I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

What's Mine is Mine, and What's Yours is Mine, Too

Possession, they say, is 9/10ths of the law. Clearly whoever said that didn't live in a house with triplets, where posession is ALL of the law. It is one of the grossly unfair things in their lives that they have no choice but to share. Everything. They share a room, a closet, a birthday (even a birth minute), clothes, our attention, plates, teachers, toys...everything except of course a car seat but let's not go there again. So it stands to reason that when you share everything in your life, you might sometimes resent that. You might get a little posessive of your stuff, what little stuff you can actually claim as your own. To approaching enemies you might scream very loudly "That's MY TOY and DON'T TOUCH IT!" You might even be forced to, on occassion, yell things like, "MUUUUUUUUMMM!! He's TOUCHING my THINGS and I DON'T LIKE IT!" Those sorts of declarations of independance are often followed by out and out war. As a person who is self-proclaimed selfish and self-centered, I understand the need to have your own things. Make your own mark, play with your own toys, define your uniqueness at every possible opportunity - just once in a while say that this is all about ME. I get it. I really do. These kids did not choose to be born together, after all. Now while I could carry on about the benefits of being born in a group, that's not what this post is about. This post is about me trying to figure out the twisted minds of 5 year olds. All this sharing as made them masters of posessiveness - anything they can claim as their own, they can and DO claim (the purple cup/first bath/smack from Mom is MINE and not YOURS and you can't HAVE it.) The same five year olds who spend so much time guarding, hoarding, secreting away their own stuff....desperately want the stuff of others.

All. The. Time.

So what is it about their sibling's stuff which is so appealing? Is it just a case of the grass always being greener? Is it a way to practice your attention-seeking and dramatic death scenes? Should I be teaching them that "thou shalt not covet your sister's stuff"?

Let me set the scene. One kid is in theplayroom reading a book (and littering books for a 10 mile radius, but the ability of kids to spread stuff all over is another post.) One kid is in the kitchen, "helping" me to do something domestic (and making a mess for a 10 mile radius...) and the third kid is playing with some cards, also in the playroom but nowhere near the book flinging kid. Card playing kid looks up, sees book flinging kid, and simply HAS TO, in that VERY moment, get up and snatch the not-yet-flung book out of book flinging kid's hands. If card kid doesn't have that EXACT book, on the order of RIGHT NOW, then card kid will DIE a sad, lonely, tortured, drawn out, screaming and hitting and crying death on the playroom floor (while checking surreptitiously to see if Mom is watching). While card kid is working on an Oscar performance, domestic kid wanders in to see what the fuss was about. She idly picks up the abandoned cards and starts to play with them....which further enrages dying card playing kid AND book flinging kid (because card kid takes book in question with them to the scene of the card crime). This then leds to Supremely Irritated Mom coming in and asking Stupid Question #1: "Why can't you guys just leave one another alone?!?!?!" (Duh, Stupid Mom, where is the fun in that?) This results in three loud voices describing in full detail the injustice of the crimes committed - and since Supremely Irritated Mom can't hear any of it clearly, she just nods her head and asks Stupid Question #2: "How hard is it to just share? Can't you guys share?" There is of course only one answer to this: "We can't share. We HATE sharing." The title of this post says it all: what's mine is mine, and what's yours is mine, too.

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