question #4: "mama, do you love me?"

"Make the regular feel special!"

This was what the seminar facilitator responded when during the open forum part of the seminar I asked, "What is the best way to explain to my regular 6-year-old daughter the special condition of her sister without making her feel un-special, because she would always ask me--Mama, do you love ME?"

It actually made sense when he further added, "go out and do some bonding activities na kayong dalawa lang, like watch a movie, or eat somewhere she really loves-- of course, without staying out of your budget."

He said I should watch out, though, not to give the invitation to take her out after having an argument regarding her younger sibling; otherwise, she'll think of the invitation as a bribe to be nice to her sister. The invitation must come "randomly," that it seemed to have been just a spur-of-the-moment kind of invitation that I just really wanted to go out and take her with me.

--And so that's what I did soon as I fetched her from school. After attending the said parenting seminar, I invited her out to the mall and asked her if she would be interested to watch a movie. Of course, she said yes, she couldn't make up her mind between Harry Potter6 and Transformers2, until we finally chose Harry Potter, because the other film was not for kids below 13.

Indeed, we had a great time while watching the movie. The only thing that bothered her was that she was so light and thin that her seat would fold up when she sat on the cinema chair. ...we actually both laughed hard when she almost fell; but I assuringly told her I'll just extend my leg to keep the seat from folding up so she could watch comfortably.

Laughing with her that time was a great moment for us both. Seeing her being able to laugh at herself without feeling ashamed or embarrassed made me feel proud of her. And there I saw that she wasn't really angry at her sister when she complained that I always favored Jamie over her, I felt that she was just looking for some attention that's really meant for her.

After watching the movie, we passed by the mall studio and took a pic, showing off our necklaces which I made especially for us both. Then bought something before going home. I was so touched when she insisted that we buy something, a pasalubong, for her sister Jamie. More so, I was surprised when during our walk to the terminal, she said,

"Ma, I really enjoyed what we did today. I'm sorry I've been bad at times, especially when I'm fighting with Jamie. I promise I won't fight with her again because I know you love me, too."

I almost cried when she said that. I can't thank God enough for hearing those words... my heart is all-praises and songs that time until we got to bed that night.

For sure, that won't be the last time we're going out to have our special bonding session...

I'm actually saving up for our next trip -- to the spa :)