When you talk to children, you have to be more specific. If not, there are more chances that whatever you tell them could be misconstrued beyond what you really meant.
They arrived early on the next day. I was still in bed when I heard them going about in the yard. From the noises I heard they were bragging against one another on who brought the most items which would naturally translate into more cash.
“Hey!” I shouted above the din. “Can you keep it down?”
“Ninong, we brought you our junk,” the eldest in the group beamed. He was elected the spokesman by the way the others nodded their assent.
“I told you to bring bottles,” I said, wondering why there were scrap metals, old plastic chairs, and other things I did not know the junk man bought.
“My mother was surprised I was collecting bottles,” he explained. “She asked me why so I told her.”
“So what’s with the other items?”
“She said they are all junk. So, since you said bring our junk, I brought them here.”
It was my fault. My language often caused misunderstanding, especially with children.
“This is not a junk yard,” I muttered, trying to get out from the odd situation.
They were silent, watching me how to handle the deadlock, waiting earnestly if I would fulfill my promise.
“What did your mother say?” I asked after a while, buying some time to think.
“She was very happy that I cleaned our yard. The mosquitoes were driven away from their lair.”
“That’s good to hear.”
“Ninong, will you buy the other items, too?” the youngest asked, holding a heavy scrap metal in his hands. “My father said this is not cheap.”
I swallowed my saliva. I thought it was not them who learned a lesson. It was I.
“Of course, I will buy them but only with a down payment first. I will give the rest after the junk man comes over and buys everything. Will that be okay with you?”
They applauded loudly, giving me some relief that I handled the situation favorably.I felt that I gained more than their trust. That was truly rewarding.