Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Sharing Does Not Come Naturally

Despite our horrific egg decorating experience, the Easter Bunny graced our house anyway, and the girls had a very blessed Easter Sunday.  That bunny also dropped treats off with both grandmas, great grandmas, aunts, uncles, and cousins.  It was like Christmas at our house - an explosion of treats.

I'm firmly in the "everything in moderation" camp when it comes to treats. Holidays are special occasions. Therefore, because I didn't forbid it, there was some candy. Not much, but some. The rest was clothes and toys.

Toys that, although each girl has either the same, or comparable, must all be hoarded and kept from the other sister.

The girls love each other, always want to be around each other, and look for their sister when they aren't together. They're very close.  When one is sleeping and the other is awake, they will do anything they can to sneak upstairs and wake their sister so they can play together.

But when it comes to toys, sharing and playing together nicely, oh my. 

They're at a strange stage right now. They both want to play with the same toys, they can both get to all the toys, but they play in different ways.  It sort of makes me long for the days when Reagan was happy with a few toys on a mat and Madison could put her "special toys" out of reach. Madison wants Reagan to play like she is: creating stories, pretend play. Reagan wants to bang things together, move them around, stack them, push buttons. Madison gets annoyed that Reagan isn't playing "right", and Reagan gets frustrated when Madison stops her experimenting.

They have different strategies. Reagan is in the exploratory stage where everything she sees must be touched, tasted, carried, and handled. She still isn't talking, but she's very mobile, very innovative, and very sneaky.  There aren't many toys she can't get to anymore.  She'll stack things to climb on if necessary.  She tends to go for things that are unoccupied, no matter who they belong to, take them, and run off.  She no longer accepts Madison's "trades", but protests loudly when her stash is ransacked.

Madison has the eagle eye and a imperialist philosophy. Sure, this wasn't mine, but I claimed it. So now it's mine.  Reagan's birthday gifts? Madison claimed them.  All the Easter gifts? Madison's. When she sees Reagan moving toward something, she hustles over to snatch it away.  Doesn't matter who it officially "belongs" to. If Madison sees someone claiming it, she needs to assert her dominance.  She speaks for the both of them, telling me what Reagan wants and what she wants, and is not afraid to yell to get her way. She's happy to tell me that it belongs to Reagan, but Reagan is "sharing it" with her.

Two of the same toy? We do that on occasion, intentionally or not...but no. They either need both or they lose interest.  We have duplicates of all the Little People princesses...doesn't matter. We have two sets of fairy wings...doesn't matter.

It's Reagan's castle. They are Reagan's princesses. Does that matter? No. This is the source of many conflicts.

Toddlers do this. They gather up what they love, and they lay claim whatever way they can. And when their stash is threatened, they react. Maybe they cry and yell when a toy is taken from their hand, maybe they grab it back and block access while yelling "no!"  It's normal right now. It's expected. But everyone knows, just because it's normal doesn't make it fun.

I'm always the referee, the mediator, the peacemaker.

We want to play together...but I get control of the toys.

She's not playing with that right!  She's not letting me have all of them!

I want this because she has it...now I have it and Mom gave her something else...so I want that now.


One thing they did share this week?

Ear infections.

Reagan took the right ear, Madison took the left.

They shared a doctor visit too, and now they'll be sharing antibiotics for the next ten days.

Well, it's something!

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