Monday, 25 February 2013

Shock the Monkey

Chris and I are always trying to update where our children lay in terms of intelligence and the animal kingdom.  A few months ago they both surpassed our cat because they are able to speak a little bit and point (Molly also likes to shush people, blow kisses, wag her finger judgementally and point in a creepy and obsessive way).  Lately Chris has been comparing the minions to terriers, or underachieving monkeys.*

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia.
Recently at daycare drop off, I saw another little girl run up to Molly and ask her if she could play with a farm animal toy that was in her hands.  Molly readily handed over the toy pig and continued playing.  I was shocked.  We had spent the entire weekend breaking up toddler fights over toys, specifically over blocks, the Elmo Chair, sippy cups, bananas, crackers and this little construction man who lives in (and operates) the Duplo dump truck.  My daughter is capable of sharing, and not just with adults who she knows are going to hand the toy in question right back to her, she's capable of sharing with other children, just not her brother.**  Fights included tackling, biting, slapping, hitting, a stand-off around our living room coffee table and Molly hiding Duplo Dan the Construction Man in a shelf filled with stuffed toys, stuffing him between two stuffed gorillas.***

As our weekend as referees wore on, Jack got more and more frustrated by Molly and her need to take anything he was playing with away from him and he began to throw tantrums.  Unfortunately there are several problems about Jack and his mastery of the art of the tantrum:

1) Jack knows that a tantrum is about rolling on the floor and making noise, but doesn't have much dramatic flare.  He sounds more like an Ewok than an upset child and eventually ends up rolling around the floor in play, not anger.

2) He clearly is unaware that his tantrum audience (his sister) is highly unsympathetic. Not only does she not care that he's screaming on the ground, she takes advantage of her opponent laying on the floor by jumping on top of him and hitting him with whatever they were fighting over.

3) Okay, I might as well face it - the boy sucks at tantrums...His sister is just better at them, I might even argue that she is the Queen of Tantrums**** Chris and I have started to coin the boy's little fits as "Tantrum Light".

4) The boy is easily distracted by light fixtures, sparkling things and often stops mid-tantrum to go play with something else or to have a good giggle. 

5) Jack is obsessed with hiding under blankets.  He's taken to the temperament of a parrot, if you put a blanket over him he settles down and he'll do just about anything for a cracker...

So, I asked if Molly routinely shared with other children at daycare.   She does - all the time - just not with her brother.  Not only does this support my theory that Molly is constantly trying to punish us all because she is not an only child but it redefines their rank in the animal/playground Kingdom: Molly - the Monkey, Jack - the bird.

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia.

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*Apparently their sign language isn't Jane Goodall worthy enough to qualify for regular ape levels just yet.
**Molly likes to play by her own rules.  Last week she learned to blow her nose, unfortunately at dinner one night last week we all discovered that to Molly: Kleenex and a slice of blackforest ham are to be used for the same purposes - eating and blowing your nose.
***I think this act of hiding Duplo Dan may bring Molly up to a new level of moderately intelligent, average achieving monkeys.  Perhaps the Monkey Ella from the movie Monkey Shines.
****Listen to me brag about my sweet little girl.

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