A few months later, Mila was actually doing so much of the chores she got her own chore chart as well. Sometimes they were full on, and other times, not so much. It was working out pretty well though, they learned to budget. Clearly, Nina was the saver and Mila was the spender. It was amusing to watch the girls debate what they should buy. Nina’s first ever purchase was a box of milo and she sheepishly asked me if she would need to share with Mila. I said no, she bought with her own hard earned money, she doesn’t have to share. I could tell she felt guilty, and from that day on, when she bought a milo for herself, she usually bought one for her sister.
Though sometimes, she’d get mad at Mila for not returning the favor, I shrugged it off. I had at this point, totally forgot about Nina’s initial reason to want her own money.
And the day came. Now, December one year later, Nina, out of the blue (well, for me anyways) came up to me and said.
“Mommy, how much do I need for those shoes. I’m going to buy those shoes”
“Huh? What shoes?”
“The high heel shoes, you know, the ones at the store. The shiny pink shoes”
“I have my own money now. I’m going to buy them”
“Uh….well…really? I explained to you those aren’t very good for you right?”
“Yes, I know, they hurt your ankle and your back, and you would have to set up rules on where to use them, but I still want them. I worked hard.”
As I looked around for some lame excuse on why she shouldn’t buy them. I searched online for better shoes. Showed her various pairs I saw online. She looked at me and said,
“They’re nice, but that’s not what I want”
Crap….I totally forgot about this. And she’s super SERIOUS.
“OK, well, we can get those if that’s what you REALLY want, but that’s a big chunk of your piggy bank, can we at least look at the other options, see what else you CAN get, and if you still are into those shoes, then you can buy them.”
Nina, after few moments of silence said, “OK, I’m still getting those shoes, but maybe we can find nicer shoes. So we can go shopping”
After that, I started to text my friends with daughters trying to see if there’s any other options out there. Hell, I wasn’t even sure if the original pair she wanted was still at the shop. It was a year ago. The next day, we went everywhere, hit up every kids shop/toy shop and nope, no matter how I pitched for “better” “prettier” options, she didn’t budge. She earned her just money and she wanted to use them.
At the end of the day, she looked at me with tears in her eyes. “Why won’t you let me buy those shoes, I worked so hard!!”
Game Over. I had to let her have them. I promised to pick her up from daycare early the next day and to take her to the shop. I had to warn her that it has been an year and those shops tend to turn over fast, but otherwise, she had every right to those shoes.
So she got them. And she’s super happy about them. The store shockingly still had them in stock and though they didn’t have the color she wanted, she’s very happy with her blue shoes. Nina, your diligence, memory and your strong will power amaze me.
So if you see a young girl, in Singapore, wearing these wedges and being happy, don’t judge. She bloody well worked hard for them. Yes, I still have rules on where and how she can wear them, but I want to believe that her super strong will power and ability to work hard for what she wants is something very precious that as parent, I need to respect and help grow.
Nina, I love and respect that powerful heart of yours.