5 reasons why I vaccinated My Gremlinz

Shots, shots, shots, shots!

Let me begin by stating that this is not a post to debate the argument for or against the CDC, WHO, CARPHA or whatever other alphabet ‘illuminati’ organisation in charge that exists (and if you live in Trinidad and Tobago throw in any red or yellow three-letter combinations in the mix here too). This is simply to give you the five reasons why I invoked my parental responsibility to vaccinate my gremlins against the C*vid-go-from-here-nah-man virus. So please, if you think I am a bad parent for doing so, that I micro-chipped my children, that I live in fear, that I didn’t ask their permission, that I don’t know what they put in the vaccines and that I don’t see with my third eye….cool beans, no problem, have a blessed day in Jesus’ name.

Don’t let the bastards get you down.

PROTECTION – Yes I hear the initial statement expressing that children are less likely to contract the Rona and therefore don’t “need” the vaccine but they are at a greater risk of having their immune system greatly compromised by contracting MIS-C and I would prefer not to make them susceptible to anything extra that may cause them greater harm (and yes I’m aware of the rarity of cases involving myocarditis and pericarditis just like I am aware of those who drive recklessly without seatbelts or fill their lungs with nicotine daily). 

LIFE – Ma Corona is going nowhere no time soon. We are at the stage where we have to figure out how to live with her and her Greek offshoots and accept that that last normal year of life (circa Februaryish 2020) was the last “normal” year of life. We live in an even more hostile environment and the way I see it, I need to equip myself and mine with all the ammunition needed in defense against the fatal effects of this virus as it continues to mutate in this same environment that it finds very comfy. Much like the flu and yellow fever, trusting in God and lime juice to provide me with natural immunity may not cut it alone. Now, speaking about God….

SCIENCE – I see no mutual exclusivity between science and God. Based on the historical narrative, the push to create this division between science and God is sometimes difficult for me to accept. Is an absolute denouncement of God and/or faith a pre-requisite for working in a STEM field? Are all scientists atheists? Can’t scientists pray and ask God to bless their day, to help them in their work for the betterment of mankind and believe their prayers will be answered? Now yes, scientists in certain fields have gone so far to discredit the existence of God in their line of work, but accountants have stolen money, lawyers have cheated their way out the system and teachers have made you feel like shit. How mankind will blindly swallow a Viagra with no questions asked about its magical ingredients but pour mistrust on the same company creating the vaccine is truly a fascinating thing. I trust the Science behind the magic…….plus my sister is a paediatrician so who else must I trust? That’s just me.

MENTAL HEALTH – Teens are fed up. My gremlinz are fed up. Now honestly, they don’t really have anywhere to go, but just knowing that they at least have the option, is enough for them to feel a little ease from the crazy. That lockdown feeling is not nice at all, even for Mam’zelle who is a professional introvert. At some point they should be included in the return to any semblance of normalcy, their mental health depends on safe, outside interaction, physical school is now a cautious possibility and so they need to be in a position where they are protected in a world of carriers both vaxxed and unvaxxed.

And lastly…

GRANDMOTHERS – I vaxxed my gremlinz to avoid the argument with my mother who does not play. She is the person in my life who I believe is closest to the Lord and sis put her faith where it supposed to be and got her Astra Zeneca needle bright and early in His name. Lemme be bold and say I’m not bothering to vaccinate her precious grands, I wouldn’t hear the end of that ole talk!!! I treasure my sanity and it would have been at stake so even if this was the ONLY reason to give them the jab, it would have been more than enough.

So there ya go! My five reasons! Now according to which side of the coin you are on, you may not see the merit in my five reasons but that’s ok. We have our own convictions in whatever decisions we make so we must be comfortable with the consequences. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments below and pop over and follow me on my Instagram to see a video of the gremz on the vax adventure! (https://www.instagram.com/tv/CUxJHVhFLGM/?utm_medium=copy_link)

Blessings

TMIDM

Back to School in this here 2020 – Part 2 (Keeping it all the way together)

The second week of remote learning for my gremlinz has just ended as has my first week of teaching using remote learning while managing my gremlinz at the same time. What have I learnt over this past gruelling week? As a member of the teacherati who is also a parent, the following:

  1. Bathe early. As soon as you get up, pray/meditate, brush your teeth and hop straight into the shower. Pray/meditate/brush your teeth in the shower even! Do not lull yourself into a false sense of security thinking you will have breakfast ready for yourself and others and then go take a bath and begin on time. Nope. When that first notification comes in, you’ve already lost. Operate like you are literally going to work or you will be in your nightie until 3 p.m.
  2. Do NOT plan your week. Plan your day. You can have a general idea of how the week is going to go, what your children have to do and that the tasks are all on the schedule but try not to exhaust yourself holding on to the minute by minute play that you have written in your calendar/planner/journal. For the past two weeks since remote learning started, I’ve been a boss on Monday and Tuesday and then a disappointing failure on Wednesday because my schedule went off the rails for one reason or another (one of those reasons was me staring into space after a double Google Meet wondering how the rassss I’m going to make it to December but I digress). Take each day as it comes and at the end of each day, map out what’s going to happen the next day. Leave room for disappointment and frustration. Be gentle with yourself in the evening.
  3. You know what you DO need to plan on a weekly basis though? Food. Have your meals sorted out for every single day, Monday to Friday. If your gremlinz are like mine, although they are ‘in school’ they are not operating with ‘school stomach’. Make sure you have stuff in the fridge or frozen and ready to pop out and heat up. This is a sanity-saver and it avoids your children having to lunch on digestive, cheese, Vienna sausage and ‘just add water’ mauby when you were really responsible for providing a balanced meal but was just too drained to bother (possibly a true story).
Image taken from The Washington Post

4. I’ve glad I’ve honed my multi-tasking skills. At one point during an online session I was in  a live class, messaging my form class on my student phone (because I realize that ‘Miss wha’ subject we have now?’ or ‘Miss, sir ain’t open the live yet, what to do?’ is really their way of staying connected with me), trying to update an online ‘WE NEED THIS NOW!’ attendance register on my personal phone, appeasing my son who was quarrelling because wifi went down on his device and trying to finish some cold ass coffee while making sure that my toddler handled ALL the play doh colours to keep him occupied (such a thing has never happened, one colour at a time yo). Maranatha became my safe word.

5. You will feel to mash up your device and never want to see a screen again. I don’t think I have ever gotten this much notifications in my life…….ever…….My thumb joints were literally hurting after the first day, it was the strangest feeling. I wanted to kick back at the end of the day but I did NOT want to watch tv or a movie or read my Kindle. That was most frustrating to me, so I did a spa night….on a Monday….

6. You will feel guilt and wonder if you are short-changing your own children. Sigh…….Gremlin 1 is pretty independent with Form 4 study but there were times he came to me with a query and I had no choice but to beg him for 10 minutes grace. Gremlin 2 is still on post-SEA break but wants work to do, so I made up a simple schedule for her except I have to give her the work which I forgot to do a couple of days. She whined. Gremlin 3 has a set preschool timetable as well which I have not been able to stick to and I begged the principal for two weeks escape from live circle time and reading until I get my groove. So I work with him off-schedule. That guilt hits like a ton of bricks when I’m reflecting in the evening. I swear I’ll do better next week.

7. Find your happy place. Very often when I needed a reset when there used to be a physical separation of work and home, I tended to drop in to bar or grocery, buy a beastly cold Stag or cake and sit in my car while I mentally changed my hat from teacher to parent. Now that there isn’t that physical separation or even a spot where I could sit and tour out, everything is overlapped, home is school, school is home, that’s life. The end. My bedroom (with some minor upgrades) is now my primary space to unfold the overlap so I’m not feeling a despairing need to escape my own home. Your happy place is wherever or whatever you determine it to be….and you need it…..

Last, but not least,

8. Find your happy people. You need someone to commiserate with, to rely on, to listen to you, to cuss with, to cry to, to stay in silence with, to drink with, to laugh with, to discuss you mental state with……It is a struggle and there were times when I felt I was going crazy (December Lord?!?!). I was checking in with a friend all the way in the Middle East and in the midst of the voicenotes back and forth I realized I was crying. Unbeknownst to me I needed that release. This journey isn’t to be trod on alone. Check in with your people and check in with yourself!

A lot to unpack yes but we are living in the strangest times ever. Normalcy as we knew it is gone and we are all trying to adapt in the best way that we can. Be patient with yourself and others!

Blessings!

TMIDM

Back to School in this here 2020 – Part 1 (Red pill vs Blue pill)

Why is it that life piles everything on you on a Wednesday? Did we proclaim it Hump Day so much that it became a self-fulfilling prophecy? A mountain top that symbolizes struggle? This is why on a Thursday we need to throwback yunno, there’s nothing like some good old memories to set the mind right.

Anywho………

Relatedly…..allyuhhhh, this online learning/remote learning/distance learning/homeschooling/school in 2020/pandemic ‘new normal’ is a whoooooooooole NO! (Disclaimer: yes I know it’s the safest bet as we are still in the middle of a pandemic and no, I would neither want to be working at school nor send my gremlinz to school. My anxiety would thrive.)

That being stated…………..

(🗣 send Merlot please!)

Yesterday as I entered my sixth straight hour staring at my laptop screen, my eyes convulsed and it was ole mas with the synapses between my eyeballs and my brain. With my work not nearly finished I wondered how this was going to work between now and December. Ah ketching meh tail to add some attendance sheets, make sure my online classroom is tamper-proof, re-do a scheme of work for the term, not a single lesson plan in sight, curate my teaching content and to throw in the mix my students changing phone numbers like underwear when I’m trying to contact them and parents are asking me about (demanding) laptops, ‘if the work could do on a cell phone’, when they could collect the printing packages, why ‘allyuh’ not answering the phone in school, why I ask the child mother for her email when the child don’t live with the mother anymore……😐

In them midst of the melee I also thought about the little primary school children. Some of the bigger secondary school ones are accustomed to zoning out and probably don’t have to be online all day to get their work done but the babies that have to sit in a chair….and stare….and their teachers!!! Sigh…….

I consider myself a functional techie and always longed for education in Trinidad and Tobago to accept online pedagogy as an option in the teaching and learning process. To some extent it is heading there, many related professional development courses were (and still are) being offered and frankly I was blissfully looking forward to making my teaching life easier (blue pill). However, this launch from a cannon into the deep end is NYAT what I fully anticipated and I can’t swim even though I took a life preserver…..

Red pill…

I start teaching next week and I was most thankful for the extra time. I knew that the planning process for this term would be heavy but as I entered that sixth hour with the brain-eye drama escalating I wondered about my life choices (starting primarily with the battle between wine and coffee but to be clear it is sacrilegious to pit the two against each other). I closed my laptop and damn near cried in frustration.😭😭😭😭

This morning I woke up with my brain in the clouds after going to bed late and a rough night’s sleep. I was then I realized I was on top struggle mountain and needed to consider my descent. My plans for today itemized in my journal for myself and my gremlinz went through the window and I christened it ‘bare minimum day’ to save myself. Breakfast? Peanut butter sandwiches all around. Zoom meeting at 9? Camera off and turned that into a podcast. Preschool? I coloured that apple like a 4 year old. Older gremlinz? Allyuh fix up, yuh know the work. Lunch? Called on my mom (“Please cook for me!” (#ahbeg). My work finally resumed with resolve at 5 p.m. today after a mini-flood in my living room (long, very maddening story), two tablets, some Limacol and a nap. I’m not seeing cloudy and the effects of the red pill are clear but I swear I’ll do even better tomorrow.🤞🏾🙏🏾

To my teacherati, please save yourself when you need to and make it your ‘new normal’. This road is going to be long. To my teacherati who are also parents, look out for Part 2….

Blessings,

TMIDM