Son dropped water on my study table

It was partly my fault. I left a glass half full with water on my table the night before. Unfortunately, it was knocked over by my 9 year old son as he wanted to read his Doraemon comic at my table for light. What followed afterwards was an observation of how there were parts of parenting I could improve to nurture my son into a better person.

When the glass was knocked over, the first thing he did was put the glass back upright (fair enough) but just stood there and watched the water continue to flood the table, with my laptop and books still on it, then continued to watch water trickle down the table.

I had to intervene. I removed the essentials from the wet area and instructed him to get a cloth to wipe it all. He ran out of the room and made me wonder, where the heck is he going? Turned out he went to the kitchen to take the only rag he knew of in the house that could wipe water. That small rag you put at the sink to wipe down the table after every meal. I gave him a look and took a different cloth and wiped the mess. Grumbling at the same time and sent him to the living room.

After the experience, I reflected on the situation a bit. It was a simple scenario of mishap but why is it that my son couldn’t solve the problem? It could be due to ;

  • he has never been in such situation before
  • even if he has, perhaps the scenario was a bit different and he was unable to use the knowledge that he knows, tweak it a bit to suit the current situation. Something we call creative thinking? Or is it logical thinking?

He knew basically that if water spills, you take a cloth and wipe it clean. And the only cloth he knows that could do the job is the one by the kitchen sink. He was limited to that pathway of wiping the spill and that option of cloth/rag in the house. He had no idea that if you spill water on a table with important things, you need to remove those things away. He had no idea that he could just use the kain batik and shawl I have hanging on the chair to contain the area and wipe it off. Even if he still wanted to use the kitchen cloth, he could have picked a bigger on than the cinonet one to wipe the mess.

It got me to somehow think of other problems in life and how people solve them. Sometimes an issue needs only a simple solution and yet a few make it so complicated. In a way, I was drawn to something that happened at work recently.

Due to Covid19, a lot of daily work practices have to be adapted to a new norm. For example in ways of conducting a meeting or course in the form of webinars. To attend a webinar meeting for an hour or so at the workplace is fine as you would resume your tasks at work after. What I don’t understand is why a one-day webinar that requires the presence of only one participant needs to be held in the clinic premise as well. Why can’t we take it as attending a one day course ( it is after all a one day course – online form) and allow the participant to take the course at the comfort of their own home using their own residential data connection. Webinar meeting for 1 hour is less excruciating than an 8 hour webinar course. If the superior worries of the subordinates playing truant or not paying attention, the subordinate could actually do the same at the workplace. Infact, even during physical online course, the organizer cannot guarantee that participants are paying full attention to it.

It also got me thinking about the less fortunate members of the society and the words of our former Education Minister, Dr Maszlee. Him saying that some people are only capable to think and solve their issues at a certain level because that is the only way they know how. They were not taught to think better nor shown on the options they have in life. Very few are able to think creatively and critically but more often they can’t. It’s like some people, they just know that begging brings them money. They are unaware that they could apply for benefits from JKM to buffer their circumstances for the time being.

Anyway, after my son had his morning shower we sat down and went through the situation again. I asked him first on what he should do if the water spills? After he answered, I proceeded to add on other ideas to clean up the mess like moving important things away, using nearby resources etc.

Things like this taught me that what seems logical and easy to you may not appear the same to other people because we are not wired the same way. Parenting is never easy as we are not just raising and preparing another human being for the world but also learning about ourselves and figuring out how we could be better ourselves.

A Kinokuniya book haul

It was an impulse purchase.

There was this unexplained urge to head on to the Kinokuniya website and go crazy on book shopping. Perhaps it was partially motivated by the fact that I lost my Popular membership card. And my Watson card. I ended up paying for the Kinokuniya Privilege Card as well at Rm38/annum. I honestly feel it is worth the money. I get another 10% discount on top of the online price.

This time I am less greedy. I was realistic and bought only 4 books. My choices are very business-like this time. I bought one fiction thriller to ease the intense reading materials. Ok, that is still intense. I actually wanted a chick flick but I’m not sure what is recommended nowadays. Maybe it’s because I’m old, my friends are old, most of us are married and stuff. Gosh, I miss the thrills and butterflies of love birds. I used to enjoy the shopaholic girl series. Recently, I loved the Crazy Rich Asian movie – so something along that line? Light, lovey-dovey themes.

It seems that now I like reading more than playing games. One of those recurrent phases in life, only hoping that it will last longer. This haul costs me a total of RM234.67 with free delivery to Melaka. My package was couriered by DHL Express and reached me in less than a week since all of my books are in stock. I hope to get more during the Christmas season.

So what have you been reading lately? Share with me.

Walter Mitty and Negative 25

The main moral of the story talks about taking chances in life and not letting others having control over yours. I suppose it is a feel good movie for introverts and daydreamers where one is able to get out of their shell, although driven by desperation, to achieve their goals.

As a student of psychology, I was obviously drawn to the human interaction part of the story and one scene that stuck out to me was when Walter hiked up the mountains in Afghanistan to meet Sean just to ask about the whereabouts of Negative 25.

After much elaboration on Sean’s part and to Walter’s dismay, viewers soon discovered that the picture has been with Walter all the time. It was in the wallet, given as a gift by Sean to Walter, which Walter had thrown away in the bin at home. He disposed of it as a reaction to a bad day at work. Here comes the interesting part.

SEAN’S REACTION

Yes, he was upset with Walter’s move. Not so much of being upset by Walter throwing away the wallet but that Walter did not get to see the picture. I had a difficult time to digest that response. I was even doubting my English if I comprehended the scene correctly.

What ensued next was even more mind-boggling. Sean, despite being disappointed of Walter’s actions, he still included Walter in his precious moment of luck when he managed to catch a glimpse of the snow leopard on his camera. He then proceeded to invite Walter to play a football game with him and the natives of the mountain.

SEAN HAS A BIG HEART

The psychology behind this response amazes me. I really need to find out the theory behind it. Because, if this was an Asian sinetron, I doubt you’d see this sort of exchange happen. In fact, it’ll probably be a saga of revenge till the 7th generation!!

Any other scenes you find interesting?

A Friend. A Colleague.

How can you tell if your work colleague is now your friend? What line did they cross to qualify themselves as a friend in the workplace? Is it accurate to say that a colleague is automatically a friend when you have lunch together? Or there are more gestures to it? Like having to share details about your personal life, to only then be considered a friend as opposed to a colleague? If I add you as a friend on Facebook, surely that means we are, NO?

To be honest, I don’t have a precise answer. Perhaps it is meant to be rhetoric?

I am thinking about this Friend Vs Colleague question because I had a pitfall in communication with a friend at work today. I have always thought that if you consider someone as your friend, your choice of words and tone would be a bit different during a conversation compared to when it is with a colleague. The topic of discussion would also be more chummy and less formal since we’re friends. Thus, when it comes to correcting a mistake and all, I feel there is a different approach when you need to reprimand a friend as opposed to just another work colleague.

A lady came to the clinic for a health documentation issue. It was a matter which could, in my opinion, be resolved on the same day. However, this friend who happened to see that lady decided that it should be addressed on a different date. My enquiry to his plan resulted in a few exchanges that ended with a statement by him that took me aback. Simply because it wasn’t something that I would expect a friend would say to another. Honestly, I felt a bit hurt. Hati tisu, tengah menses some more. Tengok kucing sembelit pun boleh nangis. Hahaha.

After the statement, I could sense a change in the atmosphere of the room. We would usually have small chats in between patients but this morning it just felt awkward. We were still talking to each other but it was minimal and superficial. I think we both tried to pretend that everything is OK. That I was not offended with his statement. I convinced myself that him saying that, was just him being himself (which is kinda true.. don’t we all accept the true colours of our friends – be it good or bad?) I persuaded myself to think that perhaps he was having a bad day and this lady was just the final straw that made him tick.

But it also made me think if through his eyes, whether I was a Friend or just a Colleague to him? Cause to me, he is a friend and there is a possibility that this friendship I’m offering to him was never actually reciprocated in the first place.

o.m.g