I have a question about the memory allocation of MIPS assembly program. I need to declare a array to hold the dates, like mm/dd/yy

If i declare the .data section like this:
.data
size .word 0
dates .space 0

First i input the number of dates that i need, (for example:4), and then 4*4, and then store it to the dates of the .data section? Is that right? I don't know how exactly to allocate the space? Dose anyone have idea for that? Thanks!