Loy Krathong on kids

Trip Start Jan 08, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Sunday, November 25, 2007

Loy Krathong Festival for this year.

Loy Krathong this year was held on the 24th of Nov (the same day as the Australian election).
As usual Alif went off to play computer games and Vava told us that she would be at the library where there was a community activity of making krathongs. Khun Yai - who knows where she goes during the day???
Kanchana and I planned to join Vava so we could have at least a partial family activity and we hoped Alif might turn up also although we knew it was unlikely. But when I turned up at the library, Vava's friends said she had gone swimming instead of making krathongs. Kanchana later turned up with some flowers and so we made a krathong by ourselves without the kids.
At about 6.30pm Kanchana's mum was sitting in the lounge room with material for many krathongs and she had only just started making them. Alif was playing computer games and Vava was waiting at the pond. When it was time to go, Khun Yai had disappeared and Alif said he didn't want to go. He changed his mind for about 2 minutes but ended up deciding that he didn't want to come with us. So we went with Kanchana's friend and her kids and found Vava at the pond. Vava had made her own krathong and she launched her own and wouldn't participate in Kanchana and I launching ours and wishing for a good year for the water, thanking the water spirits for letting us use the water and apologising for the problems we had caused to the water.
Later on, when we got home, Alif and Khun Yai went out to launch their krathong. Khun Yai didn't come back until late.
Hmmm, it was a pretty festival and nice at the pond when we went there - not too many people and too much noise. The candle lit krathongs on the water looked nice as they always do. But it was also sad, as again our kids don't seem to want to be a family or do things together. Currently they are making us both quite tired and unhappy with their behaviour.

Vava, the youngest but most mature of the kids is 11. She is tall and strong and comes first in her class at school in all subjects. She works hard on her homework and writes and draws very beautifully. She is serious though at times and gets angry quickly. She is aloof and distanced from us at times also, but she is also the child that is most helpful and caring towards Kanchana. She normally wants to be a teacher, sometimes a nurse. Kanchana would like her to be a doctor, which although we are not rich, maybe possible considering how good she is at school and how much work she puts in. Vava is also good at saving money and she doesn't spend too much or even enjoy spending on unnecessary things. She is not good at being disciplined or told she has done something wrong without getting the shits.

Alif is 14 but is small and weaker than his sister. He generally comes last in most classes and shows no interest at all in education. I don't think he is stupid (yet) but he is not at all interested in exercising his mind or gaining knowledge. He plays computer games in most spare moments and goes to sleep listening to music. His brain is incapable of being still or focussing on anything for more than a couple of seconds. He does very little exercise -only playing with friends at school, and I am worried that he will always be weak as he is not developing his bones or joints or muscles at a time in his life that he should. He has no idea of what he wants to be. A policeman or a soldier sometimes comes up, but I am not sure he will be capable of being a soldier. He helps us only a little and Kanchana often has to push him to do basic tasks like washing his clothes. He uses his money as soon as he gets it and is not adverse to borrowing, lying and even stealing, although only very rarely. He shows little awareness of other people and I would say he is selfish or self centred at the moment. He does love little kids and does well when he can look after little kids. But he is a huge concern to us. I can't see how Alif is going to survive in life, or at least how he is going to provide himself with a reasonable life. Kanchana and I (and perhaps Vava) already know that he will ask us for help and money in the future because he will not manage his resources properly. He doesn't want to do activities with us and shows no responsibility as a family member. He enjoys spending money on unnecessary things and has no ability to save. Alif was old enough to be affected by his father and Kanchana's bad relationship. We think because he grew up in an unstable family environment he is neither strong nor confident and to make up for his lack of confidence he plays the clown to be popular with his friends. He can make friends very quickly though. He is also lazy and this has been developed and enhanced by Khun Yai who is his servant. When I met Kanchana, she had to leave for work before the children woke up. After work she went to study university at night and got home after the children were asleep. Khun Yai was given responsibility to look after the kids during this time, and she failed in this task. Instead of teaching the kids anything, she just watched TV and instead of teaching Alif to look after himself, she has done everything for him. She continues to do this although we stop it when we can. But basically the end result is that Alif has become spoilt and although we work hard to fix this, it is tiring and it seems it is too late, the damage has been done, and Alif will grow up to be a useless male that requires a female to cook and clean for him, without him being of assistance. Oh, Alif is also incapable of pissing into the toilet or cleaning up after he makes a mess. But on the good side he is compassionate to animals, for example he gave the cardboard box to the pregnant cat when it wanted to sleep at our house.

Khun Yai, Kanchana's mum is the oldest but most immature of our children. She disappears each day to work getting massages for free by telling people about some product that someone has told her about. She loves to talk and gossip which greatly annoys Kanchana who is often the subject of her gossiping. Kanchana and her don't talk. Khun Yai loves watching soap operas on TV and sleeping. She is also prone to lying and stealing on a small scale. She is slightly mad and a bit paranoid . Khun Yai is an amazing example of a simple minded person. She shows almost no ability to plan into the future or take in new information and analyse it. She just lives and believes things that she is told and that suit her views already. But no real thinking ever seems to take place. She is a very bad example to the children which greatly annoys and frustrates Kanchana who has tried so hard to give the children a good life and a good education.

It will be interesting to see how things develop in the future. I don't hold much hope that Khun Yai will develop into much. But we are confident that Vava has a successful life ahead of her and we hope that somehow Alif will grow and change into a decent man.
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