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Jabari- No…Not There
Written By: Tammy Ferebee

            Yeah, I know it’s been a while. But there’s a good reason for my absence. Really, there is. I moved. Not too far from where I was living, but a good forty minute drive away. We haven’t totally cleaned out the old place, but we should have things pretty wrapped up over the next few days. And even while moving, I thought about ya’ll. I said to myself… “self, you gotta holla at your people. I mean it’s been a while. They have to miss you.” So after having that little convo with myself, I had to sit down and let you guys know how I’ve been.
            I guess I have to be honest. Talia hasn’t been driving me too crazy lately. That’s because while I’ve been enjoying this time off from work, and spending it all with my daughter, she’s been unloading our savings on Christmas presents our daughter’s going to play with once and forget about. 
            So like I was saying, I can’t really blame the new gray hair strands on my wife. That’s right, I haven’t hit thirty yet, and there’s a few grays hiding in there. 
            Moving on…A while ago, I explained to you guys that I have a toddler. Well she’s two about to be three. Since I have a break from work, I’ve been experiencing the hell my wife goes through every day. I mean, I love my kid. I do. But being a stay at home dad would never work for me. I have to give big props to all the stay at home moms. I don’t know how the hell ya’ll do it.
            So my daughter is almost three. She speaks well, knows the alphabet, counts in English and Spanish, knows her shapes, knows her full name. Okay I’m bragging. Let me get to the point. My daughter has recently gotten into a phase of claiming everything hurts, and wants it to be kissed and made to feel better. With kids, everything starts off as cute and then after about the tenth time you want to lock them in a closet. Be quiet ladies. Kids are great, but they can work your damn nerves.
            Today I’m lying across the bed watching Pinocchio with my daughter. She grabs her elbow, says “oww it hurts,” and asks me to kiss it. I do. I ask if it feels better, she says yes. I smile, and focus back on the wooden boy. A few seconds pass and she grabs her knee. She again says, “oww, it hurts.” I kiss it before she asks me to, and tell her this time, that everything is all better. She didn’t think so because she had me kissing her hands, her feet, her forehead, even her damn fingers; one at a time. After every kiss, she would say she feels better, and then follow that up with a ‘Thank you daddy.’ It’s the Thank you daddy’s that get me. 
            So I notice she’s running out of body parts. I’m smiling. I’m loving it. I’m trying to see if this damn puppet is ever going to become a real boy. So after kissing her pinky, I say all done. There’s nothing else to make feel better. At least that’s what I thought. But of course kids will find something. So she points to her vagina. She says, “daddy my vagina hurts.” Now I know she’s two and doesn’t know any better, but there’s nothing more disturbing to a man, a father, than to hear that their daughter wants her vagina to feel better. I didn’t mean to, but I yelled. I said, “No one touches your vagina! Nobody! That’s private! Don’t ever let anyone near your vagina!” 
            She cried. Okay ladies, I’ll give you that one. I shouldn’t have yelled. But look, if she were at day care or something and had said that to the wrong pervert, it could’ve been something else. I’m a typical father. We don’t want anything anywhere near that part of our baby girl.
            So moving on…the movie ends and we fall out sleep. When we wake up, she’s going about her day like nothing happened. Talia walks in and grabs up our daughter and tells her it’s time to go potty. Nothing new there. Not until, I hear my daughter screaming at my wife, “Don’t touch my vagina! That’s not for you! It’s private!
             My daughter comes running out the bathroom. My wife comes over to look at me. I tell her what happened and she’s pissed. She asks, “Why would you yell at her? How am I supposed to take her potty and wipe her properly?” I tell her to let our daughter wipe her own vagina.
             Our daughter goes potty and comes out proud. I look at my wife and tell her what I love to tell her. “I told you so!”
             As our daughter walks past us with a piece of tissue hanging from her ass, my wife looks at me. She doesn’t even have to say anything. She won this one. She immediately chases down our daughter to explain to her that mommy is allowed to clean her vagina.
            Okay, so I see where I may have overreacted. But there’s an upside to this. Even the ladies see it. Because I overreacted, I won’t ever have to worry about anyone touching her and her not screaming or telling. I mean, come on now. That’s a positive outcome. Right?


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