I am not a Beyoncé/Destiny’s Child historian by any means. But there are some things about Beyoncé’s personal and professional life that I truly admire. Because of this, I tend to place her in a different category than other celebrity wedding and baby news.
Beyoncé has been performing since she was a teenager, until recently managed by her father. It was the family business. And it did quite well. A few years ago, she married a hip-hop mogul Jay-Z, a wildly successful musician, performer, producer and business man. A couple seemingly made for the tabloids, yet they married not in the Kardashian circus manner, but privately. The public was not given daily updates on gowns, expenditures, wedding or reception plans. She got married, is all. And though the couple collaborates from time to time, her celebrity is based on her work, not on her family or her husband’s name. And Jay – Z’s past or continued success does not rely on hers.
Once married, Beyoncé rarely spoke of her wedding, or the details of her marriage. Sometimes she’d appear with her husband, sometimes not. But make no mistake, they have been and are a power couple. He continued working, she continued working their sometimes separate, sometimes combined hit-making machine. Being a wife did not consume nor define her public persona. Though married, she was still Beyoncé. And there were no Kardashian announcements after the wedding, “Now I’m ready for babies.” There were often rumors of babies on the way for Beyoncé and Jay-Z, but not from Beyoncé herself. No, there was no announcement of babies, until there was a baby to announce. I like that.
Then it came, the announcement of a baby. After having been married for years, and on the eve of her 30th birthday, Beyoncé proudly revealed her pregnancy at a major awards show. Yeah, she got major press out of it and that can’t hurt, but because we hadn’t heard of all the baby making efforts and plans, it didn’t seem like the baby was a publicity stunt. I like that, too.
But what does this mean?
Why should it mean anything? It means the same thing it means for all of us, she’s pregnant and God-willing, she’ll have a healthy baby. Duh.
Oh there are the practical considerations. Beyoncé fans and commentators wonder whether she’ll take a year off from her yearly touring schedule. If she does, she deserves the break, if you’ve ever seen one of her concerts or concert DVD’s you know she is one of the hardest working stage performers out there. But if she does take a break, she’ll be okay. (Her fans might die, but she’ll be okay). She maintains at least partial songwriting credits on her hits, so she will continue to receive passive income from commercial use of her material. This means that whether it’s a high school marching band playing Survivor, background music in a television show or movie, or some American Idol hopeful covering Irreplaceable, she’ll get paid — forever. All this in addition to all of the products to which she’s lent her name and likeness, well . . . she’ll be okay. Go ahead and take some time off girl, if you want. In other words, her income is not solely based on the next hit record, her next big tour, or most importantly, the size of her waist. If she doesn’t take a break and launches a tour next year, she’ll have the means to have any type of support she wants, including the kind which will allow her to work and still be with her child. But either way, I doubt we’ll be inundated with daily reports of morning sickness, stories of childbirth, recounts of her weight gain and loss, or the dreaded reality TV show. Her Momma taught her better than that. (Get the Survivor reference? No? Yes?) Oh, and no offense, Tia and Tamera, a cute show, but kinda hard to take you all seriously as Independent Women after that.
Regardless of whether you are a fan of her music, the way Beyoncé has handled her personal life is something to admire — and to teach our daughters and sons. A wedding is for the bride, groom, family and friends to celebrate in a large or small way. But the wedding itself, even a huge wedding, does not have to be an accomplishment to be paraded in the news. Likewise, bringing a child into the world is an important, private, natural decision. Thank you, Beyoncé, for not announcing every fertility attempt and for not acquiring babies seemingly for use as accessories to keep your name in the news. And I know this is old-fashioned, but thank you Beyoncé, for getting married in the first place. If we want our daughters to expect a man “to put a ring on it” before they give him a child and expect his support, well, they should look to Beyoncé. Yeah, she’s half-naked most of the time, but she’s got the pipes to back it up and the business sense to carry her through, plus she’s got a husband to share in bringing a child into this scary world. Plus, she’s pulled off independent success despite being the wife of a mogul in the male dominated hip-hop world, and because of that I have every reason to believe she will pull off her continued success all while making her pregnancy and motherhood a natural course of life, not a sideshow act, not a publicity stunt, not a death knell to her career or to her public appeal.
Just Me With . . . hopes of getting invited to the baby shower, and I’m available to babysit . . . or play in your band or whatever you need Beyoncé . . . ha!
My diapering days are long gone. But they were substantial. Four in diapers in the day, five at night. But there are some things I will never forget and my tween and teen children and others seem to enjoy Baby B’s potty training fiasco. So here it goes.
At the time I had four in diapers. The older twins were nearing potty training age and showed signs of readiness. I, however, was not ready to potty train toddler twins with infant twins in tow and an active 3-year-old. My mom, though, bless her heart, kept nudging me, “They’re ready. They’re ready. When are you going to train them? ” She was insistent. I caved.
My way of potty training is not my mother’s. I never did sit a baby on potty at certain times and wait until something comes out. No offense to my mom, and kudos to her –but she never had more than one kid in diapers. She and Daddy were smart or lucky enough to space their children accordingly. No, my method is to wait until the kid is really ready, then take the diaper off. Now you can’t go out much during those first few days. And there will be mess and laundry, but the kid will get to the potty eventually and get something in it. Just one of the twins was showing the readiness signs so I thought I’d train one at a time (I figured it would quiet Mom down some even just doing one kid).
Bye Bye Wee Wee! Someone had lent us this little cartoon video on potty training “Once Upon a Potty” where the little one walks around naked learning how to use the potty. Sometimes the wee wee and poo poo were on the floor, but when the kid got it in the potty it was like a Mardi Gras celebration. The child is depicted as so, so proud and makes a big deal out of waving goodbye to the wee wee and poo poo as it is flushed away. It was cute. And it went along with my potty training method.
Now this is where I must have lost my mind. For some reason we left the house. We hardly ever left the house, potty training or not. I mean two sets of twins, it’s not fun to go anywhere. That day my mother had come over to help me with the kids and for some ill-advised reason — we left the house. I must have blocked on the reason.
The singleton was at pre-school. We only had the girls. Maybe that’s why we left the house. Why, why? Often if I had to go somewhere and I’d get my mom and she’d sit in the car with the kids while I ran in the store, etc. But why did we go out that day, during the grandmom pressured potty training?
Whatever the reason, we were out. And, of course, the older twins got hungry. I was unprepared, ill-equipped for this inevitability. Did I say we didn’t go out much? Plus all my babies were breast-fed and I never got used to packing up bottles or snacks if we did go out. (Got Boobs? Okay, we can go.) So we stopped for fast food (again, not something I was accustomed to, so for the kids it was a rare treat).
Of course — the grabbing of the crouch and the simple word from Baby B,
Damn. Now, of course, I know this is all a scam. Children at this age just like to see bathrooms in other places and will always ask to go to the potty when they are anywhere else but home. Still, any person around a potty training child knows that you’ve got T minus 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . . to get to a toilet — that is if they really have to go, which you don’t know until you try. So, I had to take her. She didn’t have a diaper on, remember? So I had to take her to a public bathroom, a public bathroom at McDonald’s. And it wasn’t particularly clean (surprise). And this is a GIRL! I tried to check the seat for errant piss. I did the toilet paper on the seat thing in record time and then . . . . (tinkle, tinkle, tinkle) — would have been music to my mother’s ears but she was sitting out in the comfort of the restaurant area — not in the small sticky stinky dirty McDonald’s bathroom. I was just — well, pissed. (Pun intended.) I did the “Good Job!!” cheer and implored her not to touch anything. But I was pissed. Pissed that the primary motivation for my doing this was the softly consistent and disturbingly effective pressure from my mom — and all the moms that came before me (or so it seemed).
My baby girl (well, one of them) was proud and playing and dancing around the bathroom. She was still so toddler-ish. I washed her hands and while I was trying to keep her from sitting on the McDonald’s bathroom floor in front of the toilet, I washed mine. In my head I was making plans for bath time when we got home (for both of us).
Then, my little girl turned,
put her hands ON the toilet seat,
stuck her head INTO the toilet
and yelled “BYE BYE, WEE WEE!!!!”
I was horrified.
I was disgusted.
I was done.
Clearly in my mind, if the baby-child is not old enough not to put her head in a public toilet, then perhaps she is not ready for potty training. When we got home and washed up, I put a diaper back on my girl. I was flustered and annoyed at myself for not trusting my own instincts.
There have been times in life where I will freely admit that I should have listened to my Mom. This was not one of them.
At that moment, as far I was concerned, Baby B would wear a diaper until she took it off herself, drove to Victoria’s Secret and bought herself her own panties from money she made from her job as a Superior Court Judge.
In the end, it was only a few months until both girls were ready for potty training and they were trained quickly, without incident (but with. of course, the requisite accidents along the way). We were eventually able to leave the house.
Lesson learned? The time has to be right — for everybody.
Just Me With . . . NO kids in diapers.