Mother instructed me to buy a toy for her youngest grandson. It will be her Christmas present to Diego, aside from the milk formula she already committed upon my sister's request. The matriarch gave no specific instructions. As long as it fits her budget, an amount I didn't bother to clarify, I have free reign to do the acquisition.
So off I went to Toy Kingdom, don Santa Claus' hat and choose what toy I'd like my mom to give. It has to be made of plastic, has wheels, and is painted in sunshiny colors. The kiddie item has to endure being trashed, slammed and being pulled apart without getting broken. Getting it for my nephews (note that it is in the plural form because the elder would also regard the toy as his) is a destruction warrant for the poor object. Unless, its creators designed it to take brutal punishments.
The thing is, I don't have a toy in mind.
Enter the store assistant and her suggestion when I spoke the contents of my head. The brand preference was actually at the tip of my tongue, something I wasn't able to speak until the miniature backhoe from CAT was already in front of me.
"Matibay ito sir." She assured. "Kahit ibato bato ng mga bata hindi masisira." I held the toy in my hand and its feel assured me of its sturdy built.
"Magkano?" Before she could give an answer, I already glanced at the piece of paper with a bar code. Pretty expensive, if a sweet and tempting discount did not apply.
I was meaning to look around and check for a much cheaper toy when an onlooker took notice of the backhoe and decided to get it or not. He too was having second thoughts. The difference is that he will give it to a godchild when I intend to gift it to our bundle of joy.
"Hello Ma," I made a phone call to my patron to inform her of my decision. Understanding that she could not see the toy and know only of its price tag was already a hard sell. But I already made up my mind. I'd be taking risk with the construction vehicle, for it is the kind of toy that is meant to grow with its owner.
If the owner didn't misplace it or give it to another kid.
Christmas day and the presents wrapped in fancy paper were torn to shreds. When the little boys saw the big yellow plastic tractor for the first time, it was love at first sight.
Fifteen days later and it's still the same backhoe I see everywhere, when I get out of my room to check where the tykes have been.