Sharing

It’s hard to teach sharing and being nice to people.  I sometimes wonder if as humans, we are naturally selfish, egotistical beings and that it is against our very natures to think beyond ourselves.  I struggle to teach the boys to get along, to share their toys with each other, or, at the very least, stop f-ing antagonizing each other.  Jesus.  Is it so hard to just not make your brother scream in aggravation because you said something or took away the toy or hit him?  Leave him alone! 

Channelling.

So imagine my surprise when ever was upset that Sean had an eyeball balloon and he didn’t.  While Evan was at school, we were at the grocery store, where they were giving away their Halloween balloons.  When a store clerk asked Sean if he wanted one, he asked for the eye-ball balloon with a please.  All day, Sean was talking to his Eye-Ball Friend.  Naturally, Evan had to destroy this special bond.

After the third time of Evan taking the balloon and the second time of him putting the ribbon in his mouth to irritate Sean, I sent Evan to time out.  After the five minutes, we had a nice little discussion over when something belongs to someone else, we leave it alone.  We play with other people’s things when we ask and they say yes.

Evan: But I like the eye-ball balloon!

Me: I know.  But it’s Sean’s.

Evan: But Mommmmmmyyyyyyy!

Me: It’s still Sean’s.  Play with the other balloon.

Sean: Here, brother!  You want to play with it?!  You can!

And then I realize my boy is the sweetest, kindest, most adorable boy on the planet.  And maybe I had a hand in it.

Take my children, please.

My sons are alive today at this moment because I’m a saint.  Ok, I might be exaggerating a little but not by much. 

Evan is on the throttle taking a supervillan’s pleasure in antagonizing the hell out of Sean.  Sean retaliates by either hitting or screaming or both.  This has been going on for several days, perhaps even weeks.  Then today the screaming started before 7am.  Then while I was feeding Aidan his mid-morning meal, the boys that would be an absolutely awesome idea to wash their hair with hand soap.  And to make matters even more fun, Sean poured a water bottle filled with water onto the kitchen floor.

I wanted to scream.  I wanted to beat.  I wanted to send everyone to time out for hours.

Instead, I placed a sleeping Aidan in his bassinet.  I told Evan to figure out how he was going to get soap out of his hair.  I gave Sean a rag to dry up the water.

But I fear I’m losing control.  I have to repeat myself several times to get them to do what I ask.  Evan is now name calling.  Sean cries and screeches when things don’t go his way.  It’s like pulling teeth to get them to pick up their toys or get ready for bed. 

I’m not sure if this is a phase.  But I’ve been telling everyone it is.  I don’t know if they’re just testing the lines.  I don’t know if this has something to do with having a new baby in the house.  I don’t know if this has to do with their allergies acting up. 

I do think if I started cracking down, they would be in time out all the time.  Which might have to be done.  And I wonder if I spent more time with them having fun that they wouldn’t act out so much.  But I spend Aidan’s nap time trying to get them to clean and yelling at them as they pick on each other.  I just hate the yelling all the time.

The Answer is

My mom is trying to teach Evan not to whine or throw a fit when he gets a “no” in response to his request.  (I, for the record, just send him in his room until he’s dealt with his issues.)  She tells him, “Evan, sometimes the answer is no.”

Yesterday I was dressing Sean, and he wanted to play with a tiny toy ninja that belonged to Evan.

Me: Sean, that’s Evan’s.  You’ll have to ask him.

Sean: Pease, Brother.  Pease may have ninja?

Evan: No.

Sean started to wail.

Evan: Sean, sometimes the answer is no.

The Green One

When I was a child, my brothers and I fought over the Green Glass.  It was a plastic tumbler from Tupperware, which came with a set of four, including red, blue, and yellow.  But we could care less about the other glasses.  We fought, argued, yelled, begged, whined, pushed, shoved to get the Green Glass.  My parents were at their wits’ end.  What was so special about the Green Glass?  We maintained that milk just taste better in it.  I’m sure it was more to do that our siblings wanted it, so it became more desirable.  That Green Glass.

Last Christmas, I felt it was time to arm the family with light sabers.  I bought two blues, a green, and a purple.  I kept it a secret from even The Husband, so that he too could fill the thrill of getting a light saber to play with the boys.  The purple one was mine, of course.

Last week, the boys fell into a Star Wars kick.  They’re watching The Husband’s copy of the Star Wars cartoon series from a few years back.  They unsuccessfully try to convince us to play the Star Wars video games for them.  They’re fighting with light sabers.  They’re taking light sabers to bed.  They’re fighting over one light saber whenever they get a chance. 

The Green One.

Sean adores the Green Light Saber, carries it around, takes it to bed, fights with it.  Food and Evan are the only things that will pry it out of his hands.  Evan must have the Green Light Saber at all costs, conning, whittling, begging, forcing it out of his brother’s hands.  When that doesn’t work, Evan cries, begs, whines for it from us.    We have three other light sabers here, people!

It does seem fair and just over the long view.  But I won’t believe it’s fair and just until my brothers have children.  They just better have more than one.

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The Pirate Ship

So of course, we had to get Sean his own pirate ship.  Since that was all his little heart desired.  The Husband and I stayed up until midnight putting things together for the surprise.  Yet another Christmas Eve of us bickering our frustration at each other because including directions with the toys is now so not cool.

The next morning, Evan woke first and looked at his toys before coming and getting us.  We smiled as he exclaimed over each toy.  After 45 minutes and no Sean, I went in to check on him.  He was just lying in bed, thinking, contemplating, relaxing.  When he saw me he climbed out of his bed, and I ran into the family room for the perfect spot to catch a picture of the look on Sean’s face when he saw his pirate ship.

Sean came out into the family, taking in the magical scene.  I lifted the camera up, focusing it.  His eyes landed on the pirate ship.  Those dark brown eyes lit up.  A smile burst on his face.  He took a running step forward.  I started to press down on the button.  Then Evan jumped up and bumped his brother out of the way.

Yup, Evan cock-blocked his little brother from Sean’s own toy.  Nice. 

Sean was determined.  They raced to the pirate ship, getting there at the same time.  Sean let out a yell as Evan grabbed the pirates and the ship.

I have spent the last several days trying to make sure everyone is sharing and not hitting, punching, kicking, scratching, biting, pushing, bludgeoning each other over a toy pirate ship.

Christmas is magical.

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My Son, The Vampire

Sean has learned to bite.  Which I can’t blame him, really.  Evan’s favorite game is “How can I annoy my baby brother the greatest.”  So in a lot of ways, Evan had it coming.

But rather than let Sean get carried away in a Chicago musical number, I some how have to discipline this grievous assault.  The kid leaves bite marks.  It’s only a matter of time before he breaks the skin.

The first time Sean did it, my dad was babysitting, and he was at his wit’s end on what to do.  If it had been his kid, it would have been a couple of spankings or a bite back, which worked so well on my middle brother when he went through this phase on me.  (Unlike Evan, I was a perfect child.)  But my dad knew how I feel about physical punishment, so he placed Sean into time out and cuddled Evan.

It happened on my watch last night.  Even though I threw Sean into time out for three and a half minutes, I don’t think it really had an effect, since Sean started laughing and talking to himself during the middle of it.  Nothing like a punishment that works.

And I wasn’t stupid enough to think this just happened out of the blue because Sean was so hungry from missing dinner, he mistook his brother for a hamburger.  As I comforted Evan, I interrogated him on what happened right before the teething incident.  Evan was using Sean as a punching bag.  Nice.  Now I have to be in the same room with them at all times like a warden.  Where’s my shot gun?

So what’s a poor, enlightened mother suppose to do?

I’ve seen the whole biting the kid thing work, but I feel it’s a bit barbaric and contradictory.  Nothing like hitting to let some one know hitting is wrong.  I’m not sure that the time out thing is working, since it seems the place for Sean to work on his inner comedic monologue. 

So any advice out there?

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The Renaming

Evan: I think I want to name Sean.

Me: What?

Evan: I want to name Sean.

Me: He already has a name.  It’s Sean.

Evan: He needs a new name.  I’m going to call him Falleif.

Me: What?  No.

Evan: Falleif!  Let’s play cars.

Me: We’re not naming your brother Falleif.

Evan: Falleif, do you want juice?

Me: Sean, do you want juice.

Sean: Please juice!

Me: See.  He’s name is Sean.

Evan: I’m still going to call him Falleif.

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