The one about buying Joy a new bag

I was out one night with JoyJoy and my friends. It was a joyful evening and we had a really great time.

When it was about time to go home, we strolled to somewhere near my friend’s bubble tea shop within the mall and there it was, right in front of it, the stall that sold the bag.

I don’t normally look at fabric bags of this kind but this one’s cute. So I looked at it, and so did one of my friends who said “that one not bad” and consequently, because we all had our attention on it, so did the little girl.

She held my hand and said “so cute!“.

Now, what I normally do in such situations is I ask her if she’ll like a look. And she says “Yes“. And we take it down for a look. And we look at the object of interest more carefully. And I tell JoyJoy that the object of interest does not belong to us, so we should return it. And I usually ask her “OK?“, so that she feels that she made the decision to leave it. We usually give it back after saying “bye bye” to it. No tears on the spot, no tears at home, even if we do talk about it. I found this strategy to be much better than “no, we should be going” or “no, you already have something like that” or whatever that starts with a “no“.

So we did the same that day. Except, she seemed really in love with the bag. She put it on side ways, she shifted it to the back. She even choose the color (pink) she liked twice. And I liked it too somehow.

So the question comes to mind was naturally, To buy, or not to buy?

I had a simple, clear answer in my mind. At $25, it was a little expensive for such a bag. I bent down and told her “Mummy think about it ok? This belongs to the auntie, can we return it to her?” She nodded her head, removed the sling bag and handed it over to the auntie without any protest.

I was so proud of her.

The little girl didn’t ask me nor the hubby for the bag but in the car, on our way home, she asked me “mummy.. bag bag 不是JoyJoy 的 ah?” (Translated: Mummy, the bag does not belong to JoyJoy?) I said yes, it belongs to the auntie, not JoyJoy’s. And she kept quiet for just a little while before asking me to sing a song for her.

That night, I discussed this incident with the hubs. And he said we should get it for the little girl. First, because she clearly loved it a lot and he would like it get it for her and also to demonstrate to her that if it is within our means, we will get her something she likes, even if she doesn’t brawl her eyes out for it or make a fuss out of not getting it.

So the next day, I brought her back again.

She only realised that we were back at the stall when she saw the bag again. The little girl turned to give me a happy, toothy grin when the stall owner brought the bag down again for her to put on.

She put it on once the stall owner had adjusted the length of the bag. And immediately found it most comfortable to push it the bag to her back. She goes for the rugged look according to the stall owner.
Under better lighting. I have to admit, I’m partially responsible for influencing the purchase because I love how it looks on her.
After we bought the bag, she’ll touch it once in a while, as if to make sure, she’s really got it. It made me happy.
Unrelated: I didn’t realise but this little one has been observing what I put into her bags. once we got to a colder mall nearby, she immediately opened up the bag, unzipped it and looked for her sweater.

To make sure she understands the real reason behind the purchase, I’ve been explaining to JoyJoy why we bought the bag for her. I explained to her that we bought it because she didn’t fuss over something she liked and gave us time to consider if we would get it, and we decided in the end that we would like to give her a surprise. I also told her, it will definitely not happen every time. Definitely. Does she understand it? She nodded her head, said “yes” and seemed to understand me. But then again, how can I be so sure?

Since the purchase, I’ve been thinking and rethinking what happened a few times. Sometimes, despite how happy it made JoyJoy, I feel like we shouldn’t have bought the bag for her. She didn’t need another bag because she has a number of new bags that have been gifted to us and we should teach her to only buy what she needs. Other times, I think its ok to take the chill pill once in a while to indulge in something that makes the little girl happy and to reward her for good behaviour. And then I’ll go back to thinking, we shouldn’t teach her to associate the concept of reward or happiness with material things.

Sometimes, this parenting thing drives me a little crazy.

As of now, I think we shouldn’t have bought the bag. What do you think?

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14 Replies to “The one about buying Joy a new bag”

  1. Perfectly ok in my eyes to buy JoyJoy the bag.

    Instead of thinking the bag was bought because of her good behavior, think of it as a random surprise gift for her every once in a while. Everyone loves a nice random surprise, children included.

    I might have gone back to get the bag on my own without anyone’s knowledge though. Then keep it for a few days before going, “Surprise!” though. Haha. Nothing too immediate. Haha.

    Don’t regret anything that makes your child happy. Not worth driving your mind into overdrive!

    1. sooddlydreamlike says: Reply

      Hahaha coz I’m such a shopper so I hope she’ll be more moderate. I brought her there coz I want to let her choose color again, there was a dark blue one which i thought was better coz can match with different outfits LOL but end up still bought pink.

  2. At$25 I too find the bag a bit pricey but would too buy the bag if she really liked it. Once in a while to give in to their requests.. I think it is fine.

    1. sooddlydreamlike says: Reply

      Wa if Dominique says so, I feel a little better. :)

  3. I may not be the best person to ask since I admit that I overindulge my daughter with toys and books apron often. But in this case, I felt that Joyjoy really did well by not insisting on you purchasing the bag and was really obedient. I’ll say it makes a nice reward for that.

    1. sooddlydreamlike says: Reply

      hahahah I also like to buy things for JoyJoy, although she doesn’t ask for them. Thats why sometimes I think, I should really start thinking about what it’s teaching her but ya lo, when I bought the bag, I really felt that it was to reward her for not insisting that I buy it in the first place. That was really a proud mummy moment for me.

  4. I think it is okay that you bought the bag for her. She wanted it but didn’t fuss over it and you rewarded her good behavior. Try not to stress over it too much :) She sounds like a lovely girl

    1. sooddlydreamlike says: Reply

      She is! Haha yeah, sometimes, I overthink the parenting bit. :)

  5. Yeah, it is perfectly fine to surprise your little one a gift. First, she did well by not kicking any fuss over it and she knew that mummy is not buying for her and requested instead a song to sang to her.

    1. sooddlydreamlike says: Reply

      I would have liked to teach her that she doesn’t need to own everything she likes but when everyone puts it in this way for me (the bag as a surprise gift for my little girl), my perspective changed a little. Thanks!

  6. Joy joy is really very 听话.

    Yes, i agree with Mabel. I will also buy the bag when she is not around. If its too troublesome to go back the next day. I will ask Daddy to bring her somewhere first.
    Then will surprise her with the new bag at home the next day.

    About teaching transaction/Maths, perhaps teach her when buying grocery only at her suitable age. :)

    1. sooddlydreamlike says: Reply

      Haha! JoyJoy has her good days and bad days.

      Great suggestion! JoyJoy is already aware of the concept of transactions through pretend play. She’ll pass me money (usually a crumbled old card) then asks me to pass it to the “Auntie” to buy her favourite veges / food / shoes / clothes / a bicycle. Pretty fun! Math I’ll teach as we go along, when I think she’s ready hehe.

  7. Once in a while is fine, no need to stress yourself out about it!

    1. sooddlydreamlike says: Reply

      Haha! Jean, I sometimes call this the noob mummy parenting syndrome. :)

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