The BBM crew is out at the toy store shopping for a birthday gift for one of Pinkxi’s critter friends. Pinkxi picked the most popular toy this season but before the checkout, she refused to hand over the toy. Pinkxi was adamant that BBM get her the same toy and claimed it to be ‘the most special toy’ she will ever have.
BBM fumed (partly cos there was a long line at the checkout) and told Pinkxi off immediately. BBM said sternly that for starters the present was for her critter friend and that was the sole objective of the shopping trip. BBM reminded her that she already owns lots and there is no ‘need’ of this ‘most special toy’. Besides, by insisting on owning one herself, kind of defeats the idea of gifting her friend a ‘most special toy’ when celebrating his birth(special)day. Luckily there was no need to drag a bawling critter out of the store, though she did let go of it very very reluctantly. Pinkxi also refused to talk for the rest of the journey home.
During the quiet drive home, a few thoughts came to BBM’s mind:
1. This situation is different from a couple years ago. Pinkxi needs to be reasoned with (carefully). She no longer can be placated or distracted by something else and is most likely to disagree with BBM’s initial reasoning. The situations are often a lot more delicate as she is also more aware of her surroundings and feels the pull of commercially available toys (often than not they are related merchandise of popular cartoons). BBM realised that his tactics had to also evolve or risk plateauing as an obnoxious do-what-I-say-100%-of-the-time daddy monster.
2. Pinkxi is of the age when she is no longer just content with homemade playthings, though it was often emphasised to her that they are truly special one-of-a-kind toys. She probably saw these colourfully boxed toys on the shelves as an extension of her shared playtime experience with her friends,i.e. the knowledge of/ ownership of these popular toys and their backend stories possibly chalk up her engagement points with other critters during play. It will certainly be more difficult for Pinkxi to appreciate her handmade toys from BBM as they simply lack the currency during her playtime in school.
3. The ‘most special toy’ was not expensive but it was not about costs. Ironically, it is about missing the boat, about having to pass at something and knowing that one cannot and shouldn’t feel that they are entitled. Toys have their fads, they come and go (and get rebooted after a decade in some instances). This is something that 99.9% of critters her age will never get. Their concerns are in the present and rightly so. It’s the part that makes up their innocence, though that may also translate to ugly tantrums of I-WANT-NOWs). For now, Pinkxi needs to be told once in a while that she will not get everything she asks for (now) and she simply had to deal with it and be left to sulk/cry.
Back home, BBM cuddled the still-upset critter and told Pinkxi again that she is very lucky to have what she has and there are many who love her. BBM reminded her what gifting meant though he could see that Pinkxi was trying to reconcile how his love did not translate to something quantifiable or tangible like a ‘most special toy’. BBM acknowledged that she has the right to be upset because she did not get what she wanted but it should not take too long. He highlighted that there were multitude of ways she had been made to feel special in the past (e.g. homemade presents, birthday celebrations, shared activities, postcards and visits from loved ones) and they all add up to a much much bigger pile of love (he’s really trying to illustrate love somewhat, at least suggesting some kind of form) than what would have been in a colourful box of toy.
Though Pinkxi did eventually apologised and even helped wrapped up the toy for her critter friend, BBM is pretty sure this issue will be revisited soon. BBM just hoped that some of what he said sank in.
>> Back to Growing Up with Pinkxi.