Saturday, July 25, 2009

"Girls, you SHARE that toy."

The call for sharing is a common one, but it takes on an extra challenge when the toy is their brother. This morning Sweetness and the Big Guy were huddled together on the sofa. Spunky Girl came over to join them and instantly the problems started. "Move over" "But I want to play too" "Look over here brother" "Why won't he play with me" "He's playing with me right now. He doesn't want to play with you" "You always get to play with him. I never do" "MMMMMMOOOOOOOMMMMMMMM"

I hate it when I don't know what answer to lob back at them. "You girls share that toy or I'm taking it away" hardly seems appropriate. Somehow I don't think the Big Guy will enjoy being banished to the top of the washer and dryer like all the rest of the toys that they fight over.

The hard reality is that Sweetness is older and knows how to play in a way that doesn't irritate the Big Guy. She knows when to interact with him and when to give him his space. Spunky Girl gets in his face too much. Spunky Girl and Big Guy enjoy wrestling together, but most other games end in disaster within minutes. So, what do I say? When Spunky Girl cries and says that brother likes sister more than her, my words of comfort seem hollow. She's picking up on something real, but it won't be like that forever. Saying "he'll like you too in another year or so" just seems mean.

I ask Sweetness to try to include her sister in the game too, but there is already a lot of drama trying to get Sweetness to be polite and kind to her sister. Adding another level of responsibility to Sweetness (i.e. I want you to be nice to sister AND I want you to make sure that brother is nice to her too) won't make that drama better.

For now, I will just try to enjoy the times when they are all getting along and try to survive the times when they don't. I don't have any other solutions in my mommy-bag-of-tricks.

Caption: Spunky Girl, Great Grandma Bea, Sweetness, and Big Guy

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