Listen dis….

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I’ve been known to have my own version of  Carpool Karaoke with the gremz in the short distance between school and home depending on what I’m listening to. Admittedly they are very exposed to all different kinds of music but they had never heard a particular song from one of my favourite artistes. This song by Chronixx was playing so I sang the chorus of the song very clearly for them and then I waited for the 21st century commentary which I knew for sure was to follow…..

  • Mam’zelle: This song makes no sense
  • Son-son:    How you mean? Of course it makes sense!
  • Mam’zelle: “If I were you I woulda sell my gun”……..but who I selling my gun to?
  • Son-son:    Somebody else so you could buy food and drive a taxi and make an honest living…
  • Mam’zelle: But theeeen that person would probably go and rob and shoot somebody with myyyyy gun duhhhhh
  • Son-son:    Well then sell it to the police?
  • Mam’zelle: For dem to lock me up for having a gun? No thanks…
  • Son-son:    Oh I know! We could melt it down and make something from it…
  • Mam’zelle: Yeah we could make a sword…..
  • Son-son:    We don’t have enough metal….
  • Mam’zelle: Steups, look  I throwing away this gun yes…
  • Son-son:   That’s the point! Is not a real gun yunno…

I am not upset that my gremz are talking about guns, like I said 21st century commentary. I tend to listen in on how they craft their logic and I’m usually pleased on how the trains of thought chug along. Critical thinking is a must in my household. Chronixx is as conscious an artiste as they get but I never actually thought about who Chronixx would sell the gun to. I just found it noble the message “yuh cyah be bad and hungry”, not the mention the kick ass beat and of course his lyricism. But simple lesson learnt: Even if you hear something with a message, you’d do well to analyze it and the message as well.

Bless up

TMIDM

Leave de people zaboca!

My neighbour has a huge avocado tree.

 

Zaboca
“Avocado = Zaboca”

From the beginning of the zaboca season I have been peering out my louvres watching with anticipation as like the years before this, many a fruit lean over on my side of the fence. In this age of Facebook Tasty videos and Pinterest recipes, I eagerly began to concoct many uses for said zaboca when they land on my kitchen counter.

And so it came to pass that the fruit on my side became full. My mother came to visit, reminded me that when the skin looks dull you pick it,  then proceeded to make her way off with one. My husband was repeatedly harassed to pick the high ones. My older sister appeared, did her thing and promised to return. Meanwhile I had zaboca wrapped in newspaper and with gremlinz disliking and husband eating when he felt like it, I eventually enjoyed with bake, pelau, toast, tuna and even by itself. I considered it a luxury. A zaboca is at least $20 anywhere you go yuh know!

Anyway enter my 7-year old Mam’zelle…..

One random afternoon: “Mummy, you know that pear thing?…….I think you should stop stealing it…:”. Me: “‘scuse???”.

What followed was a confirmation that it was indeed the zaboca she was talking about, that I shouldn’t steal it because it’s not mine and that the tree isn’t growing on my side so I mustn’t take it. You can well imagine the mix of emotions, from ‘ay ay, just so?’ (*confusion), to ‘papa!’ (*pride), to ‘daiz not true’ (*denial) to ‘oh gorm ariite nah’ (*shame/resignation). To be honest I wasn’t feeling too shame nah! 😀 but obviously I knew what she was saying. I keep talking to her and Son-son about these things and it is refreshing to know that the repetitiveness and the preaching about morals and values stick. I just didn’t expect it to backfire on me! Ha ha! Lesson learnt.

So what did I say? Well I tried to worm my way out of it and told her that the neighbours didn’t mind, we have an understanding over the years. I wouldn’t feel any which way if I saw my neighbours picking mangoes from my ginormous tree, it’s not like I can get them across there anyway. She said I must still go across with my bag and ask. I compared it to the plum tree that drops plums all over. She defended and said the zaboca didn’t ‘drop’ and that I was picking it. “But it on my siiiiiide!!” I protested. She said that it didn’t make it right and when I picked them I was supposed to put it back over the fence…..(fat chance of that happening…..$20 for one eh!!). I did relent and say that I would stop picking them (but I’m taking them when they fall!).

I guess I never stepped back to visualise how it would look to her but I’m super glad that she’s so observant and capable of making independent conclusions. I must be doing something right even though in her eyes I wasn’t perfect at that moment. I’m glad she was able to call me out on it too but she was always fearless and defiant in her own way which can be admittedly frustrating at times.

In the mean time anyone fancy some guacamole for dinner with me tonight?

Bless up

TMIDM

An afternoon with The Boys.

Heya!

Been a while but life is getting in the way of my blogging. Thankfully things are getting back to normal so more time to write….yayy! I have  a greater respect for you guys who do this everyday sometimes twice a day!

This afternoon I reached home relatively early with Son-son (Mam’zelle was with hubby) and proceeded to faceplant on my bed thinking he would occupy himself until his sister came home. He had other plans and kept bugging me to go out and exercise, a task I have duly entrusted upon him….to bother me until I feel guilty enough. He’s very good at this particular task so after all the complaints and suggestions using reverse psychology we were on our way around the block.

I don’t mind walking in the neighbourhood with him. It’s residential enough and he can keep up with my brisk walking since I still don’t do running well (it’s a work in progress). If it were Mam’zelle I would have to endure the endless ‘I tired’s, ‘my foot hurtin’s and ‘dogs barking at meeee!!!’s so I was thankful in that regard. We ended up in the park with the bolted exercise equipment that are found in open spaces in most parks all over Trinidad and I decided to concentrate my workout there. In the meanwhile some other young boys surfaced with the footballs and well you know what happened next. While I’m trying to navigate a rowing machine I felt the tap on the shoulder. Without looking around I said go ahead since they were within distance anyway. At the end of my sweat I decided to stop thinking about time and what I was going to cook, wondering if hubby reached home but passed the next way, and focused on sitting and looking at him interact and kick ball with random boys of average age.

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The following thoughts came to me:

  • Will I ever let him go out the road by himself to meet friends and play football in the park? These boys range between 6-10. How they out here by deyself? Is my son too sheltered?
  • Why that little, fiesty one calling my child ‘small man’ and he smaller than him? I wonder if that’s how familiar boys in a group address newbies?
  • Why that little fiesty one is the only one bawling out YUH ON SHIT BOY! and SHIT MAN! and endless pronouncements of SHIT! for no reason? And why he watching me and blushing when he saying it over and over? (I guess my Raised Teacher Eyebrow was noticed but ignored).
  • I wonder if  it’s so natural to him? I wonder if to actually TELL him to stop saying it. I wonder if doing so would embarrass my son and he gets ostracised and then they wouldn’t want him to play again because his mother jumbieing de scene?
  • I wonder if boys in his school curse regularly like that? I wonder if boys on a whole curse regularly like that? How much of a curse is the word ‘shit’?
  • OK now why they have Son-son in goal doing nothing and they playing on the next half of the basketball court? That’s really unfair.
  • Oh now I understand, they want ‘small man’ to block the long balls. These children never hear bout small touches? Why they kicking so wild?
  • Why is Messi versus Christie? Who is Christie? Orrr Christi….like Ronaldo…why they doh just say Ronaldo? People does say ‘Christi’?
  • I feel like I babysitting all these little boys, why am I the only parent here?
  • Why am I worrying? Them boys musbe accustom going in the park by themselves, they won’t be the first and they won’t be the last. That is a normal thing from urban to rural, from generation to generation but times are so different now eh.

Maybe I’m a tad paranoid, I can’t even stomach seeing little children travelling by themselves on the road.

I soon called my son off the pitch after he was thoroughly drenched with sweat. He was smiling and happy and his new ‘pardners’ waved his goodbye. But I still felt wary leaving them there. I guess there is safety in numbers and the neighbourhood isn’t a ‘bad’ one, but nowhere is immune these days. So many things are happening to children these days in Trinidad. We are witnessing a definite spike in children’s accidents deaths for various reasons ranging from fire to drowning. Many say parents need to be more responsible, others say there is evil stalking the land because of the current climate….whatever the climate is. i’m inclined to believe both.

Truthfully I wish the climate could return to how it was before, but before when exactly? Can anyone pinpoint exactly when ‘Trinidad was nice’ and ‘tings was nice?’ When was the tipping point?

I’m an advocate for simple joys and playing football in the park with a crew you’ve just met definitely falls into that category.  Shouldn’t that be an experience that is pure, carefee and without worry about possible negatives based on the way things are going on now in society? I want that for my gremz, I want that for your gremz too, they deserve it. At the end of the day though I can’t help switching on the TMDIM valve:

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Bless up

TMIDM

And Counting…..(part 1)

This evening I came home, sat in my gallery, listened to the birds and stared at my dog Castro (a truly gentle soul befitting of the name).

I was trying to release the day but somehow my brain thinks that “releasing the day” means “fervently studying the plans for the next day”. So in the middle of trying to create a reverie, I started wondering what to mix and match to wear to work, how to vary one lucky student’s torture of a lunchtime detention and how to get those Form 3s to realize they actually have National Exam in a few weeks. Today really felt like a Wednesday, haunted and humpy, just in the middle and neither forward nor backward until I realized that today is the Wednesday in between Week 5 and Week 6 of an 11-week term. In other words: Dear Teacher, almost half down, half to go.

I should have known this feeling was near since for the past few days the gremz have been eating packaged salted and sweetened snacks from Holiday Foods, Sunshine Snacks, Bermudez, Kiss and the like. I started off the term very well trying to vary with fruit and inventive stuff like Lunchbox Dad (who by the way makes me feel like a lesser mortal, far less mother).

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I’m not an artist but I took his cue and did well enough, but honestly I knew it wasn’t gong to last too long. I applaud him though jeez.

Lunch reflects a pattern as well consisting of bread and (insert filling here):

What you want for lunch? Bread and………?

I want cheesepaste!

Ughhh, so much work!!!

Jam?

Cool! You?

Fried egg and sausage?

Nah! Too much work. I’ll do it Saturday.

Nutella?

There ya go! Ting to cut and spread quick man!

As for me I’ve been eating random frozen foods like Jamaican patties that could fling quick in the microwave and be called George. Doh talk for the husby, hm!…poor fella probably wondering why since Mother’s Day this woman get so delinquent during the week.

Now before the judgy Janices and Jacintas jump on meh case, I will hasten to add that the gremlinz love sandwiches and I’m usually stocked with assorted things to put between two slices of bread. They also eat after-school snacks like jelly cups, rolls, croissants and pizzas and of course maintain their juice and water intake. That, I will take the time to do but I think mentally my brain is winding all the way down even though it’s only week 5. I’m wrapping up curriculum, seeing Form 5s in exams and hearing summer jams on the radio. Not to mention the distance to work REALLLL getting on my nerves now (more on that later). Therefore, with regards to lunch kit prep  I want it easy, quick and not too much at the expense of their health and my pocket. So one sandwich, an Orchard, Kiss Goodie and some chips in a sandwich bag is in order and will kill noone. Le sigh, I will jump back on the Super Mom train soon enough man, no worries! 😀

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

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!!!!