Ducks In A Tub

Taking life's adventures one day at a time.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Child's Play

I tried to tell my husband a story tonight and he took it as if World War III was upon us. Ummm…sorry honey, kids under the age of 5 just don’t understand the concept of sharing…and, no, our 1 ½ year old does not need to be firmly disciplined for taking someone else’s toy. For crying out loud, my mother and I can handle a couple of selfish toddlers perfectly well, thank you! Sometimes I just don’t think he understands our kids, or children in general for that matter. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great father. He plays with the kids, they trust him, they love him, they look forward to him being home from work. He makes them smile and laugh and he disciplines with love when necessary. But, he is quite foolish regarding the regular stages of growing up. Let me tell you what happened today.

The kiddies and I spent the day at my parents’ house. My dad was at work and I was helping my mom organize a bunch of books that she recently acquired from an old school library. My son was playing with my 3 year old (almost 4) little sister. (Yes, I have a 3 year old sister. Yes, we have the same parents…long story.)

There is a 2 year age difference between my son The Talker and my sister Blondie, and another year gap for my daughter Blue Eyes. They were all playing on the floor of the living room while my mother and I sat safely on the other side of a child gate in the kitchen sorting through the many treasures of children’s literature. Before long, Blue Eyes started to fuss. She is a very sensitive child and does not like to be left to play by herself. Even though she was surrounded by toys and two playmates, she wanted mamma and so my mom and I brought her into the kitchen with us. When I told my husband this, he thought that there was something wrong with our little girl. “Why can’t she just play with the other kids?” he asked. Then he immediately tried to figure out ways to “fix” her problem. I had to stop him short and explain that it’s just a personality thing and she’ll grow out of it (or not), but she needs time to grow up. After all, she’s only 8 months old!!

I then continued my story of the day and told my husband how The Talker and Blondie had bickered like siblings most of the day (even though they are aunt and nephew). The Talker kept taking toys from Blondie and she was not too happy about it, as you can imagine. She kept telling my mother and me that he wouldn’t share with her. Well, SHE is old enough to start being taught how to share, but my son is definitely not there yet. We had to tell her over and over again how he was just trying to play with her and he didn’t mean to make her sad. Of course, at her age, she does not understand how her nephew isn’t as smart as she is. At three years old, the whole world is three years old. It was a constant struggle through the day. Blondie played with a toy, The Talker wanted to imitate her, took it from her, and Blondie cried to mommy.
My mom and I took it all in stride and dealt with each problem calmly and as best we could. When I told my husband about though, he seemed to think that The Talker needed to learn how to share and he questioned why I didn’t come down hard on the little guy to force him to play nice. I explained that he was playing nice, as nice as he could for his age. Mr. Know-It-All, thought this was a lame excuse and started pulling memories of when he was a kid and how he “never” disobeyed his parents (yeah, right!). I don’t think hubby realized how silly he sounded quoting events that were within his memory when our son is still too young to even compare to that. Ha! I’d like to see daddy-oh try to teach our one year old how to share. Then we can talk!

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