cydney Performs Cosign

Yesterday morning I made a post on Twitter saying that if the blog reaches 3,000 views I would post a video of Cydney performing one of her favorite songs, SWV’s “Cosign” when I wrote that we were at about 2,950 views. As of 10:14 AM, the number is 3,190. As a man of my word here we go. I will say that during the chorus when Cydney sways from side to side that is her trying to do the whop for all of my 80’s rap and r&b enthusiasts. She usually hams it up when its just the two of us but she got a little shy with an audience. Ladies and Gentlemen, Cosign:

When we hit 4,000 views I promise a video of Cydney performing Jeffrey Osborne’s “You Should Be Mine (The Woo Woo Song,” her absolute favorite.

The Last Chapter: The Goodbye That Never Happened

First: for those who are new to the story here are the first three parts to the story.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Second: In no way is any of this an exaggeration. This is EXACTLY what happened. With that said, here we go.

I last left off stating that things had got very ugly. Reluctantly I called my mother telling her what happened. It was Monday morning and I needed to wait until Thursday for my father to come back to the States to inform him. I called him that night and told him everything that happened. My father is a very reserved and laid back person. Even more than I am. As I told him what was going on he got real upset. Knowing my father I could tell he was trying to hold it together and show he wasn’t as angry as he really was. He just said “I’ll be there Saturday.” After working out the logistics and one argument later between my parents and I on the phone, they said they would be in town Saturday afternoon. All I had to do was hold on.

By Saturday afternoon I was trying to just keep calm and just know it was going to be just fine. I remember listening to Thelonious Monk’s Greatest Hits and trying to get a few of my things together. My parents came into the apartment and the first thing my father said was “We need to listen to something else!” He saw that at one point I was listening to Mase’s first album. He said “We need to put that Harlem World on!” He was being funny but he meant it. I chuckled and put it on. My older brother Barry just called to ask how everything was going. I told him my parents were over and we were getting ready for what was coming up next. My parents told him thanks for all of his being there and helping.

We packed up almost all of my stuff but left enough things in the house to prove I still lived there. We took Cydney’s things because I planned on taking her with me for a little bit. After packing up we made a videos of the house and its condition just in case my finance’s parents tried to say I wrecked the house.

We then went to the Hampton police department saying that just in case we may need backup because it could get hostile. Being that Virginia is a commonwealth state it has its own backward laws and policies. The police told us that they don’t get involved with civil cases but it was good I stopped by because at least there is a record of me coming by and talking to the police. As I was telling the detective the story he said that this was unfortunate and with a real look of concern said he really wish he could do something. He also told me that it was good that I left valuables in the apartment because I had established residency and that what they did was an illegal eviction. He also said it was smart of me to make a copy of the key because until they hand in paperwork and give me thirty days I was good and free to come in and out as I pleased. I also kept a spare copy of the car key in case the parentals wanted to say I did something to the car. Being the person I am I returned it washed and with gas in it as well.

We left the apartment and went to eat. We prayed that everything be alright with as little conflict as possible. Then it was time to make moves.

We came by the house unannounced saying that my parents came to see my fiance and Cydney. We came in the house and my fiance was there on the couch. I gave her a kiss on her forehead and they said they would bring Cydney out. They took twenty minutes to bring her out. As soon as Cydney saw me she lit up. There was no denying how much my little girl loved me. There was the awkward silence as we all sat there. My fiance’s father said “How’s the job search going?” It was halfway assholeish how he said it. I answered its going fine and I’m waiting for my references to clear. They were looking at us holding Cydney like we were going to do something. I felt that with her father’s track record he had no right to do so. My father had a look on his face and saw there was a vibe he wasn’t feeling. He said real quietly to her father “Can we go talk in the back.” They went into the back and talked.

To keep things light my mother had taken her hat off to show my fiance that from chemo her hair was all gone. My fiance smiled and they talked for a little bit about how much of a bitch chemo is. It was endearing to see that. My fiance was herself at the time. She hadn’t hit her morphine pump just yet so she was coherent. I sat next to her and held Cydney. Her mother and mine had went into the back to find out what was going on. My finance flashed a big grin seeing me holding Cydney and her being there. I will never forget that moment. It was literally the Last moment we had as the three of us being a family. Her brother who was sitting on the other couch asked if he could hold Cydney. I handed her over and just talked with my girl. I told her I was going to New York for a moment and was going to take Cydney for a week or two. She said very faint “No two weeks.” Looking back she knew she wasn’t going to be around much longer. Matter of fact, when I asked my mother was still out there with us.

I told my finance I’m going to get a bootleg copy od the new Twilight movie so we could watch it when I got back. She said ok. The morphine button had been pressed and she started to be out of it. Her mother came out mumbling something to me. All I heard under her breath was “motherfucker.” I said “What?” She said “Watch how you talk to me or I will kick you out!” I said “I just asked what did you say.” She went into the back and then my parents called me back there. I was getting blamed for EVERYTHING! They said, well my mother in law said “And HE did _____, and HE did ____.” pointing at me and my parents were getting a little Fed up with the level of disrespect going on towards me. They said I always came to their house high (false) and that I had my fiance getting high smoking weed because and that it causes cancer. Well, what happened was she wanted it to help her eat. My mother said that she’s been told by many people to do so during her process she was going through. They said that I had been being a loaf in Buffalo and wasn’t helping her aunt that we were staying with (false) and that my money was going into my weed habit (false). My mother looked at them and said “He’s only 25, what you can say to intimidate him doesn’t work on us. We’re in our fifties and are older than yall.”

The patriarch said “Alright, what are you trying to accomplish here.” I told them I’m taking Cydney with me for a little bit and my finance had just said yeah.” Her mother ran out the room screaming “They’re taking the baby!” and called the cops. My parents said go ahead and that we had just left there so whatever. They asked for the key to the apartment. My father said “You know he doesn’t have to so this and that this was an illegal eviction. They said no it wasn’t and they were then informed of the law. The patriarch said well, if you want to play it that way we can.

He then said “No, you’re not taking Cydney. She is in OUR custody. She has a doctor’s appointment Monday.” And he said “We have no problem with you taking Cydney once your name is on the birth certificate.” My parents asked “So you don’t think he’s the father?” Very smug he said “Well, if she says he is then I believe her.” I was insulted by the innuendo behind that about my girl. I was still in trying to mend things for the sake of my family so I didn’t say anything insulting like I wanted to.

The police had shown up and asked what was going on. I told them the circumstances and who we had spoken to before we got there. They said that they will ask my fiance and determine how coherent she was. She acknowledged that I was the father but being how out of it this time around she said no because of how much pressure she was being put under. Well, there was nothing for me to do but go back to New York and get ready to do this the legal way which I was reluctant to do. My mother said to my finance keep your phone by you so we could stay in contact. I told her “Especially Tuesday” because my birthday was the 22nd. I gave her a kiss on the forehead and said “I’ll be back soon.” I told her “I love you” and she said “I love you too.” On my way out I tripped over her feeding tube and it hurt her. She yelled in agony and her mother started getting dramatic and falling into arms like she had just died. I said I’m done! I walked out and left. My parents were there still trying to say goodbye.

As I walked down the street the cops drove by and said they were looking for me. I told them I was alright and they’ll find me. They did. We went to our hotel and I said I need to walk around and calm down. They said not tonight because if anything happens tonight they’re going to say I killed my fiance. So they tries to calm me down by watching some comedies on Netflix. I was upset at how everything had gone down.

As upset as I was and was planning my next steps I was relived my patents were there. I learned that no matter how bad things are as a parent you always have your kid’s back. I vowed I would do that from Cydney and that no matter what it took. It was time to get busy.

Nonetheless there was no goodbye. There was no anything else other than that. As many times as I called, left messages, and emails we never spoke again. They turned her phone off. I knew they were going to do that by the look in their eyes when we said we will be in touch.