Devoid of Hope?

I have always had this aversion to hospitals, particularly the Mt Hope Medical Science Complex. The stories relayed to me by family and friends were enough to confirm my resolve to never end up there for any kind of medical care that I may need for myself and my family, free as it may be. Granted there are horror stories in all the public hospitals in Trinidad and Tobago but I was so certain in my assessment of Mt. Hope that I had my two elder gremlinz in the Port-of-Spain General Hospital although I lived out of the catchment area. When it was time for #gremlin3, I couldn’t run the same racket again and decided to fork up the umpteen thousand dollars at the St. Augustine Private Hospital. The fear for Mt Hopeless was indeed very real.

Image result for HOPeless doctor

Fastforward to 2017.

In my twelve years of being a mother I ended up at the Mt. Hope Children’s Hospital only once, that was in desperation when the firstborn was verrrrrry young. I did’t stay very long, it was late, the place was packed and I had visions of not being able to be comfortable for hours on end with a sick child on my hands while waiting to be attended to. Beyond that, although there were cuts and scrapes and two buss heads, there was nothing major. Now, I don’t know if i have ever mentioned this before but Boyo (#gremlin3) is a little different from the other two. Mt Hope has seen me twice in the space of one month.

The first occasion was an accident where he took that Five Little Monkeys song pretty literally.

Image result for monkey jump on the bed

In an effort to save him from himself, there was a collision, a bit tongue, a bloodbath and a desperate race to Mt Hope. Thankfully the place was empty, the visit was short, the doctor was super nice and his tongue healed in less than a week.

The second episode was this past weekend. Long story short, he awoke with a belly pain that came in waves causing him great discomfort (aka screaming and hyperventilating) and his belly was really hard to the touch. Based on the last visit I was comfortable enough for yet another desperate race to Mt Hope which led to:

  1. Me now knowing exactly where to go, armed with my very own pediatrician who gracefully gave up her Saturday dental appointment. (I love you sis, your teeth are already awesome!) Although I had a good visit the last time, I couldn’t shake the wariness of possible bad luck.
  2. Me learning what the term intussusception is and then bandying it about like said knowledge dropped straight from an episode of Grey’s Anatomy.
  3. Me watching my son get an IV line run for the first time. He needed SIX needles to find a vein!!! I wept like Mary watching her son on the cross.
  4. Me watching my son get an x-ray done for the first time, then watching him fall asleep during an ultrasound. A room with dimmed lights and a specialist with a soothing voice massaging gel on your tummy? I didn’t blame him.
  5. Me getting good news that the intus (yes, I slanged it) couldn’t be seen, watching him feeling better, laughing and yapping and then seeing him collapse in pain and screaming again.
  6. Me hearing the dreaded words: “We’ll have to keep him overnight for observation”

Lemme stick the pin in here.

Never in my life had I ever stayed the night in a hospital other than to birth humans. I started to feel sick because 1) This was Mt Hope and 2) This was Mt Hope. Now, the pediatric doctors and nurses were AMAZING eh, but in my mind, I still felt like I was overstaying my welcome the 6plus hours that I had been there and that my luck would run out. It’s one thing to know you are leaving, it’s another to know that you have to stay. So le husband was dispatched to retrieve the necessities and I was sent with Boyo to another ‘less temporary’ room. To continue with the lessons that I learnt:

  1. There are various sleep positions that can be made in a tattered recliner.
  2. Blankets are CRITICAL! Pashmina scarves do not cut it.
  3. You automatically feel like family with the person to the left and right of you in a ‘we in this struggle together’ kinda way.
  4. Everybody (not including the ACUTAL professionals) feels the need to give unsolicited advice.
  5. You feel like screaming when you hear a child cry because then your child will wake up which means you can’t take that quick nap that you need but then you IMMEDIATELY feel guilty because all the children are in pain and your sleep doesn’t matter.
  6. When you get the all clear to leave, you feel the dual emotion of guilt because you have to leave your ‘bedside mates’ but joy because you can have an actual bath and sleep on an actual bed.

I thank God that the result was no intus and resulting ‘air enema’ or surgery. I still have no idea what was the cause even though the doctor discharging me indicated the virus or early gastroenteritis.  All in all I was happy with the level of care given at the Pediatric Department. The doctors were young, enthusiastic and knowledgeable, nurses were mature and gentle, even with frustrated parents. I would definitely return, Peds isn’t hopeless but I am holding tightly to my reservations for the adult section. I don’t need time to tell to find out the truth on my own.




4 things 2017 taught me

In the usual vein of reflection, anticipation, inspiration and of course celebration, I decided to do a short write up on what lessons the past year served to me.

1. I most certainly CANNOT blog for a living.😄

I never wanted my blog to be a money making venture hence the reason I never looked into securing ad space and by extension never felt the pressure to create content simply to fulfill that purpose. I never write just for writing’s sake, I write when I’m inspired. Interesting moments happen in my life, sometimes mom related, sometimes not.  Of course the flip of that would be that there are no demands on me to write hence the weeks and sometimes months apart from post to post. It’s not that I don’t have anything to write, my draft box is full both on WordPress and in my brain and if needs be sometimes I post snippets on Facebook. I just need to prioritize my time better and add a specific blog time to my weekly schedule if needs be. This is definitely a 2018 improvement step.🤓

2. Half the fun of parenting is figuring out how to navigate children who are vastly different.

Now that Boyo is fully coming into his own at the ripe old age of 18 months, it is interesting to watch him learn and develop, perhaps even more so than my first two gremlinz. He likes to touch stuff, fixes, probes and prods,  focused with the fingertips and laser sharp with his observation as though he must know why things work.  This is opposed to my Mam’zelle who loves singing, dancing, creating things, drawing, has a vivid imagination and telling me what works in clothes and makeup. Son-son is the one into books and facts, information, likes to be the first to know and the first to spread knowledge. Now what happens when these three worlds  collide? That’s the fun (and sometimes admittedly frustrating)  part. 🙃

3. Keep the eyes on the prize

When I look back on 2017 I don’t think I accomplished anything that I had ‘planned’ at the beginning of the year. As a matter of fact it was one wompity womp after the next. Now my go-to motto is to hope for the best and expect the worst but with one deflating disappointment after the next,  it was a struggle to remain positive in spite of it all. However here I am, alive on the 31st probably because I have to  try again, maybe use a different formula and see things in a different light so what is due to me finds no difficulty in finding me.🙏

4. Let selfishness reign….your money….your time….

Reward thyself! You bloody well deserve it dammit! 2017 was the year of getting my makeup stash in an acceptable order and I spent my coins to make sure that I got stuff that EYE wanted (thus dubbing 2018 the year of ah-not-buying-no-more-makeup-unless-absolutely-necessary-but-ah-sure-it-go-be-something-else-taking-my-dollars).🙈 As it relates to my time, I’ve done a pretty decent job of ensuring that my ‘me’ hour or so is carved out of my schedule. I most DEFINITELY could have put in more gym time especially this Christmas was savage on the belly 😩 and as mentioned before, more blogging time. But this remains a staple for me and I encourage all other mothers to do the same. Don’t wonder when you will get time to exercise or write or take a drink or breathe. Find it in your day. I am going to try to maintain my very early morning workouts, my stolen moments eating desserts in my car and my colouring books in my office. 😆

So here’s to 2018! I’m not one to make resolutions, I am only striving to be a better version of myself day after day. I hope you are too! See you on the flip!





My Girl

When I was pregnant in 2008 and told my close friends that I was having a girl, most, if not all, erupted in the “Hm! You will meet your match!” sentiment. I have no idea why. Indeed when Mam’zelle was born there was a different feeling that I got as opposed to when I had my son almost three years prior. My mind churned with all the things I needed her to know about life and living in the world as a girl/woman. I wish I could have just opened up her head and poured all the wisdom and knowledge inside so she could be prepared for what’s out there.

As she grew into her own person, she became very unlike myself in many ways. As a child I was mild-mannered, afraid to rock the boat or break the rules, played quietly with my dolls and could spend hours to a day in a book. She always had a retort, did not like to read, she moved about indignantly when she was upset, was impatient with schoolwork and deliberate when she did stuff to get in trouble. This was unnerving to me and especially infuriating to my mother as my younger sister and I were not like this (and of course naturally, my parenting skills came into question).

I have largely guided my daughter within her own convictions to ensure that even with her personality, she must get the value systems correct even if I have to drill it into her even more so than I had to do with my son. So with things like honesty, compassion and patience, there is greater need for the sitting and the talking. I have long accepted that although it is indeed more work, it is necessary work. I try my utmost not to compare but there are weak moments where as a parent I think the familiar ‘why can’t you behave like your brother/sister?!’ If you are a parent of children with different personalities and you tell me this thought has never crossed your  mind, your pants are on fire.

More and more these days, I look at Mam’zelle and honestly, if  I was worried that seeing our differences would lead to difficulties, recognizing some of our similarities is downright terrifying. She’s nine now and sometimes I see a lot of my childhood/adolescent insecurities in her. Physically my daughter is like me, a thick girl with thick legs and a large posterior which she’s very conscious of, especially as she does swimming and ballet. (In my youth, countless were the times I was told to ‘tuck in the butt!’ while I was at the barre).  She doesn’t like not knowing something even if it’s something she should not know as yet. When she’s doing something she’s unsure of, there’s an anxiety that shadows her face, her palms sweat and her hands shake. She wants to know that everybody around her is happy with her and sometimes loses herself to make sure that this happens. All of these are familiar to me and there are times when I want to tell her DON’T DO THAT!/DON’T FEEL LIKE THAT! but I know deep down that each of us has to grow as we learn, including her.

A couple of years ago she got really sick and at a particular point I was helpless. It was the absolute lowest point of my existence and I desperately cried out to God that if He pulled her through, I would raise her to be a dynamic one and I would fiercely protect her with all my being until He was ready to call her home. I am more protective of her since then and I’m completely OK with that.  I drag her everywhere and let her know about the sacredness of female relationships even in the face of male-female relationships. She knows when she can be vocal and is learning about when she has to dial it back a bit to silence according to the situation. I impress upon her that her existence is vital and her place in the world is secure and even if I am not there to guide her, she must be sensible enough to know how to position herself. Conventional wisdom dictates that you don’t help the butterfly out of the cocoon, the struggle is what makes it strong enough to fly right?

I couldn’t have asked for a better daughter and my mission is to make sure that I take her from a happy, carefree, strong girl to a spirited, compassionate young woman and thankfully, my girl is well on her way.

Bless up




Grocery games

Image result for sad grocery shopper cartoon

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.

Image result for sad grocery shopper cartoon
Adapted from

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

Bless up



Leave me alone!!!!!


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.



An afternoon with The Boys.


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.

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:

Bless up



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:



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…..






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.


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.






For the Moms



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……..



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…….