Imagine you’ve got a nine-year-old kid with a birthday coming up, and you ask him what he wants as a present. At first he says he wants a video game, but then, after giving it some more careful thought, he comes to the conclusion that he’s old enough to be getting serious about his studies, so he asks for a dictionary instead.

How should you react? Proud of his sense of responsibility, do you buy him the dictionary, and hurry him one step closer to the end of his carefree childhood? Or do you get him the game, despite the fact that he specifically asked for something else?

It’s a tricky problem, but one dad in Japan came up with a clever, heartwarming, and above all awesome idea.

Twitter user yamara99 is a man with one foot in two different worlds. Yes, he’s a self-professed otaku who’s into games and computers, but he’s also the father of three kids under the age of 10. As such, he doesn’t really have much time for his hobbies these days, but he’s comfortable enough in his role as a father that his Twitter profile picture is of one of his children.

yamara99’s oldest child just turned nine this month, and before his birthday the son came to his father and said:

“Um, about my birthday present…what I really want is a copy of [Nintendo’s upcoming video game] Splatoon, but after thinking about it, I’d like to get a dictionary instead. Studying is important, you know.”

Recently, the boy and his classmates had been learning how to look up words in a dictionary at school, and the education-minded kid thought that if he had his own dictionary to use at home, too, it’d help with his studies. Filled with the mixture of pride and sympathy we talked about above at the way his son was mature beyond his tender age, yamara99 honored his son’s wish and bought a dictionary for him.

Before handing it over, though, he decided to make a special addition to it, and it wasn’t as simple as signing the inside cover with “Happy birthday, son! Now go finish your homework!” The creative father went so far as to design and insert a special page in his son’s dictionary with a definition for Splatoon.

The entry begins with “Splatoon: A Nintendo action game for the Wii U scheduled to be released on May 28, 2015. The player plays as a squid called an ‘Inkling’ that has the power to transform into a human.”

This being an illustrated dictionary, yamara99 also though to include pictures of an ad for the game and its cover. And while that’s all a nice but of fun, the real treat comes at the very bottom. And no, it’s not that the page is numbered “678.5” It’s the note Dad included at the bottom left of the page that translates as:

Coupon good for one copy of Splatoon
Happy birthday!
Give this page to your dad and you can get a copy of Splatoon!

The story gets even better, though. Upon receiving the dictionary, yamara99’s son started flipping through it, and because of the different paper it was printed on, quickly came across the Splatoon entry. However, he was so excited just that the game was mentioned that he didn’t notice the coupon. It wasn’t until later that the boy realized what the page was, and he nervously approached his father, saying, “Hey, umm, there’s this page in the dictionary that says…”

So why was he nervous? Well, it seems the kid thought this might be some sort of scam the dictionary publishers were running. It wasn’t until yamara99 finally said “Yeah, when it comes out, I’ll buy it for you” that everything finally clicked, and his son burst out with an excited, “Wait, Dad, did you make this page?!?”

So don’t worry, yamara99, studious as your son may be, it looks like you still get to enjoy having him be an innocent little kid for a little longer.

Source: Jin, Twitter