Then, I went nuts about gardening. I made my own fertilizer with chicken shit, yoghurt and milk which perfumed the whole house quite unbearably for him. I sourced far and wide for exotic seeds and plants ranging from the Australian lemon myrtle (which I found could not compare to our local limau purut)... and to the za'atar. For a time, I was the proud grower of St John's Wort, Sting Nettle, Dandelion, Milk Thistle, Chamomile, Za'atar... plus lots of other strange plants. It was fun figuring out how to get these non native plants to thrive in Singapore. The Husband put up with having to lug my heavy bags of soil. He put up with my strange delight when seeds arrived for me in the mail. He watched with forbearance whilst I imposed upon friends and relatives, brazenly asking for little plant purchases. I brazenly made people wash away the soil, wrap the roots with cotton and seal in ziploc bags for me. He stood watch as I climbed over fences to obtain cuttings. If it was jungle terrain, The Husband went in and got my cuttings for me.
All this he did with an absent-minded and indulgent air because well... if it kept his energetic (and ever in need of stimulation) Wife occupied, it meant I left him mostly in peace. In his head probably meant that it kept his psychological wellbeing in one piece.
Then I began to take an interest in Little Boy's grades. The Husband raised one eyebrow when I made Little Boy Memorize-Recite Chinese Compos for 7 hours a day, 5 days a week for 3 weeks. He raised his OTHER eyebrow when I decided that I would teach Little Boy Math because well... everyone knows Petunia has trouble counting from 1 to 100. And he tried to raise his THIRD eyebrow when I announced that School Was an Unnecessary Hurdle to Little Boy's Academic Performance. He remonstrated with me for a bit but since he is a busy man and can't enforce anything at home (since he isn't home much), Petunia pretty much did what she wanted and got Little Boy to stay home to self-learn everything from Chinese to Math. After a while, when Little Boy's grades climbed up to top of the class, The Husband got used to the unorthodox Petunia Parenting Methods. See, it just goes to show that humans can get used to anything and that normality is a state of the mind.
Then I began to monetize myself. I developed a Positive Teaching Seminar for Lower Primary Parents. I began to do parent coaching. I wrote a book.
And now, The Husband WON'T leave me alone.
What I now do really interests him. He comes home and requires a detailed report on what I have done in my day!! He wants to know if the latest orders have been sent out... how much cash I collected... what I did with this customer's email... whether the next new product is on track for launch... when the next Seminar will be. I hate it when he wants to know whether I have packed the latest orders in envelopes. Ok... ok... I know I asked him to help me with the accounting... and he is just doing the best he can. But he is SUCH a bossy accountant!!
I also dislike that when I asked him to buy me a remote slide changer... he exuberantly went and got me a remote keyboard... a remote mouse and a remote slide changer. Then he foisted it all upon me with a pleased smile of a proud parent that said "See... I support you in every way. I give you everything you want and more. Now, you have to work hard."
I begin to feel like a child whose parents fork out thousands in tuition fees expecting me to deliver results. It doesn't help that Petunia considers laziness a virtue... and that every child has the God-given right to play. No? Petunia is not a child? You wanna bet?
I showed him Chapter 3 of Petunia's Book on Structured Choices, but I don't think he got the hint. Then I tried a more in-your-face strategy. I reminded him that it's MY business and he should jolly well mind HIS. But that didn't work either. I think I will run away like this boy here. Hmmmmmph!