Alright, so I actually do know how to share.
But what I don’t know how to do is…teach sharing.
I have no idea.
This should seem like a no-brainer.
I grew up learning to share.
I understand the concept of sharing.
Not that I always shared — but I understood what it was and when I was supposed to do it.
But now, in the complex world that is being-the-mother-of-a-toddler, I don’t get it.
When Tom is at someone’s house and he picks up one of their toys and begins playing with it, but the toy owner immediately lets out a scream that lets you know it’s not OK — what am I supposed to do?
I mean, it is their toy.
And maybe it’s special to the toy owner. Maybe the love of their life gave them that toy before they were separated by differing nap times — I mean, I don’t know!
Or if everyone is playing with various toys at a neighborhood pool, but then a kid decides he wants his toy back from Tom, then I’m supposed to make Tom give it back, right?
So sometimes I tell Tom to give it back, but then the kid’s mom will say, “No, he doesn’t need that toy. He needs to share.” And then I don’t want to say, “No, Tom can give the toy back, he’s played with it long enough and he needs to share.” Because then aren’t I undermining this mother?
And Tom is at a stage where a lot of times he will just pick up a toy — he doesn’t know how to ask — so if we’re somewhere and toys are present, he just takes it.
To which I say, “No, Tom, that’s not ours.”
To which a parent will say, “Oh he can play with it!”
To which the toy owner says, “Waaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!”
To which I’m thinking, ‘Just give it back!!!’ But again, am I supposed to make him give it back? No? I don’t know!
Basically what I’m telling you is that if my kid comes over to your house, he will take your kid’s toys and make them cry.
And if we see you at the neighborhood pool, my kid will take your kid’s toys and make them cry.
And if we’re just wandering around aimlessly, my kid will take your kid’s toys and make them cry.
And I’ll just be standing there looking perplexed.