It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Sharing, sharing, sharing

For those of you not in the know, that’s the motto of the Beavers — little Canadian wanna-be Cub Scouts, for boys around the age of five. They wear these cute little vests and have adorable hats, all in pale blue and brown — and the hats? They have beaver tails hanging down the back. You haven’t see adorable till you’ve seen a troop of kindergarten-age boys with beavertails hanging off the back of their hats. Heh.


The little-girl equivalent is Sparks. They wear pink T-shirts emblazoned with their motto: “I promise to share and be a friend.”


Girls: “I promise to share and be a friend.”
Boys: “Sharing, sharing, sharing.”

Methinks the standards for the non-verbal male are just a tad lower. Or perhaps we’re just cutting to the chase: SHARING, boys. It’s about SHARING, and will you please just Let. Go. Of. That. Damned. BALL and THROW it, please???

Oh, no. That was at my house. I dunno about the Beavers. Timmy brought a ball to “share”. Timmy is a sweet and eager little guy. If I say he’s “full of energy” you won’t get a picture of Timmy. Timmy is … twitchy. He doesn’t walk, he springs; he doesn’t sit, he sort of vibrates in place. His movements are bird-like in their quick jerkiness.

You know how a hummingbird’s heart beats at a phenomenal 180 per minutes? (Or so. I have 22 minutes to write this post; I will not take time to fact-check. Those of you who Need to Know can go Google it now.) In fact all small creatures run at higher speed. My private feeling has always been that they experience life like that, too. Just as Terry Pratchett describes his Carpet People: they live only a tenth as long, but they do their living ten times faster.

So, when Timmy comes with something to “share”, I know my day is going to be intense. Because, though he’s willing to share — oh, he is! He’s a friendly and essentially cooperative little guy. He likes to hand the toy over; he likes to share a smile with the recipient as he passes it to them. And then, having shared it, he likes to get it back. Of course.

Thing is, in Timmy’s revved-up, fast-living world, “sharing” lasts about 6 seconds. Six seconds and then HEWANTSITBACKNOW. Now. NOW!! Not in an angry way. He’s just desperate. The anxiety is intense. Because, like, six seconds is a LOOOOONG time in a Timmy world, and we expect him to let the other guy have it for TWO MINUTES???

TWO MINUTES? He will DIE in two minutes. In TWO minutes he will grow old and EXPIRE, right there on the floor, because TWO MINUTES is an ETERNITY. So, just about the time the receiver child has noticed that there’s a ball in his/her hand, Timmy wants it back.

This makes for a lot of adult intervention. “Here, Timmy, let’s set the timer. You push that button. When it goes ‘beep, beep, beep’, you can have your ball back.”

“Beep, beep!” He smiles, his incredibly expressive face radiating joy. Timmy likes beep-beep. His face crumples with anxiety. “Ball?” Total time elapsed: three seconds.

A long, intense day…

April 2, 2008 - Posted by | socializing, Timmy | , ,


  1. Oh my! That takes me back. When we cleaned out our basement recently we found Son’s (19) old beaver hat and vest. They were so small compared to how big he is now.

    If only you could figure out a way to harness Timmy’s energy and use it to keep your tea hot…hehe.

    Hope your day is not “too” intense.

    Comment by Sheri | April 3, 2008 | Reply

  2. I have a bouncer too- very intense. Once we were asked to describe him in one word and we searched for a while before coming up with “more”. My current post is about trying to get him to harness that energy properly.

    Comment by Jill | April 3, 2008 | Reply

  3. I have a young friend with a 2.5 year old . This little girl does not hesitate to share, ever. If you ask her to share something, her response is almost always “share, k?” (which sounds a lot like “sure, okay” most days!). Most of the time her mom is as amazed that she understand certain concepts so well (I’d say she’s been a “sharer” since about 22 months or so?). She’s also learned that if she wants something she can say please and share and usually that will happen – although she gets frustrated when the friend doesn’t want to!

    Poor Timmy – he’ll get there eventually!

    Comment by Angela | April 3, 2008 | Reply

  4. Ah ha, you’ve explained a lot in this story about a toddler’s perspective. I now understand my kids a little better and their impatience for things.

    Comment by mamacitatina | April 4, 2008 | Reply

  5. Being a beaver leader I once asked our Beavers what sharing meant, and Graham pipes in “It’s giving stuff to your brother cause mom says to.”

    Comment by Bill | April 8, 2008 | Reply

  6. FYI – Beavers, Cubs, and scouts are Coed have been for over 10 years now. Our beaver group had 3 girls (out of 8 kids)our scouts are 50/50 girls and boys.

    Comment by Bill | April 8, 2008 | Reply

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