My kids seem to fight a lot with each other these days. They argue over what to watch on TV, who had what toy first, who is going to sit on the potty first, what kind of snack they want mommy to get them from the pantry, etc. etc. etc. Sometimes it feels like it's a never ending battle in here. They also play with each other a lot too though, so I guess that's good. I think that as much as it kills him to share is stuff, Joey genuinely enjoys having little sisters to play with, boss around, and manipulate. Yes, I said manipulate. Joey has become quite a little mastermind in getting his sisters to play under his terms.
In the following pictures Joey is playing with his collection of cars and Olivia is desperate to play too. Not really wanting to share his treasured vehicles, the conversation went something like this:
Me, from across the room: "Joey, Olivia wants to play too, give her a car to play with."
Joey: "OK. Olivia do you want a purple car because purple is your favorite color?"
Joey: "Sorry, I don't have a purple car. Go find something else to play with."
Olivia, (whining): "I want car Joey."
Me: "Joey, let her play with a car please."
Joey: "OK, I will.... Olivia, do you want a sparkly car because you love sparkles?"
Joey: "Sorry, I don't have any sparkly cars. I guess you can't play with these."
Olivia, being passive as usual just stood there because his explanations were actually making sense to her. If only Joey had a purple sparkly car she could play too. But he doesn't, so she was left on the sidelines looking longlingly at his massive collection of cars that she couldn't use because they weren't purple or sparkly.
Finally I told Joey that he was to give Olivia any car. It didn't matter what color or whether it was sparkly or not. He obliged, and the two played peacefully together for all of 30 seconds until both lost interest and moved on to something else.
This entire encounter was so funny to me because neither of them really got upset or frustrated. Being the older brother defintely puts Joey at an advantage in this house in so many ways. He's the first to get to do things on his own, he gets the more exciting toys, and gets to hang out with mommy in the afternoon while the girls have to nap. Being able to manipulate his way out of sharing his toys was new for me to witness, but I have to say I was impressed by his clever reasoning skills, and in the end I was proud that there was no fighting, crying, or whining, and Olivia got to play too.