“Mama, Mama! Can I buy this?” Phoebie said excitedly, pointing at some macarons displayed in the fridge.
I have never been a fan of macarons and I can count with one hand the number of times my children had ever eaten a macaron. When Phoebie asked me for the small, round, expensive desert, I already knew how this would end.
“Phoebie,” I started, “Are you sure you want a macaron?”
“Yes, I want. Mama, can you buy the rose flavoured one for me, please please please?” She asked.
“Phoebie, look at the price. One macaron costs more than your pocket money. Plus, I have a feeling that you won’t like it,” I said. To be honest, it wasn’t so much about the price of the dessert. If it was something that I knew Phoebie liked, I would have bought it for her in a heartbeat. But a macaron was a gamble because I knew she might not even like it.
“I will finish it. Please, I want a rose macaron,” Phoebie pleaded.
“Okay, I will buy it for you, but you must make sure that you finish it,” I told her.
Phoebie nodded enthusiastically and started jumping up and down as I purchased the macaron for her.
One minute later, what I thought would have happened, happened.
The girl who was excited just one minute ago took a nibble at the dessert and made a face. “I don’t like it,” she admitted.
“Well, you said you will finish it, so whether you like it or not, you have to finish it,” I reminded her.
“But I don’t like it,” Phoebie repeated.
“Phoebie, before I bought this for you, I told you that this is a very expensive dessert, and that you may not even like it. You insisted that you want it and that you will finish it, so I bought it for you. So you have to finish it,” I was firm about this and I could tell that Phoebie was trying to get out of eating that rose macaron that she now regretted.
She whined for a while and I said, “If you don’t eat it now, you will have it for dinner.”
“I don’t want to eat it for dinner!” Phoebie protested.
“Then eat it now,” I insisted.
This went on for a while as we made our way to our next destination. After much whining, Phoebie finished the rose macaron that she initially wanted but eventually regretted, with tears and grudge.
“Phoebie, do you know why I insisted that you finish that macaron?” I asked after she was done with her regretful dessert.
Phoebie was quiet.
“I already reminded you before I even bought it, that it is an expensive item and it is something you might not like. You told me that you will finish it. You said you will finish it, so you must finish it. Do you know that with the money you spent on that macaron, you can buy all the things you told me you ate during recess time today?” I said. Earlier, Phoebie had told me about the food she had in school, and there were at least 7 items.
“What do you learn from this, Phoebie?” I asked, wanting her to think about her actions.
“That I should not buy expensive things. I should not buy something I am not sure about, and I should listen to Mama when you already told me that I shouldn’t buy,” she answered grudgingly.
“It isn’t that you cannot have expensive desserts. In fact, I do share expensive desserts with you once in a while. I’m also glad that you wanted to try something new. What I want you to know is, you asked me to buy it and you said you will finish it. I already told you this thing is expensive and you insisted that you will finish it. So even if you didn’t like the taste, you have to finish the dessert,” I said.
I knew that Phoebie regretted buying the rose macaron, but I most certainly hope that she remembers this lesson. At the end of the day, it wasn’t so much about buying the macaron but the fact that she insisted she will finish it even though she wasn’t sure of the taste. I didn’t want Phoebie to think that whenever she didn’t like something she bought, throwing the thing away is the way to go. Hopefully she remembers this rose macaron.