This morning I came out of the kitchen with Wheat Thins on a plate. Sunshine asked me for one right away and once she said please, I immediately gave her one. Her sisters were playing on the other side of the room and hadn’t spotted me, yet, which made it all the more impressive when big sis broke two small pieces off of her already little cracker to give to each of her sisters. Wait, it gets even better. She did this without me asking her to and before her sisters even realized there were Wheat Thins to be had.
I praised Sunshine up, down, and sideways for being so thoughtful and sharing right away with her sisters without even being asked (more like begged or nagged) to do so. It’s moments like those you have to treasure and keep in your heart, especially for those days when the oldest is racking up time-outs like it’s her job. Fortunately, she only required one time-out today, and interestingly enough, it was not too long before her shining moment of sharing.
This reminded me of an incident with “my little guys” that was heartwarming then harrowing while I was at the kitchen sink washing baby bottles. I looked down and saw one of them offer a cup to his buddy. I said something about how nice it was that he was sharing with his friend. I looked at the bottles I was washing for a few seconds then back and the one who had kindly been sharing his cup was now bonking his buddy over the head with it. A similar food incident that occurred more than once when I was nannying for the boys inspired me to write “A Parable of O’s and Fishes.”
The girls enjoy both Cheerios and Goldfish crackers as well as pretty much whatever I’m eating. I typically bring enough of everything I eat while I’m there to feed all three of the girls. Their parents have a well-stocked refrigerator, cupboards, and freezer, but the girls always want whatever I’m having whenever I’m having it, so Kevin and I have learned to shop for the two of us and the three of them. When I pack my lunch and snacks in the morning, I do so with them in mind. Lately, I’ve been bringing two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, which has made lunchtime significantly smoother because they love some PB and J! They’re also amused by both versions of the Peanut Butter and Jelly song that I sing to them. This is the one I was taught growing up:
The second version is the one which Kevin found on Youtube to which I changed the lyrics in order to let Sunshine know when it was time to high-tail it in and use the potty. You can find this gem at this link (It’s #3 of the 7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 84) along with the Youtube video of Peanut Butter Jelly Time). Warning: The song itself and my modified version can become quite annoying if you’re asked to sing them a bazillion times a day, but you probably already figured that out, as the most popular kids songs are often those that make you want to poke your eyeballs out after a while. For a more complete picture of our potty training adventures, you might want to check out “Once Upon A Potty Training.”
I’ve discovered that graham crackers are a persuasive bargaining chip with the girls, so I bring a whole stack to ration out over the days I’m taking care of them each week. They are very fond of fresh fruit, so I try to bring a good variety of that, especially on days when I’m particularly worn-out and exhausted before I even arrive at their place. Yeah, I know it’s a form of bribery for better behavior, but at least it’s with healthy foods. Now that the two youngest are taking every possible opportunity to climb to greater heights, I’m willing to pull out a few stops at mealtimes to keep them strapped in a little longer.
I figure the best way I can teach them about the importance of sharing is the best way to teach them about anything else: show them by doing it consistently myself.