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Friday, January 25, 2019

The Batik Auntie

When no one is looking, I wear batik dresses at home. They don't cost much, are loose and being cotton, they wick perspiration very well indeed. I get a lot of wear out of each batik dress before they turn into rags. Every year, I buy a new lot from the Batik Auntie at Chong Pang market. 

This year, I realised what a formidable sales woman hides behind that innocent old lady face. Her hair is all white and wrinkles criss cross every inch of her face. I am guessing that she is near 70 years already. One forgets when one sees a sweet old gal, that she has had a lifetime of experience to draw from, and this one... man... this one!

My favourite batik kaftans were not in stock. Whyyyyyy? I love kaftans but apparently, they are no longer fashionable among aunties who shop at the wet market. What is now in fashion is the mermaid dress. This is a dress with a sort of flared skirt around the knee.

I asked how much. It was $15.90. I was taken aback. I am so used to paying $10 a piece for my favourite batik kaftans. I shook my head and walked away but I really really needed new batik sleepwear so I walked back again, determined to find a cheaper pattern. I found something at $12.90 each and proceeded to pick the colours and the prints I liked.

She began in earnest her sales pitch. Out came a chart with all 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac. She asked me which animal I am. Then, she picked out the colours auspicious for me.

- "I don't bluff you one lah... If the dress don't look nice on you, I won't sell you ok. These colours bring you luck and make you look good. I tell you ah... the mermaid pattern is good to buy. It looks so feminine and good design is good design. You have to pay more for good design, but it is worth it!"

I protested feebly...

- "I am wearing it to sleep. I don't need it to be the latest design."

She responded with a flounce...

- "Oi... don't say that you can wear anyhow to sleep ok. Nowadays ah... outside there ah... got women come in all tastes one ok. Got sweet and sour and bitter. You are married right? You have competition! Go to sleep also must wear something nice."

I was writhing internally with laughter. I wanted to tell her that at my age, nothing I wear is going to make me look enticing and I needed to count on my husband's moral rectitude and sense of honour to keep him faithful. However, I did not know how to say all that in Chinese so I nodded my head and smiled.

In the end, she half bullied and half cajoled me to buy 3 dresses at $15.90 and 3 dresses at $12.90. Sigh! Things are becoming more and more expensive these days. I remember buying such dresses at $4/piece before.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Abdication of Responsibility

Over the weekend, a parent told her son in front of me, "I give up. If I still cannot cope, I will leave you for Dr. Pet to motivate and to manage."

So nice hor... pay Dr. Pet $280 a month and she will fully motivate, manage and discipline your child for you on your behalf. You see, Dr. Pet has a magic wand. She only has to touch your child and he will behave.

This parent often complains to me about her children. I give her clear method steps to follow but she does not follow them. Unsurprisingly, her relationship with her child is still fraught, and her children disobey her. According to her, she has naughty and unmanageable kids. Her method of coping is to complain about her child.

Complaining is not going to help her child succeed. It simply lays the blame on the child for poor parenting habits.

When children come to the centre and show themselves to be docile and obedient to me, then any rebelliousness or misbehaviour with the parent is due to poor parental management. If the child were really problematic, the child would be problematic here too. This parent's child is very docile and cooperative with me.

I have offered to teach her how to manage her children properly but everyone expects free advice from Dr. Pet. So, in order to save money, she would rather continue to complain and then say, ""I give up. If I still cannot cope, I will leave you for Dr. Pet to motivate and to manage."

It is impossible to help children of parents like that. The parent influence 24/7 is stronger than mine. I know because I have TRIED in the past to help. I failed. Every time. Now, I don't even try.

For all parents who read this blogpost, know this. If you give up on your children, I will give up too. I am not going to chiong and kill myself for your kids if you don't care enough to even try.

I used to stress myself overly about this and that child reaching potential. The Husband is right. These are other people's children. Parents should not expect that I will happily take over the motivation and management of their kids for $280/month.

It is very tempting to abdicate responsibility to a teacher. It is a responsibility I refuse to shoulder. I have tried to shoulder it before and it lead me to depression. I cannot save children from their own parents.

It takes 24/7 effort to build up motivated and disciplined children like The Son and The Daughter. There is no way to do it in 1.5 hrs a week. If I try, I will only fail. Some of these children have so much potential. I would not mind adopting them and then put in this effort. After this effort, I want to be the ones to enjoy these children's loyalty and filial piety when I am old. If I am to parent the child, then I want that child to be mine and only mine.

No such thing as parent on your behalf and return the kid to you disciplined and motivated.

I have learnt wisdom. Now, if I discern that the parent is not committed to parenting, then I also pull back on my own investment in the child. I don't want to pour my energy and time down the drain. The next time this parent complains to me about her child, I will ignore her. I will also refrain from spending too much extra time on this child. Better to conserve energy and invest it in parent-children pairs that will give me results.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Selling Organic Echinacea Flowers

I am selling organically grown echinacea flowers at $7/stalk. The minimum order is 5 stalks. One flower is enough to stave off a flu provided...

- You sip the brew once every 15 minutes over a period of 8 hours. Echinacea is cleared out of the body by the kidneys so the dosage disappears fast. Keep adding hot water and keep on sipping. At the end, chew the leaves and the flowers.

- You shred and mash up the leaves and flowers in the cup really well.

- You take the brew at the first signs of a sniffle or even when someone else sneezes at you. Do not wait for the flu to take hold.

The flowers will be dried and packed individually. Fresh flowers are available depending on how many blooms are available on the day itself. Click HERE for instructions on how to prepare.