[Media Event] The Delifrance Mother's Day Event – Mothers Not Invited

There are 3 days in every year that the Blogfather will always dread the most: his wedding anniversary, his wife’s birthday, Mother’s Day, Christmas and Chinese New Year. We have our reasons for the fear, too. The husbands will have a tendency to forget dates or worse, face scheduling conflicts. And if you do happen to remember and ensure the special day is free from other commitments, there’s the issue of the present, and even I need help in that area most of the time.

My son and I were invited to take part in a Mother’s Day clay-making session hosted by D?lifrance, which I took as a much-appreciated respite from my annual predicament during this period. The event was to commemorate the launch of their cake creations, baked specially for moms. The twist here is, only dads and their kids were invited, and for good reason: the products of our claymaking session was to be presented as Mother’s Day gifts for our mothers.

Delifrance_dads

As it turned out, we weren’t the only ones there. We met up with Isaiah Kuan and his 2 daughters from J Babies’ Dad, David Sim and little Dana from Princess Dana Diaries, not to mention (but I will anyway) local author Neil Humphreys and his kid daughter, and Lions XII goalkeeper Aide Iskandar, who pretty much brought his entire family, much to the chagrin of the organisers (who freaked out a little and went, “But we said no mothers! … oh, okaaay.”)

Our mission, which we chose to accept? Make mini-clay versions of the D?lifrance Mother’s Day cakes with our kids. There was an craft-making instructor on hand to guide us along the way, but this is no easy feat for a big-fingered man to accomplish.

Still, I signed up for this, so I tried. I can’t say I did too badly, though. And neither did Xander.

Delifrance_clay

You’ll know D?lifrance for their killer gourmet sandwiches. I’ve been a big fan of their chicken and egg mayo on ciabatta bread since I was but a young working adult, and my own mother loves their metre-long french bread (she calls them jiam tao loti). But the cakes from them are a first for me.

Delifrance_BlossomThe Blossom of Love (which Xander made a clay copy of) is a cupcake-sized, chocolate-coated flower pot with macarons and chocolate petal blooms. For $12.80 each, you have a choice of vanilla cake with lemon filling or chocolate cake on chocolate Philadelphia cream cheese.

Delifrance_GardenThen there’s the Garden of Love, a 700-gram, two-tier vanilla mango yoghurt mousse cake with a white chocolate coating, styled with hearts, flowers, and a pink butterfly symbolising “a mother’s gentle and beautiful nature” (in other words, the mother of your children, and let’s don’t forget your own mum, too). This one’s priced at $42.80.

Delifrance_GiftThe nice people at D?lifrance let us bring home the Gift of Love, the uber-chocolatey cake with Belgian chocolate mousse and hazelnut pralines, coated in chocolate ganache, surrounded with pink macarons and topped with a big pink chocolate ribbon. It weighs in at about 700 grams as well, and also goes for $42.80.

Thanks to Delifrance, Mother’s Day this year is now covered; ?to go…

***

D?lifrance’s Mother’s Day cakes are available at all D?lifrance bakery cafe’s islandwide (except bake-off at Siglap Centre, Coronation Plaza and Chancery Court). Note that the Gift of Love and Garden of Love cakes require 2 days’ advance order, and you have till 9 May 2013 to make your orders. Prices and items may be subject to changes without prior notice, and pictures are for reference only. For enquiries,m ou can call the D?lifrance guest service hotline at 6874 9622 (Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm).

There’s also an Instagram contest you can take part in! Just submit a photo featuring your mom on Instagram, with a caption telling us how endearing your mom is, and hashtag your caption with #delifrancesg; you stand a chance to win one of 3 $100 D?lifrance Dining Vouchers! The contest runs from 1-12 May 2013, and winners will be notified via Instagram on 15 May 2013.

In Danger of Silencing the Voices that Care

I’m a small fry. My web stats will tell you as much. But it hasn’t stopped me from speaking my mind about iffy issues people don’t usually feel comfortable talking about. Sure, it’s gotten me in trouble before (mostly with my wife), but that’s The Blogfather for you.

Which is why I’m quite concerned about the state of the blogosphere over the last few months, or rather, the state against the blogosphere; Bertha Harian has the lowdown, as well as a sort-of “word of warning” for us budding online social commentators. Most recently, though, the social networks are erupting with news of Demon-cratic Singapore’s creator Leslie Chew getting arrested over 2 comic strips he created that allegedly contained “seditious” material. Die-hard fans are up in arms, critics of his work are going, “Meh”, and people everywhere that like to discuss government policy, social adventures and misadventures, and other hot topics are suddenly sitting with their legs tightly crossed and a little pee in their knickers.

demoncraticsgarrest

I remember the first time I encountered a blogger getting into trouble for writing something a member of the state felt wasn’t appropriate. It was way back in 2006, and the blogger was Mr Brown. Following his story from all the way back then to where he is now, I have to admit he’s become a major influence in what I write, as well as the way I write. Sure, the fella’s funny, but satire aside, the dude’s got balls, too. More than that, he loves this country enough to continue making fun of it despite the problems it’s caused him.

I love this country too. Which is why The Blogfather won’t stop talking, either.

***

There’s a piece of oft-forgotten advice in customer service management that goes, “When a customer complains, it means the customer cares enough about improving your service enough to make the effort to complain.” You also know a friend is a good friend when he’s able to go past the niceties and friendly formalities to tell you in your face exactly what’s wrong with you.

I see a lot of the good that the ruling party has done over the last 48 years, and it is unfortunate that our society hasn’t bought into the culture of praise such that people can see the good that they’ve done. But as much as I feel Leslie Chew takes his satire of our state’s policies to an extreme tone (if only to illustrate point-blank exactly what’s wrong with them), if the state isn’t in the mood to take such criticism (joke or not), it’s well on its way to losing a friend in the people it seeks to serve.

Our Singapore Conversation has been happening long, long before the government decided to make it official; in kopitiams, in taxis, in theatres, in blogs, on Facebook, on Twitter, in homes and in the streets. Then when the government sat down to formalise the whole thing, it was met with a lot of skepticism from various corners (some of which, including Yawning Bread and Diary of a Singaporean Mind have also since fallen silent in mid-March, for one reason or another). It’s not that the skeptics thought it was a ridiculous idea; it’s that they thought it was ridiculous that the government has not heeded the voices that have been cow-parenting (def.: cow-peh cow-bu) since the ’06 elections.

And the biggest disaster for our government has been this campaign to demand apologies, threaten lawsuits and involve the police in curbing the voices that care (and complain), effectively flouting a fundamental relationship management rule even my own son can teach me.

When you get into an argument, do you:

a. force the other person to say sorry?
b. tell his mother?
c. threaten the time-out corner or the cane?
d. focus on the problem the person is talking about?

The way I see it, there’s still a way for the government to salvage the situation: stop all this childish bullshit of taking the voices against you to task, and start bloody listening to what’s already been said. Admittedly, listening happens to be the difficult part; as a dad, I do regularly fail in this respect whenever my wife and I have a spat. But fatherhood has also taught me, if you expect to change mindsets for people to accept what you’re doing, you need to change your own mindset in order to know what you’re doing.

Don’t shoot the messenger, guv. Just deal with the message.

When a Barber Laughs Mid-shear

Sometimes, you have to place your trust in the hands of someone you’ve never met. Most times, things turn out all right. On rare occasions, however, that trust is grossly misplaced. But it’s how you handle times like this that truly show the person you are.

I had a gut feeling that something might go wrong when I walked into my neighbourhood barber shop and was directed to a seat right at the end, a seat I have never sat on during past visits, and manned by a guy that has never cut my hair.

As he started prepping me, I gave my usual instructions. “High slope, sides and back.” And he set to work.

Halfway through buzzing up the highest slope I’ve ever received, and amidst the usual banter barbers make while they are working, one of the other barbers made a wisecrack, causing my designated barber to laugh – midway through shearing the top of my head.

It was a sickening feeling – the sudden additional and seemingly unnecessary pressure pushing down my head, then the sudden cool breeze from the air-conditioning that hit the very same spot where the buzzer was applied just a split second earlier.

At first the barber did not react. Keeping his cool, he tried to make up for it by applying an additional stroke with the buzzer, but I made him stop. “What are you doing?”, I asked him with a cold calm.

“High slope, right?” the barber said, already sensing I knew what happened.

“Show me,” I said, putting on my spectacles. Then he picked up a mirror and positioned it over the back of my head for me to see. Staring back at me was a patch of skin shaped like the Eye of Sauron set just right of center of the peak where my slope met the rest of my hair at the top.

I looked at my barber. my barber tried not to look at me. Then I took off my spectacles, and placed my right hand on my face. The barber banter stopped. Around me, 5 other barbers stood stock still, wondering what was going to happen next.

$10 Barber Tip #1: When you sense something is amiss, keep quiet and let the barber finish his job. Because if you let him know you sense something amiss, it will only go downhill from there, no matter how you try to salvage the situation.

And I think this is the ultimate example of how men will differ from women; given the same situation, you would expect a woman to get angry, cry, maybe even threaten a lawsuit. But then, that’s also why a guy’s haircut only costs $10.

I looked at my barber through the mirror and said, “Okay, put your buzzer down. I gotta think.” I looked around the shop, trying to ind a display photo of a guy with a short-cropped style I could ask him to follow. 30 seconds of tense silence later, I pointed at a photo of a Jersey Shore dude and said, “Can you do that?”

The barber looked at it, and said, “I try.”

$10 Barber Tip #2: the photos of representative men’s hairstyles you see plastered all over the shop are strictly for display only. So if you walk into a barber shop with a pictorial reference of what you want, it better be a photo you’ve taken of yourself after your barber’s done with you.

7 minutes later, I looked nothing like what the photo I pointed at did. After another facepalm and a little mumbling about why it had to be me today, I said to my barber, “Okay, we’re done.” By this time the tubby old guy was beginning to look rather guilty.

“Bro, no need to pay. I also ashamed to collect money from you.”

I took a deep breath, and sighed. “No, man. I sat here for 15 minutes already, and you cut off more hair than I’ve ever had cut since I was in full-time NS. I’m paying you.”

He cleaned me up, then I got up and handed him a 10-dollar bill. He took it humbly. Then as he was dining up his cash register, I tapped him on the arm with the back of my hand and asked with pursed lips, “Got discount or not?”

He laughed, opened up his register, and then he gave me a $5 bill and a pat on the back. Then I turned around, and saw the 5 other barbers staring intently at me. I shook my head and left, digging out my phone from my pocket to call my wife and tell her my barber laughed mid-shear.

$10 Barber Tip #3: If you get into a hair mishap with a barber who’s attending to you for the first time, make it a point to go back to the same barber the next time you need a haircut, because he’s gonna remember what he did to you that first time, and he’ll jolly well make sure he takes care to give you good, proper haircuts every time you visit.

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[Wordless Wednesday] Zero to Ten

So the wife made a pact to post up a series of Instagram poses, inspired by a YouTube spoof by the very funny people of JinnyBoyTV created, and promised her motherbloggin’ girlfriends that I’d join the linky party as well.

This is so random, I don’t even have a category for it in this blog. But here they are: The Blogfather’s “Zero to Ten”.

"1-2-5?" (I learnt this from an ex-colleague; it means 'want to fight?)
“1-2-5?” (I learnt this from an ex-colleague; it means ‘want to fight?)
"YOU!"
“YOU!”
"KWA JIT DAO."
“KWA JIT DAO.”
Okay, this one quite signature of me, I have to say.
Okay, this one quite signature of me, I have to say.
"Why liddaaaat?"
“Why liddaaaat?”
"SAI LI JIT PAH then you know ah."
“SAI LI JIT PAH then you know ah.”
"Finish this post already call me okay?" (Comment here oso can.)
“Finish this post already call me okay?” (Comment here oso can.)
"I SOOT choo."
“I SOOT choo.”
"Rock on, brudder..." (Evidently mat rocks can't count; including the tongue, that's seven only lah, bro.)
“Rock on, brudder…” (Evidently mat rocks can’t count; including the tongue, that’s seven only lah, bro.)
"Hello? I cannot hear you, my ear is folded in."
“Hello? I cannot hear you, my ear is folded in.”
"Why did I agree to this?"
“Why did I agree to this?”

This happens to be a family event; Mother of Xander started it, and it stops at Dear Xander.

[PV Series] The First Assignment

To recap from my previous parent volunteer (PV) series post, I received an e-mail from a parent support group (PSG) committee member asking if I could fill in for a PV to attend a Primary 1 afternoon school outing. The excursion would be, er, excursed, the following Monday – just 2 days from the date the email was sent. Turns out another PV pulled out at the last minutes and they had trouble finding a replacement at such short notice.

I responded to say I was available, and was told to report at the school to a certain class at 1pm.

When I arrived, I was expecting some sort of briefing to clarify the scope of work and responsibilities the PVs had to undertake during the course of the day. Oddly, when I went to the school’s general office to report for duty, the rather flustered receptionist had no other information for me other than “Wait for the class to come down, then report to the class teacher.”

2 minutes later, 2 classes arrived at the school foyer and sat down, each class of 30 children forming lines of 2 and sat down, chattering away.

After another 3 minutes of wondering which of the class teachers I should introduce myself to, I picked the angrier looking one (because that’s how I roll), and asked if this was class 2J.

“Class 2J? Her,” she replied, pointing to the more docile looking teacher over at the head of the next class.

I let out a small sigh of relief.

“Oh, hi,” said the other teacher when I turned to her. “Parent volunteer? Hang on ah.” She proceeded to dig into a box, pulled out a plastic bag, and handed it to me. “This is for you.”

In the bag were a small mineral water bottle and a tuna sandwich. “Oh. Uh, thanks,” I managed to blurt out.

There still wasn’t much in terms of a briefing, but from the emails I had received about the outing and my own memory of what a primary school excursion was like, I managed to more or less figure out what I had to do.

The course of my work for the day went as such:

  1. Make sure everyone boards the bus.
  2. Distribute iPods and earphones (supplied by the school, and loaded with relevant videos pertaining to the excursion).
  3. Disentangle one student’s earphones.
  4. Make sure everyone gets off the bus.
  5. Disentangle another student’s earphones.
  6. Walk to exhibition entrance.
  7. Disentangle another student’s earphones.
  8. Divide the class into 5 groups and direct them to their respective activity stations.
  9. Disentangle another student’s earphones.
  10. Bring 3 boys to the toilet.
  11. Bring the 3 boys back from the toilet.
  12. Break for tea.
  13. Offer my sandwich to a student after finding out she didn’t bring her lunch. Then find out she actually didn’t want to eat in the first place and was very disappointed to have to eat my sandwich. (She didn’t finish the sandwich.)
  14. Bring 6 boys to the toilet
  15. Bring the 6 boys back from the toilet.
  16. Find out the whole class had to go wash their hands after their meal, and bring 14 boys to the toilet.
  17. Keep boys from other schools out of the toilet until the 14 boys were done
  18. Sit in during a workshop where the kids learned about the food pyramid and made their own fruit salads
  19. Scramble into crowd control when the teacher let the kids loose to play in the exhibition play facility.

One of the things that impressed me was the school’s use of handheld devices as teaching aids. The teacher later told me the devices are refurbished models supplied by sponsors, and change as and when the sponsors change.

The kids got quite dependent on the info supplied in their iPods. But the otherwise progressive and well-planned provision of tools hit a snag. The info provided by the exhibition organizers turned out to be a year old, and some of the exhibits had either been moved or removed since.

The other thing that impressed me was the class discipline. Perhaps the gods were kind to me; I was assigned a class of attentive, obedient students. I realised this whilst sitting in on the little workshop they attended, and I imagined if I were in Primary 2, I’d have given the workshop instructor a hard time (maybe gone into a snoreful slumber, thrown a chair or something; I was that kind of student back in the day).

But the kids were great. They listened quietly (which, from 30 8-year-olds, was quite a sight to behold), and dove right into their activities with the enthusiasm and gusto of… well, attentive, obedient 8-year-olds.

I was later told by the form teacher that this class isn’t even a top-performing class. There were a handful of high flyers, but the class had good EQ in general.

The teacher herself was well-prepared, given her 8 years in service. She packed light, but packed enough, like a seasoned traveller, equipping herself with a box of tissue, a first-aid box (which came in handy when one of the girls complained of an upset stomach), and a set of commands that would put a military sergeant to shame.

For example:

For silence

Teacher: “Class, Finger One.”

(Whole class falls silent, and everyone has an arm raised with one finger pointing up.)

For sitting still

Teacher: “Class, Finger Two.”

(Whole class falls silent, arms crossed with two fingers extended.)

For standing still

Teacher: “Class, Finger Three.”

(Whole class falls silent, arms placed behind, with one hand holding three fingers on the other hand.)

For attention

Teacher: “Class, all eyes on me.”

Class: (in chorus, and index fingers pointing at teacher) “Yes. All eyes on you.”

Newbie Parent Volunteer: “Phwah.”

The Non-Working Adult

We were visited by a door-to-door charity spokesperson last Saturday. My son stood next to me at our half-opened flat door with me in my sleeping clothes as the guy on the other side immediately raised his house solicitation card and his other hand in defense, blurting out as his first words of greeting, “Don’t worry, sir. I am not trying to sell you anything.”

Thanks to my rather well-documented dealings with various telemarketers and over-enthusiastic salespeople, I instinctively knew I was gonna have fun with this one.

In the middle of his well-rehearsed introduction, he said this: “… we’re encouraging working adults to go for health screening and also introduce our donation drive. Are you a working adult, sir?”

“No,” I said. My son was still next to me.

“Oh,” the volunteer said, face drawing a blank. Then the short little man stretched his neck and looked over my shoulder, and he asked me, “Is there a working adult I could speak to?”

I looked at him. Hard. “I am an adult. But I am not working. This is my son standing next to me. I own this flat. Can you clarify your use of the term ‘working adult’? You seem to be assuming only ‘working adults’ are qualified to listen to what you have to say.”

Our little hero was visibly growing even more little as he struggled to find an answer to my question. “Er, actually that’s the term we were taught to use.”

“Well, could you go back to your teacher and feedback to him or her to use another term? You have effectively lost me at ‘working adult’.”

Now visibly shaken, the little guy tried to maintain his composure and asked me in his bravest voice, “Sorry, sir. Are you still interested in findi–”

“No.”

“Yup. Okay.” And he left.

I went back to the living room. My wife asked me who it was, and I told her, “Charity. Little fella. Assumed I was a ‘working adult’.”

She looked puzzled. “But you are a working adult what.”

I smiled. “What if I wasn’t?”

To the little hero (and anyone out there who is in danger of becoming another of my currently 7 little heroes and counting),

It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to save the world or sell someone a 240-in-1 can opener. Please, if you’re going to read from a script, at least understand what you’re reading, and don’t take for granted that your script was written by someone who knew what he or she was doing. If I can – and I will – catch you not thinking about what you’re saying, I’m sure somewhere down the road, as long as you keep to the same schtick, it’s only going to get uglier for you.

Please, learn to be sensitive with your audience, or you’ll get nowhere very, very fast. And with me, often you won’t even know what hit you.

Being Good

Dear Xander,

I was speaking to a few dads in a sitdown meeting when the topic of our children’s future came up.

It was a complicated and heavy discussion, delving into such sub-topics such as our local government policies, its emphasis on meritocracy, and ultimately the need for our children to work on their academic lives even harder than any child has ever done in the history of our country, just so we can compete on level ground in what is currently a country growing a majority of foreigners who are equally, if not more, driven, talented and less materialistic.

As the “impassioned” discussion wore on, I studied each father sitting with me carefully – their postures, expressions and the stances they had taken – and decided to share my stance.

“The moment my son was born, I decided my life was no longer mine to live. The future belongs to my son now, and everything I have done over the last 4 years – in my family, my career, and myself – has been with my wife and son in mind.

“That being said, how my son will do in school is of little significance to me. And I don’t care if he grows up to be a lawyer, or a construction worker. There is only one thing I want to see my son become – a good person.

“Whatever he does in life, regardless of his successes or failures, I only really want him to learn one thing – my son must answer to himself. He must learn to be good, to do good, to learn the bad, and to understand why. The day he is able to live a good life – in every sense of the word “good” – I will know I have done my duty.”

But there is a catch to this, which I did not share with the fathers I was with at the time. In order to succeed in bringing a child up this way, I have to do the same.

I must learn to be good, to do good, to learn the bad, and to understand why. I have to be able to live a good life – in every sense of the word “good”.

Otherwise, it simply would not work. You’d catch the hypocrisy in a heartbeat. It would confuse you, hurt you, and ultimately influence you. And even if I wanted to, I would not be able to start again with you.

You would not forgive me.

I write this in the hope that one day, when you come to read this, you will remember the times I told you to “be a good boy”, and you will also truly understand when I tell you to “be a good man”.

Be good,

Dad

[The Parent Volunteer Series] Beginnings

Back in the tail end of October, my wife pressed me into applying for a parent volunteer (PV) programme at a rather reputable school near our home. I was planning to make a living out of working at home at the time, and thought it might actually be a good experience to document here.

Yes, we also wanted to try and jump queue for our son. But given the debate over whether PVism actually does put your child in a better position to enter the school at the end of the day, The Blogfather will reserve comment… that is, until he finds out in the second half of 2014.

I got a call in late January from the school’s admin manager saying the vice-principal(s) would like to meet me for an interview. My wife (who insisted on going, saying this is officially a family affair) and I headed down a couple of days later, half expecting a job interview, and half not knowing what to expect.

The interview took 15 minutes. They were intrigued that a father was applying, and even more mystified that I was able to offer time during office hours. They were interested in my ability to design, but even more curious about my deep interest in the topic of parenthood (I put this blog and Dear Xander in as part of my r?sum?). We were confirmed on the spot (it’s “us” now, since my wife also attended; since then, every correspondence we receive from them refers to both my wife and I by our first names). I was also told at the end of the interview that in view of my interest in parenting, they will be placing me in their Parent Support Group (PSG).

There was no word from the school again until early March, when a slew of introductory emails came in, spearheaded by the PSG chairman, with a request to set a time for a group meeting. Before the month was over, while waiting for the meet-up details to be finalised, I received another email from another PSG committee member asking if I could fill in for a PV to attend a Primary 1 afternoon school outing — in just 2 days’ time.

I jumped at the request.

I don’t know about you, but to me, this is all terribly exciting, isn’t it?

To be continued…

The SMBM – Wow, What an April Fool's Joke

Yes, the Singapore Man Bloggers Group is an April Fool’s Joke.

The responses were nothing short of amazing (more on this later), though a small handful of you (I count 1 from the real SMB channel) may have caught the very subtle discrepancies from yesterday’s spoof post. I will say that the first half of what was written is true, right up to the part where I start talking about the SMBM (credit to Adeline of The Accidental Mom Blogger for the acronym, though she wasn’t in on the joke). As for the parts that aren’t…

First… dat logo. Oh, god, that logo.
SMB-spoof

I can do better than this (now I feel like my primary school teacher writing a remark on my own report card). In fact this took me just over half an hour to do.

The logic of it is:

1. it has 3 stars as opposed to the current SMB logo (We are men! We must have more!)

2. I made sure to work in the Superman chest emblem into the design (to pay homage to male chest-thumping), and

3. I made it red and white with the crescent hugging the cube, because Singapore.

Somehow the dad bloggers started visualising the 2 stray stars as nipples, and the SMB acronym as represented in the logo became Singapore Man Boobs. (Sigh. Men.)

“… we realised we have to differentiate even as we consolidate, hence the double-emphasis on the initial for “M”an.”

If I were to start a community of bloggers, I wouldn’t stop at just the guys (I’d have to start with the dads though). I’d make it a free-for-all — men and women, single or married, young or old, food, beauty and lifestyle, parenting, socio-political, Ministers of National Development, ex-SMRT CEOs, all would be welcome. I don’t really believe in segregation, because we’d learn a lot more from a diverse community. It sounds really nice, but the more I think about it, the scarier the idea gets administratively.

Plus, I may be free with my Singlish, but I would never add unnecessary initials to an acronym, real or otherwise. Some things about English usage I simply do not compromise.

“…we will start off by sending invitations to select Singaporean male bloggers (not just dads, because let’s face it, how many Singapore dad bloggers are there?)”

In fact, there are quite a number of dad bloggers out there. Not as many as the mums, of course. The collection is growing over at my Mom & Pop Mafia page (I’m?gonna add a Moms’ section very soon, and that is not a joke).

…the SMBM will also get some access to the Singapore Mom Bloggers Facebook Group page… (a separate member category with different access rights for the guys will be created within the FB group).

First, there is no such setting on Facebook groups. Second, I put that in there to freak the mom bloggers out, but nobody caught that one, despite the issue being discussed almost a year ago among the SMBs, when I first tried to get Rachel to add me into the group.

“… the combined strengths of the Singapore Mom Bloggers and the Singapore Male Bloggers will guarantee great sponsorship and paid opportunities for everyone!”

One dad blogger I know definitely took issue with this little nugget, to which I say to him (again), I know what you’re saying, and from our very first, really honest conversation about it, you know I agree. That’s why I included this “guarantee” into the prank in the first place.

I’ve said before, “I must live an honest life. I will steer well clear from being a hypocrite, ensure I stand firm to my beliefs or don?t believe in them, and I will not lie” (except on April Fool’s Day).

I’m still staying true to my words today.

No one can ever guarantee any kind of monetary returns to you. No organisation, company, not even your own blogging self. Sure, they can help you (and you can help yourself), but no one can ever, ever guarantee it. Remember that.

Besides, we all have our own motivations for blogging, and one thing I’ve learned since I started meddling in “emergency HR” back in my old jobs: it’s almost always never about money. Nor should it be.

That being said, we’re bloggers; we’ve chosen to be open books to the world, much less our own community. I take a quote off my FB discussion: “(…) lest we misjudge, we need to really get to know why a blogger blogs. And I’ve come to realise in my 1 years’ experience, if you wanted to know what motivates a blogger, all you need do is ask.”

“Members are only required to adhere to 3 major group rules…”

There’s a little truth in this one. The rules were pretty much lifted off of what I’ve been told about SMB, and only the 3 major ones. I’m sure there’s a longer list in their group documentation, but I’m not an SMB member… yet.

I’m a big sucker for servant leadership though, so I would really just allow the community to run itself (with a bit of a nudge here and there, admittedly).

“The SMBM group will be managed by yours truly, with Rachel acting as advisor…”

In fact, I conspired with Rachel to execute the April Fool’s joke. For it to work, I needed the SMB founder to push the announcement into the group. Now I’m waiting to see if she’s going to complain to me that membership has dipped as a result.

The result was not what I expected. Even with the SMB-targeted loopholes I placed, in the end, it was both the moms and?the dads that got really vocal about it. The passion for an idea like this (for the dads, particularly) is really giving me second thoughts about keeping the original Blogfathers! SG idea on the shelf.

“… but I have no doubt the SMBM group will eventually evolve into a (very manly) blooming flower of its own.”

Seriously, that “no doubt” bit is a lie. The truth is, I don’t know. But judging from the amazingly supportive responses I got yesterday as word of the prank spread, I won’t dismiss the possibility that an open blogger community may happen in the future.

I’ve said during yesterday’s discourse about the SMBM that “… there’s only so much you can learn and so far you can improve when you’re blogging on your own.”

As for it being run by me…

I gotta think.

(Please don’t kill me.)