Friday, August 31, 2007


My three year old follows a basic rule: What's mine is mine, and what's yours is mine. Aleita is the first to become upset and insulted if you refuse to share something with her, but the very last to actually concede to share something of hers with you. When she wants something of yours, she will oft remind you that it is nice to share - - which indeed works out nicely for her. She stands in stark contrast to our older daughter, Maggie. Maggie has a very tender heart and even from a very early age, has always been willing to share whatever she has with you - - sometimes to a fault where she will find herself without because she's given away all that she has. Aleita on the other hand. . .

A few nights ago, after I was done giving Aleita her bath, I was drying her off and reached over to drain the tub. She started to reach in and grab the bath toys out to put them back in the toy bucket that sits beside the tub. I told her to just leave them there, because Maggie was taking a bath next and would want to play with them. "I don't WANT Maggie to play with them," she declared, and started to pull them out of the tub anyway. I reminded Aleita that her bath was done and that she wouldn't be playing with them anymore, as well as the fact that most of the toys in the tub were Maggie's anyway, but she was adamant about the fact that her sister should not partake in the same bathtime frivolity in which she had just engaged. Despite her tears and a small fit, the toys stayed put. Aleita was "not happy about this." (see my blog entry from 8/24/07 for that story.)

Aleita will often ask Maggie to share her dolls with her, but seldom is the time that she will return the favor. On the occasion that Maggie asks to play with one of Aleita's dolls, she will gather them all up in her arms and carry them around with her so that can't get them. Likewise, when she plays with the Thomas the Train set at Von Maur in the Children's Department, she will rush around the set, gathering up the train cars and piling them in front of her. When another child comes along and wants to play as well, I tell Aleita to share - - this usually results in that child being handed a wooden person and a caboose (and Aleita eventually getting drug away from the train set screaming because she refuses to share.) This morning, Aleita was watching a few minutes of TV shortly before Chris took her to school. As he told her to come upstairs to brush her teeth, she and Maggie passed on the stairs. Aleita let out a pained yell, but did proceed up the stairs. When Chris asked her what was wrong, she sourly replied, "I don't want Maggie to watch the TV."

Perhaps the most telling example of Aleita's unwillingness to share occurred in church last Sunday. Last week, near the beginning of the service, I had given Maggie and Aleita each a roll of Smarties candy. Aleita gobbled hers down in the blink of an eye, but Maggie's more of a savorer. She was slowly eating her candy, one piece at a time. Once Aleita realized that Maggie still had candy, she requested that she give her some. I told Aleita that she had already had her own, and that was Maggie's to eat. She persisted, saying, "but it's nice to share!" When I told her no again, she pouted. Shortly thereafter, our minister began the passing of the peace:
Rev Ellen: The peace of Christ be with you
Congregation: and also with you.
Rev Ellen: Please share that with those around you
As everyone stood and began shaking hands and greeting each other, one small, pouty girl, with arms folded, could scarcely be heard saying, "I don't want to share!"


Michelle said...

I love your posts! They crack me up and I get to learn about the kids too! Perhaps Maggie could share her homework with Aleita or maybe some chores. That might put a stop to it.

Becky said...

thanks, sis. One of these days, Maggie is going to share a knuckle sandwich with her, and I don't think Aleita will like that very much!

papadale said...

I was aware of the no sharing rule little Gracie has developed, but, even I must say, not sharing in Church takes the prize. I saw a street downtown named after her, ONE WAY. Oh, well, like I have told the Tennessee Hales many times in the past, this, too, will pass. (we hope)