Working Mother’s Guilt

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I picked up my children from school today.

 

It might sound weird but this is a HUGE deal because it happens once in a blue moon. I work approximately 30 km from home, I live in the east, work in the south-east Trinidad and I need to get to work at 8:15 en punto. (“Late minutes” are a big deal for teachers). So today I left work on bank time, decided to give grandma a rest and picked up my children unknowing to them. 

Needless to say they were shocked but oh gosh is the reaction that warmed my heart…Mam’zelle squealed Mummyyyy!!! and ran to me with a big hug then ran back to tell her friends that I was her mummy, telling these poor girl children my WHOLE name by title oui, like I was a stranger! She was so proud, it was as though she got a new toy that came out first on the market, yelling Bye Miss! and grabbing my hand like I was on parade. Now granted if I were to pick her up every day, this probably wouldn’t be the usual reception but still…I was nearly moved to tears!….so she got a sno-cone for her efforts…:D.

Because of birthday parties I know my son’s friends more and when they see my hair they know I’m his mother (he told me  they recognise me by my hair, I dunno why! Dreadlocks so popular now! These boys so strange…) Anyway, so they ran and told him I came because allyuh hear nah…looking for a bald head lil boy in a courtyard of bald head lil boys running amok each wearing the same thing is to strain yuh eye….doh even bother. His reaction wasn’t much of a shock but his eyes opened wide because he simply wanted to know where his sno-cone was. I still got my hug in front de pardners and I felt like a bite-up shilling so he got a sno-cone reward as well. 😉

I felt so strange walking around with them in the grocery afterward, hearing their chatter, seeing them TOGETHER in their uniforms because it’s not something that happens every day. By the time I get to grandma’s they are usually dressed, fed and waiting so I felt a pang of guilt like wow, I’m missing out on this. As simple as it might seem, my children in their uniforms, fresh out their classrooms, interacting with their friends, talking about their day is a big deal because it’s a large part of their daily lives. They usually give me the run-down in the car on the way home but it’s not “in the moment” you know?

I began the justification to remind myself of the reason why this cannot happen every day: well birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim, kids gotta eat and being in the middle, both mummy and daddy have to work. So this element of time is a definite sacrifice. Clearly I cannot drop my children to school six o clock in the morning and then pick them up at five in the evening, but I have seen it happen as I pass various primary schools on my way to work. I’m certain my guilt cannot compare to single parents in particular, who have their kids in school in the east but have to reach Port-of-Spain for eight am and must reach back to the school before the “afternoon curfew”. I am also definitely fortunate and thankful for the help of grandmas from since my gremlinz were born and I had to head out to work soon thereafter. However the guilt still persists somewhere in the back of my mind. I wonder if they see other mummies and wonder why I can’t pick them up too or when they have these half day events in school they wonder why I can’t attend. After a long day of teaching, scolding, listening to and dealing with other people’s children and their issues/challenges and then hopping into my car to zombify myself on the nation’s roads,  I have to have an extra store of energy for my gremlinz to ensure that I am present when they need me to be (although often times I am mentally absent because I am drained and husband more so).  It has to be done otherwise this guilt will continue to eat me alive.

Bless up.

TMIDM

 

 

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Just Dance!

I learn so much on the internet eh. Were it not for Facebook I would have never known that today was the International Day of Dance and boyyyy, the amount of people post about it, I think I have to spring clean this rock I’ve clearly been living under.
Dancing is something I’ve always loved, being formally drilled in ballet and modern when I was younger and informally in a lime, in a fete, in my car in traffic, in the kitchen cooking, wherever. Only recently I decided to jump back into dancing in a kinda semi-formal way because you know what? Why not? But more on that in a later post 😀

I’m sharing my all time favourite choreography. Not my favourite song by MJ but definitely my favourite dance track. When I was younger and saw this my first reaction was whyyyyyyyyyyyy am I not in this video??? Particularly from minute 6:14! And I may be one of few, but i prefer this to the classic Thriller sequence not that I don’t love that too. To this day Rememeber the Time is my favourite dance vid with Sean Paul’s Gimme de Light running second. Because face it, after Gimme de Light, dancehall did a 180 and it was level row yuh boat, thunderclap and pon de river in the club.

So take a moment to find your favourite dance track, put it on repeat and just dance!

Happy International Day of Dance!

Bless up

TMIDM

Corporal punishment vs “corporeal abuse”?

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I have seen so many videos on Facebook and the like of children getting licks with titles like “Trini moms be like”… I have also seen so many videos of Trinidadian children wining, twerking, fighting, cussing and other inappropriate sexual behaviour on the ‘book as well. I don’t know what it was about this one in particular though.

If you’ve taken habitat under a rock for a few days or in foreign but can’t check in as often as you’d like, I’ve posted it on my page at https://www.facebook.com/trinimomindmiddle.com.

Well I’m really in the middle with this one. My first reaction on seeing the video was: wheyyyzzzz to get licks for almost six minutes is brutal. You know what is over five minutes of a cut-tail? Belt falling over and over? Not to mention you post it on line too? Nah boy….wicked…..despite the daughter’s infractions. Then while I was watching it I was feeling sorry for the mother because all I hearing when belt falling is her shame, pain and lack of emotional control.

I’ve read commentary ad nauseum and listened to colleagues commenting on it and I think I will remain on the fence. I don’t subscribe to casting judgement on the lady’s parenting skills or the child’s slackness. I don’t know the basis of either. Today I heard the mother complaining of the lack of a father-figure and the daughter issuing a mea culpa, so is extra sides to the story. However I have been a daughter taking risks to do what she wanted even with a very strict mother and I am a mother of a curious daughter needing protection in the age of selfies and instagramming your breakfast. As a human being I was/am comfortable having fulfilled/fulfilling both roles (although the former made my life drama-filled). Some of us subscribe to the view that it good fuh she, licks never kill we and we come out all right so we rattle off the tools: who get piece ah wood, pot spoon, slippers, guava whip, PVC pipe and to this day I will never own a cocoyea broom. Others lay the notion that this is pure abuse full stop and there are other ways in this 2014 to rid of such barbarism such as talking, counselling, parent skills workshops for that beast of a mother and Jesus rather than the leather.

My view is this: Nobody knows what is in the minds of the mother or the child. Nobody knows what will make this 12 year old reveal herself for the world to see and nobody knows what will drive a mother to apparent insanity to blaze her child and on top of that further the embarrassment by posting it online. Yet as Trinis we have all suddenly become child psychologists and even they don’t have all the answers. Yes I agree it is necessary to get to the root of the matter, but far be it from me to nail the mother or the daughter to a cross in the interim because you know what? Clearly EVERYBODY have issues here and they both in the wrong. I pray that they get to the bottom of their problems even under the harsh glare of an unforgiving (yet strangely forgetful) Trinbagonian public. I give this 9 days to blow over and then it’s on to the next one….

Bless up

TMIDM

If You Fail to Prepare….

There is some conventional wisdom somewhere that states that once you plan and prepare for something, that it unfolds neatly as it should. Having been a repeated victim of the law according to Murphy, I tend to respectfully disagree. However since the new school term started today, I decided to ensure that I have most, if not all of my bases covered at night so that I don’t get the headless chicken feeling in the mornings anymore before my work commute. This started to affect the gremlinz too eh, on one occasion Son-Son said I was giving him too many orders so he got confused and school shoes to go across by Grandma remained at home.

So this evening I said to myself, self, it’s time to cook and put away for the week. This idea sounded better in my head because when I opened the cupboard I was stuck for a bit. Now……..iz de week before pay and I am coming off a vacation where money spend for all kinda Easter vacay tra la la. Everybody employed under the government of this twin isle know what “de week before pay” is like in your purse and wallet. Sometimes some of us doh bother to open the purse and head for the wallet 😉  You ever ask anybody (or sometimes nobody in particular) “when is pay?” “we get pay?” “(insert bank here) get pay?” “salary come?” Or is this strictly for teachers? Anywayyy, needless to say I have varying odds and ends for ingredients but not a “meal” (channa, jello, cornmeal, vanilla essence….rice…..) but I home already so I not going back out in the grocery and I MUST find something dammit. I spotted the split peas and I know for a fact that the end of curry duck from a buss-up still in the freezer so is rice, dhal, duck. Boom. Lunch.

On the stove I have rice, split peas and duck reheating, I step away for a five and come back to see burner reading high but flame flickering low (“Waiz de scene Murphy?”). I shake the 20lb gas cylinder and it rocks easily left to right. Sigh. The flame dying mirrored my cooking zeal and I know for a fact I’m not going anywhere to get any gas. So the dhal buss, the duck reheated enough but the dying gas-juice went to the rice. That rice sit down in water on top a ridiculously low flame for a good 20 minutes, and Son-Son was on “shake-cylinder” duty until the “voop” came…….It finished well enough and I  guess the duck has enough curry sauce, that could eat oui! But tell me that this has NEVER happened to you, at least in the kitchen……what were you preparing? Bread? Pie? Pelau? Black cake? If something can go wrong, there’s a window for it to go wrong despite your best of intentions. But how are you gonna kick yourself into gear again? How badly do you want it?

 

Bless up

TMIDM

RESURRECTION

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This is an early greeting to wish each and every one of you a very happy and holy Easter holiday! No matter your religion or faith, spend some time with friends and/or family and also take the time to dress back and think about what truly makes you feel alive and resurrected. I spent the day with my mom today who was in a baking frenzy of sorts. She is a kitchen person…me? Not so much…..I like it but I don’t loooove it…

I was helping her paint finishing touches on a huge cake and icing other cakes as well. That was a niche I rediscovered, the patience to sit and do small “projects”, things or activities that command but don’t demand my attention or too much of a long while: small paintings or colouring with Mam’zelle, crossword puzzles, making a small garden, doodling and stippling, using that Duolingo language app (it’s awesome!), idly browsing Pinterest for travel locales that I dream about….you will be surprised how these simple joys can impact positively on your soul and as they say, take time to do what makes your soul happy! So try to resurrect yourself despite whatever turns your life is taking since as I heard recently, you have to go through your Good Friday to get to your Easter Sunday!

Bless up

TMIDM

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HAPPY EASTER!

Not Your Regularly Scheduled Programming

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Raise your hand if every night at seven o’clock your parents made you sit on the couch or on the floor to watch a distinguished gentleman by the name of Dominic Kalipersad report all the goings-on in Trinidad and Tobago for the day…..ok…hands down….

Now I don’t really ‘watch’ news at 7 per se..I have enough updates coming to me on Facebook from the different channels and my commute to work allows me at least two newscasts on the radio, morning and evening. So by 7pm I done know what happen already and at that time I’m usually in the kitchen. But since I’m on holiday, last night I sat with hubby and the gremlinz to watch the TV6 news. Well lawd…..after a while I had to tell him to mute the broadcast and then eventually tell them to go play somewhere because from the time I hear ‘nipples’ and ‘he touched my penis’ and I looked at the quizzical expression on Son-son’s face, we had to do some damage control.

Now Mr. Dominic Kalipersad, Head of News for TV6, I have a couple of concerns……when did TV6 news get like Falcon Crest on a Friday night when I had to peep behind a wall or some people had to watch through a crack in a door? I understand you want to be “hard-hitting” and get down to the truth and all that but you should have given me some kinda warning…a blip saying ‘material not suitable for children’ or did I miss that? What was the real purpose of the report because quite frankly I have more questions for the man who wants to ‘out’ the Minister who simply wants a public apology. There is a valid question of morality in public office but is that question that the Minister should not be a homosexual? Did these actions happen in public? In a government building? Is he married, or has kids, or cheating on somebody? Was the man and the Minister in a previous consensual relationship and then things went south? Because I mean they were emailing each other back and forth. And tonight in your People Meter you referred to him as ‘vulnerable’ and I have some issue with that as well. How vulnerable is he who allowed this to happen twice and as far as I see is  just jumping on the ‘cripple Kamla and dem’ bandwagon?

I am by no means for or against the PP government. I am for common sense, logic and pure understanding of national events as they unfold before me. Mr. Kalipersad your newscast didn’t help and now I have to vet it before my gremlins watch it like those shows on the Disney channel. It was salacious because my jaw was on the ground and you know what? I miss Panorama even though I used to hate being forced to watch it every night for my academic and worldly advancement. But this is not TTT.

Bless up

TMIDM

P.S. I’m still waiting on one of your in-depth, week-long, ‘hard-hitting’ reports on young Brandon Hargreaves who died under questionable circumstances at the St. Michael’s Home for Boys. Anytime now….

TWENTY-NINE!!

Well I so happyyy! Twenty-nine friends on Facebook and counting! Woot woot!!! I’m hoping for more eh so tell your friends and famalayyyy!!! Thanks to each and every one of you including those who offered me help and guidance today! Most appreciated, ya’ll don’t know!

So the rest of my trepidation has definitely been relieved and I’m going hard. To prove it, when all started falling in line today, yuh girl crossing social networks and ting, Pharrell’s ‘Happy’ song started playing. When it was done I was sweating vigorously (what is it about that song jeezanages!) 

So click +Follow at the top of the blog there nah. I’ve also created a page https://www.facebook.com/trinimomindmiddle so please click Like! I’ll be updating regularly with pages, links and good info!! Thanks again!

Bless up

 

When you find your path, trust God and follow it without asking questions – Paulo Coehlo (The Fifth Mountain)

RELENTLESS!!!

ImageMothers tend to cherish their “me” time, no matter how little or long it may be. It could be a day at the spa or ten minutes locked in the bathroom with a small container of Haagen Dazs (Salted Caramel….don’t judge me…..). I was understandably glad when one of my closest friends who appreciates my need to get out sometimes, presented an opportunity to attend a fashion show at NAPA. Once the initial dread of wha de hell to wear was over and done with (Dress Code: Runway Ready!!…-_-…) and I ensured that the fam was rested and fed, I was ready to pump.

The fashion show was hosted by Simply Runway Accents (https://www.facebook.com/simplyrunwayaccents) in collaboration with the UTT Caribbean Academy of Fashion and Design and it was basically a competition among five designers, three of whom would each win one months free rental space at Grand Bazaar. From what I saw the designs were top notch of course with some questionable ones here and there but what i really know bout fashion and having ‘the eye’? Additionally for some of the options the price shot wayyyyy over a grand but again, they may have their clientele. Not me papa….I will have to save a bit and ‘reassign funding’ as they say. What was evident however was the passion of the designers in getting their lines out in flesh on the runway, a dream that I suppose does not usually happen. Congrats to the winners! Relentless in following the dream man!!!

Now when I returned home my two gremlins (hereafter referred to individually as Son-Son (8 y.o.) and Mam’zelle (5 y.o) greeted me with the usual pleasantries but then started the “ah hongree” mantra……now…..i don’t mind yuh hongree….iz a human emotion….but why in the name of (insert name here) you wait for ME to reach home to ask me for something to eat???? Was there not another adult at home?? I proceeded to glare at the other adult (hereafter referred to as Pops) because as far as I know, I leave everybody rested and fed and in any case the Sunday food remain outside! Fix up! Pops say he ask and they didn’t want anything……-_-… Apparently the gremz realized they were hongreeee when I came home. Well I never cut two piece ah macaroni pie so fast and with steupsing and grumbling…they too ridiculous sometimes man..they relentless!!!!