Will my 2yr old and 5yr old ever learn the joy of sharing? Or is a three-year age gap always going to be a stumbling block – the 2yr old catches up and the 5yr old gets further ahead. One shoves the other pushes, one says yes and the other says no, I ask one to do something for me and the other does it first, one is playing with a toy that the other simply has to have immediately, above all else or all hell will break loose. I give them the same toy and they fight about the colour, or fight about absolutely nothing because said toys are of the same make, colour, shape, size, feel, price, origin of manufacture, toxicity, etc and so forth and so on, you get the gist. Hard to believe? You’d think so.
So where does all this discontent and bickering leave me? With a splitting headache yes, but it also presents some challenges of the disciplinary kind. It would be true to say that I don’t always keep my composure (shocking I know), but who could, when your head is spinning on its axis just trying to keep up. Generally I find that I’m yelling at one or yelling at both, I’m counting to three, sending one to the corner and one to their room, I’m telling them to ‘chill out’ (yes, even a 2yr old), getting them to sit and read books, I’m taking toys away and admonishing them with no end of treats, all of which seem to fall on suddenly deaf ears. Exhausting.
Then they throw me the curve ball. I come upon the kids midst argue with no idea who is actually at fault, they point fingers, I pick my victim and said victim cops the telling off… but suddenly I find the tide has turned. The two are now consoling each another and I find I’m the one on the receiving end of a reprimand! So off they walk, brothers in arms and play like the best of friends for the rest of the day! I’m stumped and left wondering where exactly I went wrong…and then it occurs to me, maybe just maybe they like to bicker and argue, it could be character building after all and perhaps I should just let them at it a bit more. In the end, they’re bound to figure it out themselves right?
So the moral of my story is…..next time I feel the need to yell and interfere, I’ll save it for my husband, I’m sure he’ll be a much more appreciative audience. Now where did I put those earplugs……