Little Bill

I have been sitting on this one for a while now but a recent conversation with my sister brought the topic back up.

Recently my sister was trying to recruit me or mainly my wife to join her in an old school Slow Jam/R&B night out. While talking we all wondered if they would be playing any R. Kelly songs. The discussion continued, one thing led to another and we got on Cosby.

Obviously this subject is full of landmines and attempting to discuss the pros and cons of the Cosby legacy should be left to the professionals. (Ie, See Dave Chappelle Netflix special)

So here I am diving into the hot lava.

To start I am not here to discuss guilt, trial, fairness of sentence vis-à-vis other celebrities etc. Guilty is guilty just because someone else gets away with something doesn’t mean he should.

I am only here to talk about consumption of the art, in this case the multiple television shows that a lot of us in the black community grew up on; The Cosby Show, A Different world, Fat Albert and the big one in our home “Little Bill.”

The wife and I have had many discussions about this over the last year and we tend to be on the same page on this issue. We eventually came to realize that we consider Cosby and Mr. Huxtable as two separate people. The person, that is flawed and obviously an awful human being who used his power to take advantage of many. The other, a perfectly created fictional character that helped influence the black perspective for multiple generations of black people all-over the world.

Our kids watch “Little Bill” and they love it. A show where my son gets to see someone just like him. A kid who reads, imagines and loves to go camping in the backyard. A chance to see himself in a television show or cartoon is rare for a child of color and that is important enough to us that we continue to watch it in our home.

I know, I know there are other shows out there with black representation and we have tried. Doc McStuffins, Motown Magic, whatever the spinoff of Home is. They just didn’t stick believe me my wife tried.

The truth is our kids don’t know who Bill Cosby is but they do know little Bill the fictional character.

I struggle to deny the positive representation this fictional family provides for my real family. Our community already lacks tv shows of that caliber and removing it from our lineup is not something I am prepared to do.

The question we should ask our selves is: “why is it that a show that was produced from (1999 to 2004 ) remains one of the best and few kids show for black children to see themselve as the main characters?”

Until I find a show that equally represents my son the way Little Bill has, Little Bill shall remain in our tv lineup.

Pierre.

Ps: suggestions are welcomed.

Daddy’s Princess 👸🏾

I get it now and Tomorrow I’ll get it even more and even more the next day and so on.

I get it when they said “Daddy’s Girl”.

She turns 3 this month and already has me wrapped around her fingers. I know it, I am aware of it and cant help it.

The other day she caught me staring at her and ran to give me a hug. I said “Je t’aime Norah” and she answered “Je t’aime Papi” I said “tu es belle” and she said “Oui comme une princesse”.

Later that day as I replayed that moment in my head I realised that I need to make a conscious effort to reinforce all her qualities. She is Smart! Clever! Sassy! Fearless! Extremely Autonomous! (I could go on)

In a world full of social outrage and gillette commercials about boys and toxic masculinity we often overlook how we project on our daughters.

My daughter is beautiful YES ! She loves princesses and loves to dress up GREAT! But that is not all she is and it is one of my MANY DUTIES as her father to make sure she knows that. Yes Mom tells her that all the time but it also needs to come from Dad.

So to my fellow fathers out there remember your princess is Smart, Outgoing, Fearless, Intelligent, Bright Sassy… You get the point.

Pierre

Only Five!

A few weeks ago my wife had a wedding to attend in Washington DC. This meant she would be gone for five days and I was looking forward to a few days with just me and the kids. A Perfect chance to show off my daddy daycare skills (so I thought??)

That was until I realised everyone I could turn to would be out of the country or out of reach at the same time. Mom and Dad in Cuba, Wife and In-laws in DC, Sisters in Ottawa and Morocco.(hmm what were the odds?) Regardless I was confident and thought piece of cake, boy was I wrong.

A typical day in our home consists of getting woken up early by Norah asking for cereal, then dragging Benjamin out of bed and encouraging him to eat breakfast. Followed by getting everyone dressed and ready to be out of the door in time for daycare and off to work.

Eight hours later pickup, swimming lessons or kumon (depending on the day), preparing dinner, eating, cleaning dishes, playing with kids, bath time, reading time and the never ending battle of bed time. Man I am tired just typing this out.

My point is usually we are two to tackle this, day after day after day but, for five days it was just me. Once the kids were asleep I barely had the energy to workout, read, work or even watch tv to unwind.

I am writing this not as a complaint but as a Shout-Out to ALL parents and specially all the SINGLE parents out there. I tip my hat to you. I did what you do for only five days and could not imagine doing this alone on a full time basis. Whether you are struggling or killing it, keep going you got this.

Pierre-Richard Ducasse

TIME

A while back I went to a local bar with a friend for some drinks and the weirdest thing happen. Looking around at the demographic of the patrons, all I could think about was TIME.

The crowd was a mixture of mature to older folks. Singles, couples, friends, people looking for love, some celebrating love, some on date night, others drowning sorrows, but the thing that stood out to me the most was TIME. It know it may sound weird but that’s all I could think about.

I know we all say it “Time stands for no one” or “Father time is undefeated” but watching everyone it hit me; one day I will be this persons age or one day my son and daughter will be at a place like this having drinks as adults.

At first it made me sad to think that life all of a sudden seemed so short. But then a sense of happiness washed over me (and no it wasn’t the alcohol making its way to my bloodstream). I was happy because I felt that at this precise moment, I became aware of TIME in a way I never did before. It made me aware to appreciate the little things with kids and family and friends. Things that we often take for granted and that I am now conscious of and can truly appreciate. So if you are reading this remember be aware of how you spend your time.

Pierre-Richard Ducasse.

Do Not Forget Yourself.

In the words of Eric B. and Rakim: “It’s been a long time I shouldn’t have left you without  a strong “blog” to step to.”

What can I say I have been busy? tired? lazy? All of the above is probably more accurate.  Between kids activities, year-end with the job that pays the bills I guess I can say life got in the way.

However tonight something happen that got me back on track.

On my drive home from my Tuesday night basket-ball run, I did something I haven’t done in a while; I listened to music in my car, REALLY LOUD! and boy I miss this feeling.

Let me explain, I often drive with the kids in the car and for this reason I always have french children songs or french talk radio to reinforce the french in this anglophone world I live in. Out of habit I rarely change it when I am alone and if I do I listen to random podcasts (Sports, Ted-talks, Freakonomics you know really nerdy stuff)

But tonight, it was Big Boi, Kanye, Fugees, Drake, Eminem and Bustarhymes that helped me turn my 30 minute drive home into a 60 minute one. Songs I don’t listen to around the kids and man it felt good to do something I used to love doing.

Now do not get me wrong this is not a complaint about my life right now. This was just a reminder that sometimes as parents we need to think about ourselves and not forget that we exist as well.

I love my kids but I also spent 30 years on this earth before they showed up and during those 30 years there are things I love doing that I don’t do anymore or as often as I would like.

So tonight I was reminded by Hip-Hop that sometimes you have to remember to do the things you love!

Pierre

PS: Yes my playlist is outdated, and that’s the way I like it. No mumble rap for me !

 

A bit of everything!

Hello Everyone!

I have a bunch of short stories to share this week! I hope you enjoy them!

UTOPIA

I wanted to believe it existed…

A couple of weeks ago, Alexandra and I decided to have Sarah (8 months old) sleeping in her bedroom. The baby monitor and camera were all setup. We wanted her to get accustomed to her crib as early as possible. We didn’t want her to follow her older brother’s footsteps and declare our bed “HER BED” for years to come. Children are our HEIRS, it’s true…well, let just say I’ve watched all 7 seasons of Game of Thrones! It doesn’t always end well for the parents LOL.

So, for 2 nights in a row and for the first time in 4 years there were no children in our bed. Can you believe that? The Masters were finally free LOL. My wife and I are asking ourselves “could it be possible that we redeemed our freedom?”

We couldn’t believe it. A king size bedroom for the 2 of us! Life was so good until a virus hit the kids. Evidently, both kids ended up back in our bedroom so mommy could monitor their health. As far as daddy goes, he was willing to sacrifice his spot on the throne for a lesser bed in the guest room…it’s called the ultimate sacrifice LOL. My wife doesn’t see it that way however…that’s for another discussion!

Utopia, one day, I’ll find you!

I can but I can’t

A very short story, I must share with you guys. My son was around 3 years old. He was trying to tie his shoes with not much success. At that age, they are very proud. I offered my help, the conversation went like this:

-“Son, can daddy help you tie your shoes?”

-“No”

-“Can you tie your own shoes?”

-“No”

The moral of the story is I can but I can’t.

Mommy, you have one too!

My son Malik is 4 and he is always asking questions. One day while Alexandra was changing Sarah’s diaper he noticed she was missing a part…He asked his mom where was Sarah’s penis! I covered my head under the sheets, I wasn’t expecting that one. I figured his mom would deal with it better than me. Alexandra told him that girls don’t have one. My son’s response was “But Mommy, we all have one, daddy, me and you”

All kind of thoughts ran through my mind. What?!?! Gross!

End of story!

Learning to sleep

There are three things someone who has kids asks when you say you have a newborn son.
  1. How old is he?
  2. What’s his name?
And, I’ve come to realize that questions 1 and 2 are lead ups to the real question:

3. How Does He Sleep?

A lot of the planning for Elliots arrival involved quite a bit of research. As any parent knows (now I know), the main issue for new parents in one way or another was related to sleeping.
If you have been following each of our experiences. This holds true. I think it’s because it’s the first real thing he learns to do on his own.
After Elliot finally arrived, I was settling into parenthood quite nicely. I was sleeping well, the benefits of not having to breastfeed 👍🏾. There wasn’t much for me to do, other than making sure Kate had her nursing area stocked with water and what not.
Elliot got very comfortable being nursed to sleep.
After a few months of this, Kate was having a slighly different experience. I didn’t realize what we got ourselves into until one day Kate came downstairs and said, “I can’t do this anymore”. It was then that I realized she was going upstairs at 6 pm and was back downstairs at 8 or 9 p.m. after a marathon bedtime routine.
Yeah, I know, most of the time I’m on the ball with this husbandry thing, some of the time I’m clueless.

Sleeping. That’s Easy. Riiiite?

Some kind of sleep training had to start.
Let me start by saying Elliot comes from two parents who love their sleep… Dare I say “professional sleepers”. So what follows made no sense to either of us.
We read all the books, websites, MURMUR, FERBER, hold him to sleep, don’t hold him to sleep, stay in the room, don’t stay in the room, jump around and pat your belly… everything… none of it worked.

Seeking Professional Help, The Best Money I’ve Ever Spent

In life sometimes you realize that you can’t do it on your own and need help. We got a professional sleep trainer.
I was a little sceptical. What is this person going to do or tell us that we weren’t already been doing. But it was the best money I’ve ever spent. The sleep trainer gave us a structure to follow, we still refer to it today. And best off all, Kate and I don’t have to argue about what to do when he wakes up randomly at 2 a.m. and tensions are running high.
So now, Elliot is in bed by 7:30 p.m. (ish) and Kate and I are downstairs together watching TV amazed that the bedtime routine is only an hour long from bath to bed, no nursing and no tears. And he’s staying asleep until about 6am!
Don’t get too excited, we still have to re-sleep train him every time there is something that throws us off like a vacation, cold or new tooth. But now we have a system to follow that we’re all familiar with.
So now that we’ve got sleeping, sorted (yes I’m knocking on a lot of wood).
What else do I need to prepare for? The terrible twos aren’t really a thing, right?

Introduction : Derek

Hi my name is Derek Matthew, 38, (aah, I rarely write my age down). I’m a husband to my wonderful wife Kate and a father to my amazing son Elliot who is 20 months.

I’m a bit of a tech geek and have a secret love for The Forged in Fire tv show.

I hope that my (new) experiences as a father will be helpful to someone who is a father, or thinking of becoming one.

And it’s likely that I’ll have way more questions than I have answers…

First things first: At what point do you stop using Months? The maths are starting to get difficult.

Bedtime

Bedtime! Will it ever be the same again?

My son Malik is 4 now. He’s a funny kid and he has tons of energy! He is not a quiter! I’ll tell you more about it later.

Here is my story. As all parents do, we purchased a bassinet and a crib that we put in our bedroom. My son would end up spending more time in our bed than in his crib…at one point he would wake up as soon as we’d try to put him in his crib and he would start crying until we put him back in our bed.

Yes we did it

It is not recommended to sleep with a baby in your bed for obvious reasons but we had to do it. This is when I learned the statue position which is the most uncomfortable one to sleep in. The ONLY advantage about it is that you don’t roll over your baby during your sleep but you feel like crap when you wake up in the morning! Your entire body is aching!

I have a plan

When my son turned 2, we put his crib in his room and adjusted it for the toddler he had become. To make a long story short, he never slept there because we didn’t have the energy nor the patience to let him get used to his new environment, meaning he cried a lot and we wanted to sleep!

I have another plan

When he turned 3, I said that’s it! I am going to turn Kevin Hart (it’s on Netflix) on him: « HE’S GONNA LEARN TODAY… » to sleep in his own bed. Daddy and mommy can’t handle anymore the headbutts while sleeping. Seriously, I had at least one mild concussion LOL. My wife suffered a busted lip from a headbutt! This kid’s cranium is made of adamantium (any x-men fans?) and he recovers fast too 🙂

What now?

My son loves cars. Actually, it is an understatement! Cars are to him what bball is to me…Everything! :).

We bought him a Rolls Royce look alike bed thinking he would only want to sleep there. WRONG AGAIN! He would play there during the day but at night NO NO! Daddy and mommy’s bed is where he wants to be. Honestly, at this point I almost gave up. I had a second baby on the way and I was already envisioning the 4 of us in my bed for another couple of years…king size is big but it feels small, especially with a toddler sleeping in a perpendicular way and moving all the time!

My son eventually turned 4! I had one last trick I wanted to try before giving up on the idea of him sleeping in his bed. It was to setup a trap between his room and my room. The trap was ME sleeping on a mattress in the hallway. I would intercept him every single time he would try to leave his room…like I said at the beginning, he is not a quiter! At the end, I gave up after 10 days… daddy needed his sleep too!

4 months ago, I told him that my bed was too small for the 4 of us. I also added that it would prevent him from growing up properly and that he needed more room in order to grow and be as tall as daddy.

On top of that, I also told him that all his friends at daycare would be taller than him because they slept in their own bed. TADAM!!!! It worked!!!!!

However, there is still a third party in my bed…hope that trick works for girls too!!!

Sandler

Me/Daddy

Bonjour/Hi,

Je me nomme Sandler Pierre-Paul et j’ai 38 ans. Je demeure dans la Grande région de Montréal. Mon épouse Alexandra et moi sommes les heureux parents de Malik 4 ans et Sarah 7 mois!

Cela fait quelques années que je suis parent et j’aurai plusieurs histoires, expériences et anecdotes à vous raconter! Comment était ma vie avant d’être papa??? 🙂

My name is Sandler Pierre-Paul and I’m 38 years old. I live in the Greater Montréal area. My wife Alexandra and I are the proud parents of Malik (4yo) and Sarah (7mo).

I’ve been a parent for a few years now and I will share my experience with you :). How was life before having children??? 🙂

Sandler

%d bloggers like this: