Toddlers are unfairly conceived of as being irrational tyrants, characterized by Napoleon complexes, emotional instability, and illogical demands. In an attempt to soften our public image, I tackle the oft-misunderstood issue of sibling sharing. You see, we don't just grab toys away from babies and throw them on the floor for no reason at all. That would be crazy. In fact, those sweet little critters are in violation of rules widely known by us toddlers, and woefully disregarded by babies. For the benefit of all baffled parents, frustrated infants and misjudged toddlers, these rules are reprinted below.
Rules for Sharing Toys and Kitchen/Bathroom Lower Cabinet Items
[please post on all cribs, strollers, moms' arms and wherever else babies congregate]:
Toys that were in the household before you [the baby] were in the household:
Management thinks the ownership of these toys must change simply because the household's population has changed. That is obviously false. But, because I'm losing patience with my own tantrums, the following compromise is acceptable:
1. If you want access to any one of My Toys (let's use that shorthand), indicate your interest by picking it up, looking at me fearfully, and putting it right down. An adult will then suggest I let you play with the toy. I will play with it myself for several minutes as I consider my response. This toy will probably bore me because your tastes are unrefined, so I will hand it over to you and will expect to be flooded with praise by the relevant adult. You will smile; I will not.
2. If you touch one of My Toys under any other circumstances, I will immediately grab it away from you. I will throw it somewhere difficult for you, in your early stages of crawling, to get to. I expect you will lose either interest or balance before you reach said object.
|Why do you always go for my favorite toys of the day?|
3. If you do reach it, it's yours because I'm busy with something else. However, if you summon any adult in the process, I will cling to that toy as if it were my lifeline. You know, like how you cling to mom pretending to nurse for hours when you're really just being a mom-hog.
4. If, after all that, you still get that toy, you will also get something else (probably a smack, maybe a push). Violating the law has consequences.
Lastly, under no circumstances may My Toys come near your mouth. Disgusting. (When I do it, there's a scientific/explorative purpose, you wouldn't understand Little Drooler.)
Toys that arrived after you did
5. These truly are Our Toys, even if they were gifted to you or for your arrival (according to our guests, "life is tough being held constantly, have a toy" - don't mind me over here, no longer soiling myself and making strides in alphabet- learning). Each of these toys will be subject to a 1 minute tax. I will then give it [back] to you.
|These are boring, unless and until the baby touches them.|
7. If you feel that you do need this one toy out of the dozens laying around, calling out to you in their exaggerated colors and lack of destructive potential (it's not like you can even color on walls/faces with them, poke someone's eye out, or put them in your mouth threateningly and start coughing a little), then you will probably end up getting that toy, and something else too (see above).
8. Obviously, when we are gifted two toys, I get first choice even if the toys are identical. I will always have a preference, and I will always have seniority.
Thanks in advance for your cooperation. I truly do love your addition to our family and expect our relationship to be a long term and friendly one. (I wasn't expecting it to be "shared-bedroom" friendly, but I choose my battles).