The other day, Simone was making that horrible noise she makes a bit too often: “eeeEEEhhhhhhHHHH… eeehhhhhHHHH!” So, I’m frantically searching around for something… anything that will make her stop making that noise (a common thing around here, that search.) I find a xylophone in the toy basket and hand it to Simone, to her great delight. Simone squats and bangs on the xylophone very, very happily. Moments later, Annika walks up to Simone, seeing how much fun she’s having, and takes the xyolophone out of Simone’s hand. Simone cries dramatically, then screetches. She yells, flinging her arms out to Annika to get the xylophone back. I ask Annika to give the xyolophone to Simone, to which Annika replies, “I don’t want to! No… Mama, no.”I ask Annika nicely. Then I tell Annika to give the xylphone back to Simone. Then, when that didn’t work, I took the xylophone from Annika and gave it to Simone. Annika started crying. Simone looked over at Annika and… handed her back the xylophone! Annika looks over at me with the nonverbal message – “See?!”

I am dumbfounded and a bit ashamed.

The thing is – they’ve got their own little team. They are most loyal to one another. They love us, and often they even prefer us at any given moment, but when I try to step in and negotiate between them, it is most often a mistake. Because they are the ultimate teammates. We think we are promoting fairness and protecting the supposed “victim”, but it simply doesn’t play out that way. So, I guess I just need to make sure that no one gets hurt.

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