My stuff is my stuff and your stuff is my stuff

We had our annual friends Christmas party last Friday at the home of Scrap Mom and Gaming Dad. There is always a lot of yummy food, decadent desserts, and games. This year, the Munchkin and Baby Boy were also allowed to open some presents. They each received a Christmas gift from Scrap Mom and Gaming Dad (and their kids), and Taz and Tweety, another couple in our group. They are expecting their first baby in June(!).

However, the Munchkin also received a birthday present as well from both families. She got to open them all, birthday and Christmas, while I opened Baby Boy’s gifts. One of his gifts was a Lamaze toy called a “Pupsqueak”, which is a stuffed, colorful puppy with all sorts of fun things for a baby to play with/chew on, like crinkly ears, a jingle bell paw, a crinkly bone, a rattle in another paw, and if you press his nose, he barks and pants. It’s a great toy.

Once we got home, however, the Munchkin seemed to be under the delusion that they were all for her. We promptly disabused her of that notion, and put up her brother’s toys. She didn’t seem to mind, and went about playing with her new toys, which were all a big hit.

Yesterday, though, I brought out the puppy for Baby Boy to play with/chew on. He was enjoying it when his sister noticed what he was up to, swooped in and grabbed it from him. I took it back. “No, this is the baby’s toy,” I told her firmly.

“No, mine,” she insisted, trying to get it from me.

I stood my ground. “No, this is your brother’s toy. Do not take it from him,” I warned as I handed it back to Baby Boy.

She obeyed me for about 30 seconds, then took it again. “Mine,” she pleaded.

I took it back from her, and went through the whole thing again. It was not hers, it belonged to someone else. This is not an easy concept for a toddler to understand, much less a sibling who really wants that toy that the other one has got. We have dealt with this with other kids, and the concept of sharing your toys, but a sibling is different. This new toy will live at her house, and not belong to her? This is a foreign concept. Before, it has been, “No, that is the Brain’s toy, because we are at his house playing with his toys” or “Yes, that is your book, but can Head look at it right now?” This is a hard lesson that awaits her at Christmastime, and at Baby Boy’s first birthday party. I can’t say that I’m looking forward to helping her learn this one.

It all boils down to human nature: we all want what we can’t have. Especially if it is a puppy that barks when you press his nose.

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