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These Parents Went Viral After They Bought Their Daughter A Whole New Printer Instead Of New Ink Cartridges

When Siti Mashita asked her parents to buy her new ink cartridges for her business selling handmade scrunchies, she got an unexpected response: a photo of her mom holding a brand-new printer, new cartridges included.

“Suddenly, my dad sent me a picture of my mom posing confidently next to a printer and said, ‘Mom already bought it,'” Siti told BuzzFeed News from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Siti said she was shocked and asked her mom why they hadn’t run it by her first.

“At home, they said they bought it because it’s a lot more convenient than the old printer,” she said.

Her photos of the text exchange went viral on Twitter, with people applauding her mom for being “next level.”

“I was overwhelmed with guilt because my parents didn’t know it went viral, but I don’t see any bad or mean tweet attacking my parents so I guess that’s fine,” she added.

Some people also said they agreed with her parents’ purchase because ink can cost more than printers.

Some people related because they had also done the same.

Ultimately, though, Siti wasn’t left with two printers. She said she managed to sell the new printer through Twitter to someone who needed one.

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Ontario sees dramatic spike in number of parents seeking government compensation during teacher strikes

The province has seen a huge spike in applications from parents for child-care compensation in the wake of escalating teacher strike action, with payouts requested for almost half a million children.

In one day alone — from Tuesday to Wednesday — more than 100,000 applications were received, signalling a 34 per cent jump and making it the greatest increase in a single day since Education Minister Stephen Lecce launched the compensation program in mid-January.

On Wednesday — the same day the province blamed a computer glitch for an overpayment to some parents — the government had received applications on behalf of 458,466 children, a dramatic surge from Tuesday’s figures of 342,856. The initiative pays up to $60 per day per child. According to the ministry, 1.45 million children are eligible.

“The uptake in applications for our Support for Parents Initiative can be attributed to the increasing amount of frustration that families across the province face as they scramble for child care as a result of union-led escalation,” said the minister’s press secretary Alexandra Adamo on Thursday.

Adamo’s comments came on the same day Ontario’s public elementary schools were closed because of a provincewide strike by all 83,000 members of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO), which has been running rotating strikes affecting different boards each day.

Job action by ETFO, which represents elementary teachers, early childhood educators and other educators, has left some parents having to find child care because of the teacher strikes, now in their third week. In Toronto, for instance, public elementary schools have been closed twice, and students will miss another day of classes Friday. Next week, the city’s public grade schools will be closed on Feb. 11 — part of a provincewide strike by ETFO — as well as the following day because the Toronto public board, along with several others, will be impacted.

In a media statement this week, ETFO president Sam Hammond said fair contract talks with the province must include appropriate funding for special education, a strategy to address classroom violence and fair hiring practices. All four of the province’s teachers unions are engaged in contract negotiations with the province and have launched work-to-rule campaigns. Unions representing Catholic elementary and secondary teachers in English schools (Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association), and public high school teachers (Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation), have also held walkouts, but have not scheduled future dates.

Unions say they are opposed to the province’s plan to introduce two mandatory online courses for secondary students and to boost high school class size averages, which will lead to fewer teachers jobs and courses. But Lecce insists the main sticking point is salary, with the province offering a one per cent increase, while unions want cost of living increases, or about two per cent.

The Progressive Conservative government announced the compensation program on Jan. 15, offering to pay parents for each day a school or school-based child-care centre is closed because of teacher strikes. The initiative was harshly criticized by some, including Hammond, who called it an attempt to “bribe” parents for support. Since mid-January, the number of applications has steadily risen, with jumps along the way whenever unions announced they were escalating job action. Some parents have said they applied for the funds and intend to donate them to schools or teachers unions.

This week’s dramatic one-day spike coincided with a Star story in Wednesday’s newspaper about the previous day’s application figures, which amounted to less than a quarter of those eligible for reimbursement. That meant millions of dollars were still on the table — the money for parents comes from unpaid teachers’ salaries on strike days. The story also noted that ETFO was ramping up job action for a fourth week.

Also on Wednesday, parents were on social media sharing stories of overpayment by the government, some saying they had been paid three or four times more than they should have been and assuming they were paid in advance for strike days that hadn’t yet occurred. It turned out that a systems problem resulted in school closures being miscalculated — the glitch has since been fixed — and led to some parents being overpaid, which the Star reported in Thursday’s newspaper. Figures for the number of parents who signed up for compensation on Thursday were not yet available at time of publication.

There is no cap on how many days parents will be paid for — so long as strike action continues, parents will be compensated. The province will pay $60 per day for children in a school-based child-care centre, and $40 a day for those in kindergarten, $25 for those in grades 1 to 7 and $40 for those with special needs up to Grade 12. Funds are paid per child and available to all families, regardless of financial hardship.

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The ministry says an additional 42,000 children not yet enrolled in school, may be eligible for the payout if their school-based child-care centre is closed.

In 1997, when teachers across Ontario hit the picket lines for two weeks to protest the education reforms of Bill 160, despite not being in a legal strike position, the Progressive Conservative government of Premier Mike Harris also provided funds to parents. Families with children under age 13, regardless of how many kids they had, were paid $40 a day, if a parent or guardian couldn’t stay home to care for them. Claims for the 10-day strike could not exceed $400 per family.

With files from Star archives

Isabel Teotonio

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ASK AMY: Newlywed won’t ‘meet the parents’ in footie PJs

Dear Amy: I am a newlywed. The holiday season is upon us, and I’m trying to coordinate between families, and also get myself into the spirit.

However, there is one tradition my husband’s family has that I don’t understand. I’m not sure how I can fit into this tradition.

Ever since they were children, on Christmas morning, “the kids” (my husband and his now-adult sister) would come down the stairs to open gifts, and their father would video-record it.

Well, we are 26 now, and both siblings live on their own outside of the house, but my in-laws still think we should do this tradition.

I tried to bring this up to them, saying that we won’t even be at their home on Christmas morning, but they brushed it off, saying, “We can do it when you come over at 2 o’clock.”

I know it is hard to see your kids grow up, but I did marry their son this year. My husband and I live in our own home about 20 minutes away and visit regularly.

Last year, I was not included in this tradition because I was still “the girlfriend.” This year, even if they ask, I’m not sure I want to be included.

Please help me relate to this tradition. I understand it as children, but just as you stop taking pictures of the kids on their first day of school, shouldn’t this group grow up?

Holiday Grown-ups

Dear Holiday: This is one of the wackiest and most wonderful holiday traditions I’ve ever heard of, and, as dumb as you find it to be, I think you should sit back with a beverage, pull out your phone, and enjoy and film it, in all of its cringy glory. (You could then “bank” the video, in case you might need it one day, to use as some good-natured spousal blackmail.)

This has a “Meet the Parents” quality to it, and I can only hope the adult children dress up in matching “footie” onesies in order to scamper down the stairs and greet their Santa-haul.

Unless this family engages in (other) creepy and/or juvenile or infantilizing behaviour, I think you should see this as a delightful annual one-off. Do not attempt to get in on it. You don’t have to do every single thing your husband does. Nor do you need to convince him to stop participating in a silly ritual that might actually have meaning for all of them. Although it would be gracious for them to attempt to include you, you could easily and politely demur.

It would be a fun project for someone to splice together over two decades of this footage into a montage. If you are good at this sort of thing, you might give it to the family as a holiday gift next year.

Dear Amy: I keep in touch with an old, out-of-town friend by phone several times a year.

My friend recently had to move his elderly mother into a memory care centre following her Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

When we speak next, should I ask how his mom is doing?

I’m reluctant to raise an obviously painful subject in the course of an otherwise pleasant conversation.

— R

Dear R: Not only should you ask your friend how his mother is doing, but to avoid this important subject would be insensitive, and would not serve your friendship.

Your friend’s mother hasn’t disappeared. She exists in the world, and presumably is still very much in his life.

Yes, this topic might be painful. But friends should be invited to discuss even painful life events, and be given the time and space to tell their story, if they choose to.

If your friend finds his mother’s situation too challenging to discuss, he will telegraph this by giving a truncated or noncommittal answer. Then you can move onto another topic.

Dear Amy: I appreciated your musings on being addressed as “young lady” by patronizing strangers.

Just the other day, I told my wife how angry it made me when young people trying to be cute call me “young man.” This has been happening for years.

I am a 78-year-old man.

This is just not a “young lady” phenomenon — it is heard by both sexes, and I believe it’s an example of ageism. Thanks for bringing it up.

— Ray in Tucson, Ariz.

Dear Ray: Many mature men have responded to the question from the woman signed “Not Young,” who reported how annoying it is to be greeted this way.

Nobody likes it.

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