question #3: "pet"

Walking through the streets of the neighborhood one day, Aya asked, "Mama, can I get a pet cat?"

I bluntly told her, "Yes, but not until your 10th birthday."

"Why?" She curiously asked, and even started counting on her fingers, "...7...8...9...10," then gave me that puzzled look.

"Most likely by that time, you're going to understand how to take care of your pet. And by that time, you'll be more responsible in feeding it and cleaning it all by yourself. You see, it's like having your own baby. You have seen me take care of Ading Mica, right?"


"You have seen me feed her whenever she's hungry and bathe her every day, don't you?"


"And clean up her mess, whenever she spills her food on the table and soil her clothes?"


"Those are just some of the stuff you need to learn to do on your own to become a responsible pet-owner."

"Ummm... okay. "


Since then, I never heard her insist on having a pet again. Instead, she would always remind me that she will finally get her pet on her 10th birthday.

Sometimes, she tries to negotiate ("How about when I turn 9, Ma?"), but I stood firmly with my previous statement
. There was an article I read online regarding when is the right time to get your child a pet from babycenter, and I'm glad I did.

question #2: "buy-me blues"

Setting: Inside the Department Store
Situation: Ate Aya insists she wants Mama Chee to buy the dress she saw within the store

(Everything's translated to English for easier reading)

Ate Aya: Ma, could we buy this dress? It's such a pretty dress, isn't it?

Mama Chee: Yes, ate, it's very pretty, but no, I'm sorry we can't buy that right now.

Ate Aya: Why not?

Mama Chee: (Pause) Okay. You choose. We could buy this dress right now, but we will have to go straight home right after.

Ate Aya: But I thought we're going to the grocery from here to buy food?

Mama Chee: How could we go to the grocery if we've already spent the money to get you this dress?

(Very long silence)

Ate Aya: Okay, Ma, let's just go to the grocery now. But... when you have extra money, could we go and buy that dress?

Mama Chee: Yes, ate, we could go back and buy you that dress, once mama has extra money. And if you continue to save the money I give you, we could even buy you shoes that would match that dress! What do you think?

Ate Aya: That’s super! Yes, ma, I’ll do just that. I won’t buy anymore Stick-O’s so we could buy my shoes for the dress!

Mama Chee: Now, that’s great! I’m so proud of you, Ate Aya.

Ate Aya: Thanks, ma. ‘love you Mama!

Mama Chee: I love you, too, Ate Aya.


Aya and I always have this type of conversation, not only when we go to the mall, but even when we're just home, or when she comes with me to the office. She would often see some things that she urges me to buy, then I would tell her that we’re only buying what we really need, and that those things are not necessary, and we could buy them only when we have excess money for them.

I think I’ve done a good job so far, as I would often hear Aya ask me this question:

"Ma, when we have extra money, could we get this item, please?"

I actually appreciate my friends and colleagues complimenting me when they hear Aya speaking and asking me that way, because they would often remark how their child would insist on buying the toys and other stuff that aren’t very important, and even throw tantrums in the mall.

I’m very thankful Aya is learning the value of knowing the difference between the needs and the wants and prioritizing one over the other. Another thing I’m really glad Aya is absorbing is the attitude of delaying one's gratification. This concept is one of the important things I have learned from all the marketing gurus I’ve listened to. It teaches us to temporarily let go of an item that we badly want, save up the money we’re supposed to spend on that item, and once we believe that we’ve saved more than enough, we could finally go back to that item we’re dying to buy, and finally buy it! It’s us not saying, “No, we can't buy it.” It’s us merely saying, “Huwag muna ngayon.”

I hope you learned a thing or two from it. God bless!