One of the reasons I love Maya being in a school environment is that, in spite of not having siblings, she’s had to learn to share with others from pretty much day one. While parallel play is how she spent the first year of her life — playing alongside friends but not really interacting — over the past 6-9 months, especially, she’s been engaging in true play at school. Her daily report cards now say things like, “Today Maya and Leah played with their babies.” Or “Maya and Amelia enjoyed cooking in the kitchen.” Sometimes I’ve been able to glimpse this play via the webcam and it always warms my heart to see her actually interacting with the other kids in her class.
Also with respect to sharing, I’ve see her “problem-solving.” Though the webcam is in real-time, I can’t hear voices. Last week, I watched someone take the truck she was playing with, and though I couldn’t hear her response, I could see her reaction and I could imagine she was telling them, “That’s my truck!” Sure enough, the kid gave it back. And during play dates, I’ve seen her take a friend’s car and then give it back when he/she asked for it. So the concept of sharing — while still not concrete — is something she is learning each day.
All of this is great to see, and lord knows I hope it’s good prep for sharing with a sibling. However, for as good as she is with sharing with her little friends, she suddenly has stopped sharing with ME. Not Luis, just me. I don’t know why — and I’m sure she’s just testing her limits with me and pushing my buttons … but it’s working! Tonight, I wanted to cry. (Yes, I’m hormonal, but that wasn’t why).
The scenario: We’d gone to Dairy Queen for kiddie cones — a special treat for being so good while Mommy and Daddy took her to run some (boring) errands.
Well, Maya and Luis shared a cone and I had my own (bonus!). Since she was sharing so nicely with Luis, when I was done with my cone, I thought I’d see if she’d share with me — since the previous day, she wouldn’t share anything with me.
“Maya, can Mommy have a bite?” I asked.
She looked at me, deadpan, and said, “You have own cone.”
Luis and I exchanged a mutual look of utter shock and bewilderment … and then both cracked up at her forthright honesty. Who is this child, and when did she get to be SO sassy?!
But inside, I wanted to cry. The rejection was more than this mama could take today. I know testing limits is part of growing up and I get that … but I’ve always been Mommy … and now here she was, rejecting me.
I don’t think this little dittie is any indication for how she will be with a sibling, but it was a good reminder to really work on sharing now … sharing time, sharing food, sharing attention, sharing her toys.
How about you? Any tops for positive reinforcement/encouragement for teaching toddlers to share?