Also, she thinks sharing is for assholes and is having none of it.
Sharing is a big thing in the real world. We are expected to share our feelings, our food, our money, and if you're some of my more fun friends, our partners. We have the concept of sharing tamped down our throats from the moment we are blinking and breathing, and we as parents are made to feel like real butts if our kids aren't good at it. And not always by other parents, but other kids.
The latest example of that took place recently at this charming indoor playground we take her to once or twice a week. It's super fun for kids and their parents, and not just because it has a bounce house BUT also free wi-fi and coffee! Nothing like getting all gacked out on some free Joe then rattling your brains around in a bounce house with tiny humans who have basically no control of their limbs or bowels. Super fun!
My kid is magnetic. She attracts other kids like a moth to a Moth storytelling event. Especially older kids, they love to hang with her. On this particular day there was an older girl hanging out there and the second she saw my daughter, she wanted to kick it with her. The two of them seemed be hitting it off beautifully, allowing me to indulge in some super Splenda'd coffee and Facebook jealousy. I was deep in the bliss of yearning for the success of some of my friends through their statuses, when I witnessed the beginning of the end for these future BBF's.
Now, without getting into the compelling details of the incident, the older kid, who's probably five or so, was playing with this plastic hamburger and bun at the fake grill. My kid joins in, the older kid handed the bun part over to my kid, my kid decides she's over this game and decides to hang onto it and play with something else. The older kid was appalled by this and wanted it back. My kid basically told her to suck it and kept the bun. The older kid marched up to be and informed me of this injustice, explaining to me why it was wrong.
"She's not sharing. She's supposed to share. Why doesn't she know about sharing? She should know that it's not nice to not share." Then she crossed her arms and looked up at me, waiting for some explanation to why my feral child has turned out like this.
I closed my Macbook and looked the girl in the eyes. I saw a brief flash of what may have just been youthful curiosity, but in my fragile state I took as accusation.
What I wanted to say:
"Uh, I don't have any answers for you kid. What are you really getting at? Are you insinuating that she's fundamentally fucked up because she doesn't want to share that stupid ass fake burger bun? Do you think there's a glitch in the system because of that week I tried several different kinds of mushrooms with a guy I had just met and somehow my poor choices when I was 22 has infused itself into my DNA and tainted her? Do you think it's my fault that she's not a good sharer?
Maybe you should ask her yourself, huh? Perhaps she's decided that you had enough time with the plastic burger bun, and furthermore, maybe she's exploring being a Vegan and hoping that you'll join her in a show of solidarity. There's also a chance that she somehow came across your family history and noticed there are some tendencies towards heart disease and diabetes and she's trying to, in her own adorable way, guide you away from the red meat and carbs now so that you can avoid dealing with that in the future. Did you consider any of that?
Or maybe, and this is a stretch, but it's because she's not even two yet and is completely unreasonable because she's not even two yet. Now can you please just let it go, play with something else, and let me get back to my Facebooking and self loathing? They have free wi-fi here, and I don't want to squander it!"
Of course what I really said:
"Gosh, I'm so sorry. She's younger than you and doesn't totally understand sharing yet, but thank you for being so patient with her. She'll probably be done with it soon, okay?"
Luckily that satisfied this little prosecutor for the moment and she went back out to play. And of course before I completed that sentence my girl dropped the bun and it was forgotten forever.
While the sharing crisis of 2017 was narrowly avoided that day I know I have an uphill battle before me.
Then again, I always have the option to NOT teach her about sharing and allow her to be a boss. I'm still deciding.