Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sharing is Hard

When I realized I was pregnant with Little Man, I had a couple of thoughts after I came to on the bathroom floor. 
1. I should clean behind the toilet a little better.
2.  I should learn to keep my big mouth shut.  I had just told anyone who asked, about two weeks earlier, at Sweet Girl's second birthday party that Sean and I were going to wait "at least another six months before trying."  Apparently God has a sense of humor and is quick with a joke.
3.  I needed to figure out how to prepare Sweet Girl for sharing.  Sharing her parents, her house, her dog, her toys, with a sibling.
4.  Actually, Sean should clean behind the toilet a little better.

I fretted over that third thought for about nine months.  Sweet Girl was making great strides in the beginning of her therapies and I was getting more comfortable with the gfcf diet we had started for her.  But, she was nowhere near the point of understanding the seismic shift in family dynamic that a sibling brings about.  Would she act out?  Would she regress?  Would I have to be constantly worrying if she was going to "help" the baby down the stairs?  Turns out I was worried over very little.  Sweet Girl took to Little Man pretty well.  That's not to say we haven't had our moments of frustration, but overall these two make a pretty good brother and sister pair.

And sharing hasn't been an issue for Sweet Girl (with the odd exception of her brush and comb, I mean she watched Little Man gum her toothbrush to death and then she stuck it in her own mouth for crying out loud, but she admonishes him every time he makes a move for the comb - because that's what one needs to be protective of).  She even shares some of her most prized possessions with her "brudder."  During his bath earlier this week, Sweet Girl came in the bathroom to assess the situation.  Seeing Little Man's bathtub woefully devoid of molded plastic, she threw in her Lumpy, Roo, Pooh, and Eeyore figures with a loud "Here you go, brudder. That's better."  Those are her own bath toys and some of her first loves.  While the delivery technique could use some finesse, the spirit is there.  She tries to share her "lemlonade" with him, though she doesn't seem to understand Little Man's failure to grasp straw mechanics.  And perhaps the most telling of all that she thinks having a brother is acceptable, Sweet Girl even tries to share her music with Little Man.

Sweet Girl is a singer.  What she lacks in lyrical comprehension, she makes up for in enthusiasm.  She reminds me of a politician in that regard; though what you're saying may not actually make sense, if you say it loudly enough no one will question its authenticity - veritas via volume.  This makes it easy for Sweet Girl to belt out songs from Katy Perry, Maroon 5, Sara Bareilles, and (I can't believe I have to say this) Miley Cyrus with great conviction despite not actually knowing what daisy dukes are.  So when I hear her from the back seat tell Little Man to "sing a song, brudder" when "King of Anything" is on, I know there is love there.  She wouldn't share that with just anyone.  And though she is, once again, thoroughly disappointed with his lack of acceptance of such gifts, Sweet Girl sings the song and Little Man (and the rest of the population within a 500 feet radius) is entertained.

So if my three year old can share so graciously, what is my problem?  Today when I picked Sweet Girl up from school, her teacher came to talk to me about an incident in the classroom.  She started out with: "So Sweet Girl had her favorite toy...."  And that was all I heard.  Everything else Mrs. Sara said was drowned out with a million thoughts swirling in my mind.  Mrs. Sara, oblivious to the fact that I had checked out of the conversation, continued relaying the story (which I'm pretty sure involved Sweet Girl finding the cure for cancer or winning the school's beat boxing championship one or the other).  All the while I'm thinking "How does she know what Sweet Girl's favorite toy is? I don't know what her favorite toy is at school.  Oh no!  What else don't I know about Sweet Girl?"  You get the picture.  All of a sudden I was very jealous of Mrs. Sara.  I do not envy the woman her job.  I could never do what she does.  But I was jealous that she got to see Sweet Girl in a way I didn't.  I was having a hard time sharing my Sweet Girl.  Mrs. Sara finished her story (about Sweet Girl winning the Nobel Prize) and I bundled Sweet Girl in to the car. 

On the way to Sonic - of course - I was able to reel myself in a little.  I get to do quite a bit of introspection in the car during Sweet Girl's concerts (audience participation is acceptable but not necessary).  So on this trip I thought about what is best for Sweet Girl.  This is after all what I want.  I want Sweet Girl to interact with others, to make friends, to open up to people.  To get comfortable enough in an environment outside of our home that she can have a favorite toy somewhere else.  In order for that to happen I'm going to have to be better about sharing her.  Someone else gets to be in charge of her favorite molded plastic and hear her songs.  It's wonderful that Sweet Girl is sharing herself with others.  But as her mom, I have to say this sharing thing is not as easy as Sweet Girl makes it look.

1 comment:

  1. She is SO all over the beat boxing championship. The other contestants won't even know what hit them. (Figuratively, of course.)

    ReplyDelete