Ya’ll know that expression? I used to hear it alot growing up, but didn’t really understand it until I was a teenager. Ohhhhhhhhhhh!!! That’s what they meant. *lol* I told ya’ll that I kinda grew up in a Huxtable-esque household.
MrTDJ and I had been married for a few years when Little TDJ came along. We chose to wait until we were married to have a child. This isn’t a rant or decree against single parents, so please miss me with any crazy comments or email messages. I’m not making any judgments on anyone’s personal situation. Hell, my parents got married when I was a year old. MrTDJ and I made the choice that we felt comfortable with. For us, being married came first, then if God was willing, we planned to have one child.
I’m wondering if we (society) are conditioned to expect single motherhood to be the norm. I’m not really trying to get all political and I debated for a few days before writing this post. Big shout out to Nerd Girl. She wrote a very honest, personal post recently that encouraged me to go ahead and post this. The topic has been in my head for a while based on what happened to me at the hospital after Little TDJ was born. The expression popped into my mind again yesterday during a doctor’s visit for Little TDJ.
Little TDJ was born on a Tuesday and I was scheduled to stay in until Saturday. During one of my brief periods of alone time on Friday evening, a nurse and I had this basic convo:
Nurse – Is the Little TDJ’s father coming back tonight?
Me – No, not tonight, but he’ll be here tomorrow to drive us home.
Nurse – Oh. Well, ok. Do you know what time?
Me – Sometime in the morning, why are ya’ll kicking us out? *small laugh*
Nurse – *uncomfortable, prolonged silence* Oh no, no dear. I just need to know so I can have a notary present to get your paperwork in order.
Me – **percocet is a beautiful drug** Oh ok, sometime before 10am.
Nurse – Alright dear, get some sleep and I’ll have someone here in the morning.
At the time, the conversation struck me a little funny, but again, percocet is a beautiful drug and I forget all about it until the next morning. MrTDJ arrived and took to getting Little TDJ ready to hit the road, while I got myself together. Packed and ready to roll, a nurse and another woman walk into the room. The woman, who we later found out was a social worker, was perturbed that we were almost ready to depart and she hadn’t done her thing.
After a few seconds of a Abbott and Costello, Who’s on First round robin, I was ticked the hell off. What exactly was “her thing”? Well, in a nutshell, she was there because someone ASSUMED that I was unmarried and she was present to notarize an affidavit of parentage before we could leave the hospital. I was then schooled on how the law works in Maryland. A child is born to a woman and she is obviously his mother. If at the time of conception or birth, that woman is married, then her husband is legally the father of the child. If she is unmarried, then legally, the child has no father until an affidavit of parentage is signed by the mother and father, notarized and filed with the Vital Statistics Administration. Not sure if it works the same way in all states, but this is the deal in Maryland. Wow.
So, back to my irritation. If anyone had taken the time to look at my chart, they would have seen that it listed me as married. If anyone had taken the time to look at my swollen fingers that were trying to swallow my wedding rings whole, they would have seen that I was married. Or here’s a novel concept – freaking ask me! I was irritated and offended that all parties involved simply ASSUMED that I was not married. I’m no conspiracy theorist and I don’t often throw around accusations of discrimination, but I’m curious if the same assumption is made for the non-black women that give birth in the city of Baltimore. Hmmmm……
Since I was the mother of a newborn, a little high on percocet and already sleep deprived, I cursed her out. ***smh*** Sorry ya’ll. Wish I could say that I handled it with grace, but I didn’t. I would have loved to slice her azz to pieces with the sheer power of my vocabulary and intellect, but in that moment, I turned into a f bomb gangsta. Stunned and with red cheeks, she and the nurse apologized and mumbled explanations while they scurried from my room as if their lives were in jeopardy. Good thinking chicks cause I was close to physical violence.
Yesterday at the appointment for Little TDJ, hubby dropped us off then parked the car. At the reception desk, the same assumption was made. WTF???? Am I too old school? I make the assumption that a pregnant woman or a woman with a child IS married, unless I hear or discover evidence to the contrary. Either way, that’s her business. Is that a ridiculous notion in 2010? I’m not going to hit up Mr. Google for the statistics because I have a feeling that they would piss me off. Sorry that my thoughts aren’t totally concise in this post. I’m still a little hot under the collar and yesterday brought back the vivid memory of that hospital room incident from January of 2009. Am I being too sensitive? What do ya’ll think? I’d love to hear from the married folks with children and from any single parents. Has anyone ever made a bad assumption about you, your child and your status?