Old-school “Tita” (Auntie) mode…

I do not have my own kids yet. But I do enjoy having my friends’ little babies and kids around. I like shopping for these little ones, even making things for them sometimes. I love playing with them. The perks of being a Tita.

I realize every time I go to toy stores or shops for babies and toddlers that there are much too many electronic toys on the market – those that have lights, sounds, music, voice, and what not. The advantage of available technology, they may say, but they don’t quite appeal to me. Call me old-fashioned, but I still like the more tactile toys for the kids – nothing electronic (perhaps except simple electric toys like battery-operated toy cars), nothing that lights up so many colors, and nothing that talks or sings. I like books, blocks, balls, things that rattle, crinkle, spin, roll, and all those stuff. I like dolls and stuffed toys that you just hug and make believe they are alive, but they don’t need to really talk at all.

I don’t have kids yet, and I don’t have a psychology or sociology or medical degree. But I believe that it’s best to avoid exposing babies and toddlers to sensory overload. It would be nice for them to discover things slowly and as immersive as possible – observe the motion of a ball being thrown up in the air (or at yaya or mommy?), realize that building blocks can be connected, or plastic blocks can be placed on top of each other to create a tower, that shaking a rattle will make it sound, and things small enough or of the right shape will fit in some holes. It would be great for kids to learn how to read from real books, not from computers or tablets.

I remember my toys way back when I was a little kid. The only ones with batteries were my brother’s robot that walks and has eyes that light up, some toy cars, my little pink plastic blender that has a plastic “blade” that really whirls things around, a little dog that barks and does somersaults, and similar things. They were so simple, yet I could imagine and create many different worlds with them. I would remember having a birthday party for Elaine (my cabbage patch kid doll) with all my other dolls and stuffed toys as well as my friends’ toys in attendance.

But that’s just me. I shall not judge anyone who would prefer or believe otherwise, these are just my preferences. This is how my mind works every time I enter the toy store to buy stuff for my friends’ babies and kids. And this is how my mind will probably still work when I have my own little ones.

p.s. Whenever I go to the toy store, I also find interesting stuff for myself. I’m still drawn to board games as well as things you put together and build (e.g. wooden or metal-sheet 3D building puzzles).

A new generation

There is already a new generation that is starting to take its place, and will be taking over our future pretty soon. About 25% to 30% of all posts I see on my Facebook newsfeed are of my friends and colleagues babies and children. I am starting the last year of my 20s, and my friends are about the same age as I, give or take about 5 years older or younger. Considering that most of us are in our late 20s, my friends and classmates have just started getting married the past 2 to 3 years, and most of them are starting to have their babies this past year.

My childhood best friend gave birth to her beautiful baby girl seven months ago. The wife of a close guy friend just gave birth to a baby girl yesterday. A number of friends and batchmates have kids from about 0 to 4 years old. There are three babies born within a six month period to three of my second cousins based in Sydney, Australia, and another baby born two years ahead of them, and it’s so cute to find my cousins pictures with these babies altogether. So much bundles of cuteness around.

Oh well, here comes the new generation, the new batch who will be making their way into the world. These are the individuals who will be exposed to the current and future technologies, and given the vast opportunities of the future. What will the world be in 2080s to 2100s? We probably won’t be able to reach that point, but our children, the next generation, will be able to forge and experience this future world.

I won’t be reproducing anytime soon, though, not until I find me a good husband to be my partner. But I now see the shift in responsibilities and priorities of my generation. It’s time to be responsible for another individual’s life as we now start to be blessed by children. We’re starting to be less-selfish and childish, and more thoughtful of other people, more responsible, and more aware of the need to contribute to a better society and a better future.

P.S. I’m still trying to get used to my title as “Tita” (Aunt) Abii , after being just an “Ate” (Big Sister) Abii to a number of my younger friends in college, and to all of my cousins. My colleagues kids have already started calling me Tita Abii in the past few years, but only now is it really sinking in, perhaps especially when my friends’ kids start talking.