Grocery games

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I used to love going to the grocery. It was like a field trip that I looked forward to each month end. I would make sure all the members of the home clan are washed and fed, dress myself up and head out. I don’t favour carrying the whole family to the supermarket with me though unless I really have to. Boyo doesn’t like to stay in the stroller for long periods of time even in wide aisles and air-conditioned comfort. Mam’zelle and Son-son forever squabble about who gets to push the trolley which drives me up a wall and Husby always makes me buy random stuff outside my budget.

Now I say ‘used to love’ because even with my happy intentions and my genuine need to put food on the table, I’m finding it to be a droll chore. This is mainly because there is such a heaviness when I observe people (read: women) in the grocery. One after the next stare at the shelves at the products, hemming and hawing, deliberating, pro-ing and con-ning. People quarrel to themselves, mutter under their breaths, suck their teeth (steups) and even outrightly complain about what a state we are in with food prices rising and rising to seemingly meet the Lord. And I completely understand it. The fact is, money is tight and when you make out that monthly budget, that allocation marked “Grocery” seems to be rising higher, denting your other categories of spending.

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Adapted from https://www.attwiw.com

Once I spoke to a friend of mine who told me she wished she could just walk into the grocery, see what she needs/wants, take it, dump it in the trolley, head to the cashier, pay and leave.This may seem very normal to some of you reading this, but that reality is far removed from some of us like me who live in the middle.   Going to the grocery is indeed a process. You spend more time doing mathematical functions, adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing as well as justifying, predicting and wondering if it’s cheaper in Pricesmart or Maharaj Wholesale.

The thing is I usually make sure I get everything I need to I wouldn’t have to buy food outside which is a bad habit that I’m trying to cut down on. Eat home and save money? Sure! But this idea is also under the scrutiny of a ‘cut-eye’. Example: hot dogs work right? For dinner, work, lunch kit, breakfast, you name it unless you are a parent who is adamant against processed meats but dais not me. Everything requires balance like box juice one day, freshly squeezed the next. Anyways I wanted to upgrade my hot dogs so I decided I will buy the jumbo ones instead of the usual skinny franks. Usually I make those with the lettuce, grated carrots, the full nine for family dinners or for school. There is a particular brand I like that I’ve been buying for $32.99 for the longest while. Aye aye, when I gone this month to pick it up, is $39.99 staring me in my face yuh know! The prospect of paying that extra seven dollars out of nowhere hurt me, made me consider a hit or miss with a next brand, a return to the skinny franks with an addition of tortillas or fries to the meal. Sigh, I really liked those jumbo hot dogs dammit!!!

Food prices are ridiculous. Now let me say for those of you who are thinking “set up a kitchen garden” or “budget your money better!”, my thumbs are as black as they come and if my budget were any tighter it would give millennial jeans a run for their money. Mankind needs to eat and you see particularly as Son-son is hitting puberty and again, nobody adequately warned me about his voraciousness that has no bounds, I have to do what I must. But the fed-upcy is growing. You know with carefully crafted buying of ingredients, follows the carefully crafted providing of food for a month using said ingredients and meals must be varied. At times this mother here does not have the mental fortitude to win at this game every day and with the way things are looking at the grocery, the odds are beginning to stack higher.

Adapted from http://www.fiterature.com

Bless up

TMIDM

Leave me alone!!!!!

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There is something to be said for children who wait until you reach in the bathroom to suddenly decide that they have problems that need to be sorted out.

New rule in my house for the gremlinz to follow that carries as much weight as no TV on weeknights Monday to Thursday and keeping your room tidy: DO NOT BOTHER ME when I’m in the bathroom! If there is the absence of fire or blood, in my mind there is the absence of the immediate necessity for my refereeing, detective or even basic listening skills and I could get at least five minutes, BY MYSELF TO BATHE MYSELF for crying out loud!!! I swear tonight I could have released the beast inside but thank God for the sanity that sometimes comes with a closed door.

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 2)

Ok so it’s been over a week since my last post and with good reason. I have been dog tired to the point where in the evenings I couldn’t even open my eyes far less my laptop. I have just been doing the bare minimum preparation for the next day and although the end of the tunnel is near (July-August holidays) the light still seems further away than usual. So the good folks at SomeeCards are completely right:

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As I may have mentioned before, in addition to mommy chores at home and ‘mommy chores’ at work, a large part of this has to do with the distance I drive to and from every day. It is approximately 30 km to go and 30 km to return and apparently for most, if not all, first-time appointments in the Ministry of Education this is perfectly normal from ever since. So if you live Carenage, the “only space available” is Princes Town, and if you live Penal, the “only space available” is Matelot. You take the position because you want to work, you need to work and like my mother advised, “you need to get your foot in the door”. This is a reality for many of us in the middle who have mouths to feed and can’t simply afford to wait for the works of fate and all the bricks falling into the right place. So you sacrifice until you get that precious transfer which is a whoooooole other kettle of fish boiling with politics, miscommunication, delays, bureaucracy and plain idiocy.

Many people I’ve spoken to are usually aghast when I mention where I work, others say “well yeah dais a nice drive” and I agree. It is a nice drive for a Sunday…maybe every Sunday…..

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That last one there is my view from work in the carpark and yes it is a nice drive and yes the view is sublime but not…every…day……I’m thankful that I have co-workers to keep me company most times but it can really take a toll especially now nearing the end of the term. Last week a police officer stopped me by the junction in Valencia because he ‘thought I looked like something was wrong’. My head was leaned on the window pane and with my facial expression, he probably thought I was contemplating a misdemeanor. When I get home after an hour and a half of ‘zombie-driving’, picking up the gremz and listening to the tales in primary school-land, I usually roll out of my car when I get home.  Thank God they are big enough to take turns to jump out and open the gate.

The sad thing about this is that usually  I don’t even allow myself time to rest when I get home. My twisted logic dictates that I keep going when I reach, so I sometimes I will still be in work clothes all 6-7pm in the kitchen, helping with homework, still spinning….until I bathe and crash. In the past week it wasn’t so. I came home and sat. I came home and lay down. I contemplated bathing (*gasp!). I slept at 8 o clock. I deferred supervision of homework and study unless it was realllllly necessary (thankfully it wasn’t!) and today Saturday I am in bed, deciding which of my chores are realllly vital and which could hol’ ah burn til next week.

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So I’ve decided for the sake of my health and sanity, I’m letting THAT particular title go until I can take up the mantle again. In the meanwhile I’m still counting down…

Sidenote: Is it just just me or does anyone else feel like they can get every single thought-process summarized in a SomeeCard? Pure genius!

Bless up.

TMIDM

 

 

 

For the Moms

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To all the Moms out there:

For that time when you watched your newborn, kept checking to see if he’s breathing and wondered if you really ready for this,

For the time when you heard her crying for YET ANOTHER a.m. feeding and let her cry because “Lord Jesus, i cyah get off dis bed nah!”……and then you get off the bed……….

For that time when he fell out the crib and you felt your heart crawl up your gullet and bust straight through your scalp (true story, both gremlinz),

For the times when you pack a baby bag and people wonder if you’re going to New York for the day,

For the times when you keep sniffing her neck because baby smell and giggles are so addictive!,

 

There is no shelter like the mother. There is no refuge like the mother. There is no defense like the mother. There is no one so dear as the mother 

From the Mahabharata
Santi Parva: Mokshadharma Parva
Section CCLXVI

 

For that time when they got the first vaccination and you tried to hold it together….and failed……,

For the times when seasoned mothers, aunts, grannies and total strangers make you feel as though you’re an alien raising a baby,

For the times when chaos follows the sentence “Mummy watch this!…”,

For that time when you walked into a room and found him and your furniture items covered in flour or powder or grease or lotion or powdered milk etc…(another true story)

For that time when she started kindergarten and you tried to hold it together……and failed……..

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For the times of yawns during homework, never-ending spelling lists, ‘whiteman’ on the knee, sibling fights, sibling-kiss and-makeups, silent screams for your alone time, bad moods, licks, cousins spending the night, toys all over the place, spending more time with the pardners, Common Entrance jitters, SEA paranoia, struggling to raise a smart, functioning teenager, boyfriends, girlfriends, breakups, fights, weddings, grandchildren and finding the balance in the middle of it all…….

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