To make sure Rae is motivated to do the things we need her to do, like brush her teeth or finish her meals, we use a star chart.

No, not THOSE types of star charts.

A star chart is a physical chart of the seven days in a week, and whenever Rae does something she promises to do, and does it well, we give her a star sticker to paste onto the chart.

So far, she’s earned herself quite a number of things and treats. A trip to the zoo. A toy guitar. A scooter. Her next goal, 28 stars away, is a new Cinderella princess dress.

Today, she finished her dinner (not without some threatening), and we gave her a star.

While sticking it on the chart, as always, I reminded her that she had 28 more until her dress.

“But mommy, I want to buy a bicycle for Mei Mei,” Rae said, referring to her little sister, Skyler.

My knees semi-buckled.

“Y-you want to use your stars to buy Mei Mei a bike?” I asked, stunned.

“Yea,” my four-year old nodded, as if it was the most natural thing in the world, to be selfless and loving and sweet.

I just had to sit down. Holding her shoulders, I drew her to me.

“You are SO sweet babe but when Skyler grows up, she can earn her own bike. Besides, she’s too small for a bike, right?”

“She can have a little bike?” she asked her shell-shocked mom.

“Well, what about your Cinderella dress?”

Rae thought for a moment.

“First, we get my Cinderella dress. Then, I will earn another 30 stars and we get Mei Mei’s bike, okay?”

I really almost cried.


Five minutes later, overheard upstairs in the bath tub (the girls bathe together).

Rae: Mei Mei, Che Che (big sister) is going to buy you a bike.
Sky (21 mths old): (splish splash) Aankyou

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