It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Sharing, sharing, sha– wait a minute.

“Timmy’s not sharing!!”

Timmy has (yet again, siiiigh) brought a toy from home. Toys from home are, of course!, MUCH more interesting than the toys at Mary’s house, simply because they are Toys From Home. For the other children, they are new toys, novelty items; for their owner they are “MY Toys”, items of proud ownership, badges of cool. Being the owner of the most-sought-after new gizmo has endless appeal to many adults: why should toddlers be more mature than their presumed guides through life?

You can see, however, where this push-pull of appeal of novelty and pride of possession would create somewhat of a logistical/social challenge.

As I’ve mentioned before, sharing is a challenge for quicksilver Timmy, requiring constant monitoring and frequent assistance/reassurance. I’ve been busy preparing the craft in the next room — a whole eight feet away — for an entire three minutes. Clearly, I stretched the limits of civil self-restraint way beyond the bounds of reality.

“Timmy, lovie.” I approach the situation, evaluating as I proceed. He’s brought not one but two teddy bears. Surely we can manage to allocate two bears between four children with minimal uproar? Especially since there are already SIX bear in residence, giving us eight bears between four children? Surely this is not an impossibility?

Except the bears, the entire wooly tribe of them, are scattered here and there across living room floor and couches. No one seems to be interested in them at all.

“Timmy, you gots to share!”

Anna makes a lunge for Timmy, who, near as I can make out, has no toys at all in his possession. He rears back from her.

“N-n-n-n-no! Is-is-is-is my-muh-muh-muh-my-my-my-mine!” Poor tyke. A stutter is quite the handicap, particularly in moments of stress. Which is when, oh cosmic injustice, the stutter becomes much more pronounced. (He’s on a wait list for speech therapy.)

But what is the problem? “Anna. What do you want? What does Timmy need to share?”

“Dat!” She lunges once more. More rearing-back and jackhammer declarations from Timmy.

“Anna. Stop grabbing at Timmy. Use your words and tell me what you want. Or you can point to it. Timmy, Anna’s going to point, but she won’t grab.”

“Timmy gots to share dat!”

And she lays one non-grabbing finger on his vest. A cute grey wool vest embroidered in South American style with colourful people and vibrant geometrics.

Ah. The nuances of sharing.

“Anna, sweetie, that’s Timmy’s vest. A vest is clothes. We don’t have to share our clothes.”

“But I WANT it!”

“I’m sure you do. It’s a very nice vest, isn’t it? Timmy, we like your nice vest. But it’s Timmy’s vest, lovie. He doesn’t have to share his clothing.”

Anna is singularly unimpressed with this reasoning, but acquiesces with moderate grace. Which is about as much as you can reasonably expect from a fashion-thwarted two-year-old.

And Timmy is still wearing his vest.

April 15, 2008 - Posted by | Anna, manners, Timmy | ,


  1. lol, the joys of sharing! I’ve just been trying to make a cake with two 6 year olds, both desperately trying to make sure they do more of something or at the very least do it first! I’m exhausted and I do think either of them enjoyed the experience, so busy with one-up-boy-ship! Hope the cake goes ok, seems a little burnt round the edges but still liquid in the middle…….

    Put enough icing on it, and they won’t care!

    Comment by jenny uk | April 16, 2008 | Reply

  2. I used to stutter too. I know how frustrating it is to be excited in some way and not be able to just get the words out. Speech therapy was a very good thing – I hope it’ll help Timmy too!

    Also – Anna just cracks me up. She’s going to be a hoot to take clothes shopping when she’s older. 😉

    I had another child with a much worse stutter than Timmy, who lost his stutter pretty much entirely over four months of therapy. It’s amazing. And Anna? She’s a terrific kid. I love her to bits!

    Comment by rambleicious | April 16, 2008 | Reply

  3. Oh gosh, poor Timmy!

    I can just imagine him thinking, “What? I followed the rules, I’m sharing, but “Hey, Lady (re Anna)…I’m not ready to give you the vest off my back.”

    And oh, “lovie”, that just tickles me…my Grandmother used to call us that. It made me smile real big.

    Yup. There are limits!! I call the kids ‘lovie’ all the time. Glad it made you smile!

    Comment by Zayna | April 16, 2008 | Reply

  4. Well, that depends, doesn’t it? Has she been reading Robert Munsch’s “We Share Everything?”

    That Munsch. Such a subversive, complicating Timmy’s poor life…

    Comment by kittenpie | April 16, 2008 | Reply

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