Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Our hardworking piano

Singapore's Minister Mentor, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, declared recently: "We want no layabouts".

He'd been enlarging on the social safety net being woven to protect needy Singaporeans. But in our modest little home, we too "want no layabouts". In fact, our slogan could be: "Flexible and Redeployable".

We're talking about the furniture, however. We don't think any item and its original function should be welded together inflexibly. Take our model candidate, our piano. Sure, it can produce a tune when Mum or Pa tickles the ivories. But yesterday, we were discussing the possibility of deploying it as a child safety device. By positioning it just so in our living room, it might block Sonny's access to the windows that look out invitingly over the pool - this, of course, for when he reaches that age when he will want to climb and explore everywhere. The piano already doubles as a stand for our wireless modem, spinnable globe and phone charger. The piano seat even substitutes for a portable dining table when we're eating in front of the television.

The piano can't hog all the glory. We've redeployed our study table as Sonny's bathing station. One of our spare beds is where we usually change his diapers (though its useability is in question, as we've just blogged about). Even our television sits on a revolving stand, so it can be viewed from various parts of the apartment.

Of course, we can go too far when pushing the flexibility agenda. It subsequently occurred to us that the piano, rather than barring Sonny's way, could be used by him as a stepping stone to more easily reach the windows. And when every other item is dual-use (at a minimum), things can seem altogether too makeshift. So there's always a balance to be struck - just as, in the broader realm of governance, one must take into account the positives and negatives when extending the social safety net in a particular way.

Luckily, we have time. Having passed only the two-month mark, Sonny can just about slither about like a worm, so we can still fine-tune our safety plans. But we mustn't hang about - or the feared challenge (in this case, a more active Sonny, not a low-wage foreign worker squeezing out pricier locals) will suddenly be upon us.

And we'd be singing a different tune then - or possibly playing it on the piano.


Anonymous said...

Hi there cloudsters - I hope it all works out, and your piano makes a useful contribution to society!

Cheers - Robin

Mumsgather said...

Hahaha. You've got a rather versatile piano there.

Cloudsters said...

Thanks, Robin. The piano is believed to be aiming for a decoration in a few years.

'Versatile' is a very kind word for 'makeshift', Mumsgather. Sigh.

Ruth said...

Hahahaha! You have months and years of flexibility and makeshiftiness ahead of you! In my case it's my kids who are always finding unconventional ways of using my furniture.

Cloudsters said...

Guess all the world's a play pen when you're a child, Ruth. As we'll no doubt be repeatedly reminded of during the 'months and years of makeshiftiness' you've promised us.