We have the GREATEST toy in our house, and it’s called “Whatever-Layla-Is-Playing-With-At-This-Exact-Moment!” Hayden has been breathing down Layla’s neck big time lately, and whatever she is playing with is the ONLY thing that he is interested in.
Hayden and Layla stayed at Grandma and Grandpa’s last weekend while John and I participated in an annual neighborhood party, and when she came back she had a little purse she likes to play with there that she wouldn’t let go of that Grandma let her keep for now. She has been carrying that thing around with her every waking moment since she came home, except when Hayden takes it. To be fair, he is really nice about playing with her toys. Unlike many his age, he tells me he wants to play with it instead of snatching it out of her hands. The trouble is he is just relentless. He sees her playing with the bag and he has to have it. It’s like mental gymnastics trying to keep everyone happy – showing Hayden that sharing goes two ways, and just like I expect him to share he also gets to share the things of Layla’s that he is interested in, but also wanting Layla to get time to spend with this toy that she treasures so much, and also making sure Hayden doesn’t think that just because he wants something doesn’t mean he can always have it, and reminding him that when he is in the middle of playing with something and Layla comes over to him I don’t let her take it away from him so I won’t let him do it to her…
Today I remembered I had made a bag with fabric that had construction vehicles all over it that was kid sized, so made a big presentation of it that it was a special purse just for him. He looked at it and said he wanted a little red one like Layla has. So much for that! He told me a number of times this morning that he wants a bunch of purses for Christmas. Incidentally, it’s funny to watch him play with the bag, compared to how Layla does it. She carries it on her shoulder like a woman does. Hayden was “playing” with it today but holding it by the strap and whipping it around. He did like putting his big airplane in the bag I gave him, too.
So, when Layla does have to give up the bag to share with Hayden there are a lot of tears, so I have been spending a lot of energy trying to find equally interesting things for her to play with while Hayden has her precious bag. The next part pretty much writes itself if you have any experience with any 4 year old ever (or read the first line of this blog), but as soon as she gets interested in any other toy suddenly Hayden wants to play with it. Usually he will drop the bag and tell me that Layla can now play with it, but even so she is usually not too thrilled to have the new toy that is interesting taken away so soon even if she does have the bag back.