I feel a little stupid admitting this, but since I did not have siblings of different ages, I am going to blame my ignorance on that. Simply put, I haven’t got the foggiest idea of how to get two small children (boys no less!) to play nicely together. I’m sure most of what I’m observing is par for the course, but given my upbringing, it’s horrifying and unnerving. My sister and I automatically played well together, and my mother did her best to teach us compromise and diplomacy when we didn’t. It could have been just because we were girls, but we both got the picture and followed instructions pretty quickly. Either that, or my mother is far more clever than I gave her credit for. Which, knowing my mother, could very well be the case. But that is beside the point. (I think?) The following are several key differences for which I have no discernibly obvious response.
Me: My sister and I both had similar items, and trading seemed like the obvious choice.
The Boys: Why trade when you can take and deposit out of reach?
Me: We had clear lines of interest and playing was included in that. We didn’t like each other’s toys nearly as much as our own, so there was no conflict involved.
The Boys: I prefer chewing on his new truck instead of figuring out how my cool blocks go together./His crappy baby car is way more awesome than my new truck!
Me: Let’s work together, we’ll make something awesome!
The Boys: I’m going to throw this over there so you can run and put it back together./I’m going to take your train because you’re not playing with it right.
Me: We have so much fun together! Let’s plan something cool to do while we’re “napping”!
The Boys: I’m going to make funny noises to see if I can get you in trouble./I’m going to rile you up so you won’t sleep and can keep me awake so I don’t have to nap like Mommy wants.
Me: We need to be gentle so our toys don’t break. I don’t want it to go in the garbage.
The Boys: YAY BREAKING STUFF!
My conclusion is thusly unveiled.
1. They’re boys and I’m doomed.
2. They’re boys, and I’m doing a crappy job, and I’m doomed.
3. Frantically phone my mother and get her to transfer her consciousness and memories to my mind, or at the very least figure out how she got to be so clever as to make it look easy.
4. They’re boys, I’m doing a great job, and I’m doomed.
5. All of the above, and I’m still doomed.
I’m sincerely hoping I can beat the odds and find a way to get them to play together without too much injury. The last thing I want is for them to hate each other when they grow up, and at this point, I’ve got a Rough, Tough Bully and a Sneaky One bent on Revenge.
*Rough, Tough Bully – Biggest. Content to take things away just out of reach, and yell “THAT’S NOT YOURS” even if it is.
*Sneaky One Bent On Revenge – Littlest: Content to watch the happenings and get revenge by way of deliberately getting Biggest in trouble at every moment possible.
Despite all of the shenanigans, I am confident (ha! not really) that I am sneakier and far more devious than either of these creatures, and will figure out some sort of solution. Speaking of which, I separated them and it seems oddly quiet. Maybe too quiet.. Hmm…