I have two kids.
They are 4 1/2 years apart in age, and so they have always had different interests, and abilities, and toys, and friends. They shared a room very briefly, when Lucy was small, and our house was....smaller. But we went to considerable lengths (and into considerable debt) to build them each their own bedroom. It was more than privacy for the obvious boy/girl reasons - it's privacy in general that I was striving for. To have a place where you can close the door on the rest of the world, especially when the rest of the world includes a sibling who is really pissing you off. Or touching your newest Lego creation or rearranging your dollhouse "because its better like this". Remarkably, the "help" they offer each other is never appreciated.
My point is: they don't have to share. I don't make them share. I don't make Max play with the younger kids if he doesn't want to, and I don't expect Lucy to include him in her girls-only movie nights. They have their own toys, I buy extra art supplies, obviously they don't share clothes, and as of yesterday, each has their own bike. For years, they have lived peacefully enough, with their own lives circling around each other. While I never forced them to share, or even really expected them to, it came naturally to them - Max is an attentive big brother, Lucy is his adoring little sister. They like to play together, they like the same movies and shows, and for the most part the battles can be contained to their heated games of "Battleship".
And then, something shifted. Lucy had a sleepover last night. And this morning, Max was sitting on the sofa, surrounded by the girls, showing them a game on the iPad.
There he was, grinning like an idiot, with the girls giggling in unison, perched on the back of the sofa or leaning up close against him, feet tucked under his bathrobe.
Houston, I see the potential for a problem.
It is just a matter of time - four years, to be exact, before Max is driving them around.
Eventually, Lucy's friends will shift from "annoying" to "prom dates".
And suddenly, sleepovers just got a lot more complicated.
So while we sit over here discussing the benefit of installing motion sensors in bedroom doorways, and deciding who will take the shift sleeping outside in the hall to "keep an eye on things", and figuring out which of us has to sit in the tv room during the umpteenth viewing of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Johnny Depp version, natch) to make sure boys are on one sofa and girls on another, you can take your "sharing is caring" mentality and stuff it.
I don't want them to share. Not at all.
1 day ago