The Thing About Teenagers…

Is this thing on?

Back from an absence and to be honest I was stalling quite a bit to write and to post because I’m feeling very compelled to give my blog a whole refresh again especially in time for my bloggerversary in April. However, like a prisoner with a lucky break, time just seems to escape me.

Anywhooo…

I’ve been steadily trying to adjust properly into my new role as Trini mom of two teens (and by steadily, I mean from about October of 2021). Everything is in full swing now though and while sometimes I run like clockwork, there are many days when I feel like…Jesus just take the wheel, the car, the tune-up, the monthly installments AND the insurance because EYE not able with this!!!

Tew….much…

I feel like NO-ONE adequately informed me about mothering teenagers and I have questions. The sad part is that in my decade (plus) career as an Educator (including a lengthy spell as a Dean of Discipline), you would think that I would have learnt a thing or two about dealing with them. I did, but here’s the thing though, I can’t send mine home to their parents or suspend them from school for seven days to get them out my sight. They actually live in my house so alas, there is no separation of church and state. This is outright corruption and it stink.

Knowledge is power though and I am definitely learning every damn day. If you thought the lack of sleep/milk factory newborn stage is rough or the draining/demanding toddler stage is exhausting, guess what? It just morphs into a new set of challenges at the adolescent stage where you (more often than not) question your sanity, walk on eggshells, get irritated quickly, manage your expectations and worry….and oh you will worry…. a lot….more than you need to, but as much as you want to. Once you have children “it” never ends.

Here are a couple things I’ve learnt on this journey so far:

  • Teens want space. All of a sudden, I live a house with a corridor flanked by closed doors (NOT locked in my damn house). I knock for proof of life but most times I don’t need to as I usually hear giggling or bantering as they are ‘online’ with their friends. They don’t know how lucky they have it nah.
  • Said space will be acceptable to their standards which means it will be messy as hell if you don’t reign it in. I usually tell my gremlinz to at least neaten it up, nobody is saying to put down a Christmas cleaning, but try not to have stuff strewn all over when there are clear receptacles available.
  • Said space will also be the prison for your missing cutlery and crockery. When I see the stacks of dishes emerge from their dungeons in the evening, I shake my head and wonder how personally invested I would have to be in order to NOT make this a “thing” as de young people like to say. (Answer: Not that invested, and it depends on what the stack looks like.)
  • There is a slight obsession with hair. The elder gremlin asked me to grow his out while he would need curl activator and a hair sponge. (Naturally I enabled this as casual observation from the after-school population shows that teen boys find and express themselves through hairstyles). The younger gremlin all of a sudden wants to “see” what her hair would look like straight, it’s too thick for her to handle and apparently, I don’t do a well-enough job to make her look fly. Then she changes her mind because she gets fed up easily. She wouldn’t drive me mad.
  • Bad moods are de rigueur. Sometimes they scowl, fret and argue for no reason. One minute they will make their own breakfast, next minute they’re mad because I didn’t make anything for them. No amount of “this-is-the-day-that-the-Lord-hath-made-we-will-rejoice-and-be-glad-in-it” will help. My house gets very angsty and most times I just leave them alone yes because I doh want no bad vibes and they wouldn’t drive me mad.
  • You compete with headphones and earphones for their attention so they don’t “hear” you. Thankfully I have 5-year-old #gremlin3 who dutifully serves as town crier when necessary so I am safe. He handles the sentence “MUMMY CALLIN YUH!!!” with such ease.
  • Teens are masterful in identifying the random moments when they feel like talking. It is at this point you laser your focus to make sure that it appears as though you are doing nothing or doing some nonchalant activity. At this very random time they just appear, start with one word and then the rest follows like word vomit. For this sharing of thoughts I am always grateful but of course expect them to disappear shortly after they have unloaded on you.
  • Teens still need physical touch. They might roll their eyes, hit you the “oh gosh man!” or the “don’t be weird”, but they melt like butter once they get hugs etc. and then for a brief moment you see the inner child flicker in their eyes.

I’ve learnt so much more, but these are my main lessons. I still feel like as much as they brilliantly package the “what to expect” for pregnancy, babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers, all the feverish teachings die out at the later stages of a child’s life so it’s more of a ‘do what works for you but don’t raise no more shitty kids, the world has enough’ scenario. Therefore sometimes I am left with going back to my own teens trying to remember what I liked and didn’t like to influence my present parenting strategy. But then again….these children different….

Am I alone in thinking that way? If you have teenagers, do you feel the same? If you have littles, are you even thinking about coping with the teen years? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to follow me on:

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Bless!

TMIDM

Joy in Expectation (Blogmas#2)

As much as I say I am scaling down on Christmas because of the current global situation and all its pancreatic* glory, I find myself, not doing the most but considering myself having ‘band meh belly’ so hard throughout the year, that I think I deserve a little niceness. The thing is, all my niceness is not centred on clothes or shoes or makeup or anything personal for myself (except my Keurig coffee machine because dat is life!) but centred on the upkeep of my home. I think my brain figures that since we are likely to be home-bound for the foreseeable future, I might as well spend my coins and upgrade my home space to further my comfort. (My brain also needed a distraction via a new project because it’s not like if I don’t have enough on my plate). Home upgrades are tedious, a bit frustrating but overall very exciting (who doesn’t love a makeover?).

Bling bling

For as long as I know myself I have always enjoyed looking forward to something fun and ‘new’. Christmas will always remain my favourite holiday largely because of the advent of Christ and the spiritual and literal preparation for this: new paint smell, new linens, new decor, new sights, new feelings….the only old (classic) things I treasure at this time are the movies, music, memories. Ah love eet!

Now I appreciate that there are many who will not feel this way particularly those who are just not into Christmas and especially those who have suffered loss and therefore the whole season becomes one of only painful reminders. My advent prayers always include comfort for those who suffer at this time that they find the grace to rally through🙏🏾.

During this season of preparation and expectation be sure to take some time to find your joy that lies in the process, whatever it may be to you. There is some to be found somewhere in the mix man. Seek it out!

So where are you on the spectrum? Lemme know nah. Let’s meet in the comments!

Bless

TMIDM

*pandemic

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