Trini Mom in D Middle was created as a space to express thoughts, concerns, ideas, jokes and random musings about what it means to be a Trinidadian mother, wife, teacher and general observer of life on this twin island.
I looked at my husband, he looked at me. Casually I asked her still facing front in the car, “what did you say dear?”. She replied, “I smoking weed!” confirming what I thought I heard and wished I dreamt. Son-son who was having none of it retorted, “Do you even KNOW what weed is?”. She replied matter-of-factly, “Youuu doh know what weed is? Hm!” I was shaking but not externally. I turned around and saw that she had taken one of the paper napkin rings from the restaurant we just left and had rolled it up positioning it between her index finger and thumb. I turned back around and took a deep breath, “Who told you about weed honey?” My daughter then detailed that her BFF told her about weed, her brother smokes it, it looks like dried leaves, you put it in a little paper, you roll it up and smoke it. When she was finished I turned back around looked her square in the eyes and I told her, “Listen to me, smoking weed is a very adult thing, it is not even for children to pretend to do. You know what happens when you get caught smoking weed? The police arrests you because weed my dear is illegal! You can go to JAIL!” Yes, I crescendoed to make my point and I know it worked because the fear in my voice transferred to her now very wide eyeballs. I told her to take the information to the BFF and let her know too to put a stop to THAT game. That’s the best I could have done, mission somewhat accomplished, obviously more explanations to come.
Why Lord do I have to inform my 6 year old about the dangers of smoking and weed? I’m in the middle of 6-year old matters! Spelling and dictation, girls’ drama, negotiations for increased pocket money, ballet… Sex is a big enough hurdle to cross with trepidation even at 6, drugs is something you think you would comfortably tackle in the teenage years! Never would I have imagined that this is something that I would have to explain to her at this age. Am I naïve? What was also scary about it is the casual manner in which she said it which was unnerving but I needed information and I guess she was innocent to it all. However, the words for a conversation with her about this haven’t even been formed properly in my head so I just gave her the basic answer, it’s not for children.
You have to be so careful as to what your children are exposed to but there are times when it cannot be avoided. Yes you can turn off the tv or switch the channel from Disney and their growing filth, but are you in the schoolyard or on the playground when the children are huddled in their little corners having their powwows? More and more I’m realizing that it is beyond critical to raise my gremz who are independent thinkers complete with the morals and values that will enable them to stand up when the occasion arises. I’m not always going to be around. But worse than that is that there are things that we as parents are going to have to fully explain to children at ages younger than intended simply because of the way the world is turning nowadays. Are you ready? I hope I will find the correct words…
Another year is here of well wishes, gift-giving and general pleasantries by all towards mothers and all representations on this Mother’s Day 2015. Happy Mother’s Day to all and sundry and on this day! I hope that each and every one of you spends the day as you see fit whether it be with family enjoying company, being waited upon and eating to your heart’s delight or completely alone enjoying the escape and relishing the peace and quiet.
This may sound weird but I’m not a hundred percent sold on Mother’s Day. I’m not completely against it like some men and Valentine’s Day but let’s just say I can understand the sentiment. “Why do I need a day to celebrate what should be celebrated everyday?” I’m certain for some mothers it’s a tad weird being fawned over and getting praises heaped upon for all that you do as opposed to tomorrow when it will be back to the regularly scheduled programming. It’s a tad facetious don’t you think?
I mean I understand the recognition and I’m one zillion percent behind showing appreciation to mothers for not just what we do but for who we are. Being a mother is the hardest vocation thrown at me by life because there really are days when I feel like I have it totally on lock and then there are others when I wish I could call for a time-out and let the substitute run on and take a sweat for a while.
What I’m saying is that appreciation should be shown every day, not necessarily the doting, but a mother should definitely feel supported and loved all the time, rather than one day when all these flowery things are written and said giving hallmark extra revenue :D) . Let me know if I’m alone thinking on that wavelength.
That being said after a bumper breakfast I’m off to lunch with the fam (cuz Lord knows nobody else does cook in here but me!). Here’s to your special day lady whoever you are wherever you are, whatever you choose to do…
Me again! New thoughts have been processing but Lordt hav’ mercy the time! Anyways, here’s one of ‘em…
Everything goes through phases in Trinidad and Tobago. The ‘9-day wonder’ we call it where all of our attentions and passions are directed to something for nine days and after that we focus on another topic. These days the health care system is in for a rough ride as the Minister of Health Fuad Khan has recently revealed proposals to ‘shake up’ the health system in light of recent deaths of mothers in the public hospitals due to complications of C-section births. Among these new policies include fathers being allowed in the delivery room, increased visiting hours and a female relative being able to stay with the mother 24/7.
I feel it for the relatives of the mothers who died. I can’t even begin to imagine the trauma of entrusting the life of your precious wife/daughter into a shaky hospital system where she has to bring forth a child only to suffer the pain of losing her and in some cases, the child as well. It is a reality that the majority of the Trinbagonian society has no trust in the health care system. Very often from Port-of-Spain to Mt. Hope to San Fernando you hear tales of ‘hoggish’ nurses and nonchalant doctors intermixed with hours and hours of waiting, sparse pharmacy facilities, paltry bathrooms and no beds.
I had both of my gremlinz in POS although I live in the East and this was driven mainly by a lack of faith which was further driven by fear (I wasn’t going to Mt. Hope for nuttin). I wish I could have done the private room or nursing home thing in a comfortable room filled with flowers and family visiting only me but the reality is that my salary did not permit. So too are the MAJORITY of expectant mothers in the land. As an expectant mother you expect to feel comfortable to deliver your baby, you expect patient nurses, you expect professional doctors and you expect the help to guide you through this very difficult process. I got exactly that at Port of Spain General. When I had my gremz the staff was very satisfactory. I mean it wasn’t Club Med in terms of the facilities, but I had no intention of lengthening my stay longer than I needed to. I followed all instructions to a tee from clinic days to the delivery room.
It is difficult for me to paint a broad brush even though this is what I did at when I decided to forego Mt. Hope for POS and yes there are vastly numerous cases where the burden of the unstable hospital system is felt. However as a worker in a field where the glare of public scrutiny is definitely felt, I also feel it for the professionals in the hospitals. On the other side of this coin there are some doctors and nurses who are unfairly chastised for the work that they do or are unable to do based on the resources that they have and the public cases cropping up of pregnant mothers dying. (Substitute the ‘doctors and nurses’ bit there for teachers, public servants, police officers etc. and you will understand the general state that we are in). On top of it all, there is a Minister who jumped the proverbial gun and instituted his policies without relevant consultation and added more pressure to all involved rather than intelligently easing the tension.
I hope sincerely that all matters are resolved and that closure comes to all involved in this extremely sensitive area. We are on the tail end of the 9-days though and sadly soon we will be on to the next.