We were all very excited this morning getting ready for malling. Papa Sez has to meet a client somewhere in Pasig and we agreed that I bring the kids to SM Mega Mall while he’s in a meeting. We’ll buy a few stuff, dine-out and perhaps see the art gallery. The kids started to choose their clothes and I started to ready the baby bag, packing clothes, milk and diaper for the little ones when all of a sudden a commotion erupted.

Our eldest Rica halted Zeki who was trying to pull his towel that was being stepped on by Nadine to prevent the latter from losing her balance. I later found out that the three-year old Zeki was teasing the two-year old Nadine, so the latter was trying to get back at his older brother by stepping on his towel. This scene is normal for a family with four growing kids... and we even thought that it’s cute.

When Zeki saw his shirt that I’m about to put in the baby bag, he protested with a loud voice that he doesn’t like to bring an extra shirt because he is a big boy already and only babies bring extra clothes. I just told him to lower his voice and explained that the shirt is necessary for accidental mess that may happen even to adults. Zeki then loudly insisted that he takes his bath together with his older brother Leon, which I immediately acceded to.

Everything was going well until we heard Leon complain about Zeki wanting the tabo or water dipper only for himself. Oh dear, it's Zeki again…and this is not cute anymore! When he was done putting on his clothes, he yelled his complaint that we were taking so long to leave. We asked him again to lower his voice and told him that if he cannot control himself from shouting and causing trouble, we will cancel the family malling. Probably because of this threat, he started yelling and crying to pressure me to give a commitment to bring him to the mall in complete disregard of his behavior.  It went further downhill from there on with everyone, including the nanny, already being bullied into submission to his whims.

Though it was very tempting, Papa Sez and I tried so hard to avoid punishing Zeki. We understand that this is just another tantrum episode and it’s a good thing we are still at home. But still we need to show him (and Nadine as well as she now likes to copy whatever Zeki does) that we say what we mean and mean what we say and his misconduct will not be rewarded. 

The family event was cancelled and this brought Rica to tears. She is a very cooperative child and yet she was also penalized. We explained that this has to happen to teach her brother a lesson and she should fret no more because it will definitely push through in some other time. A little delay for discipline’s sake would not hurt and that it'll be better next time. It was also pointed out that being part of a group, there are things beyond our control. Her brother’s behavior and the consequence of that behavior is beyond her control.  But because she is in control of her response to the situation, she can choose to cheer herself up and decide on alternative activities for the rest of the day. 

As I write this blog while waiting for my husband's return, Rica was busy writing a story, Leon was reading a magazine, Zeki was playing with his blocks together with a playmate, and Nadine was chatting with our neighbors. Child temper tantrum spoiled our supposed to be fun day at the mall, a small price to pay for discipline.  Anyway, we managed to have fun time at the comfort of our home with everyone wishing that our cancelled malling will happen soon and things will be better next time.

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About Us (circa 2009)

Our journey led us to this place. A little more than 10 years ago we began our journey as husband and wife. Three years later, we found ourselves with two bundles of joy- a daughter and then a son. They're the children we've dreamed of having.

About five years since the birth of our son, an unexpected gift came- a younger brother to our school-age kids. And soon enough, a baby girl arrived to round the family membership.

Brave was a term used by a friend to describe us. Challenging... and loving it -- yeah, this journey is not for the faint of heart.