LP and IP are two years and four months apart in age. LP will be five soon, and IP has firmly passed the two-and-a-half year mark. Their play used to involved L playing and I swooping in and grabbing his stuff or just doing what he was doing. Now though, they
have started truly playing together. Sometimes they sit next to each other and build different Lego vehicles (L is more into trucks and I is more into planes). Sometimes they put their stuffed animals to bed together. They will play with play-doh nicely together a long as they each have their own color that the other one can’t touch. They pretend to be street-sweepers together as they ride around on our broom, witch-style. As recently as last night L created a pretend-stage and gave stage directions as his and I did their “silly dance” for their audience (me). While they still fight and bicker, and loudly yell “That’s MINE” they mostly play well together when left to their own devices.
It’s super cute when they play this way, but what is NOT super cute is when they rile each other up. These moments of craziness remind me of the times in my teaching my classroom has suddenly gone out of my control. It happens because of one major incident, like a student walks in late and feels the need to yell out to their friend across the room . . . while I am talking. Or we are having a good moment of silent reading and someone farts, and then no one can focus for another fifteen minutes. This is now what my house is like at dinner time and bed time. For a while the kids were saying “poopy” and other words of the potty-variety, and then laughing uproariously. We were finally able to minimize that by making a no-potty-word rule for the table and telling them they had to go into the bathroom if they wanted to say those words. But now they have it set up so that any word can set them off. The latest one is “giggle.” One of them will say “Giggle!” and start
giggling Then the next one will chime in the same way. And in the blink of an eye they are in a land of laughter so overwhelming that nothing except a separated time-out can calm them down. Now what I am supposed to do? Ban “giggle”? Yeah, I gotta admit – I think they got me on this one.
Lest you think I am a mean ol’ mother who dislikes childish laughter, I actually think this adorable when they do this during the rest of the day. At dinner, however, it has often resulted in upturned plates or spilled drinks followed by more . . . hysterical laughter. At bedtime, it’s more of the same, especially because they share a room. We will continue to try and quash their joy only when we need to in order to minimize food spills, or get them to (FINALLY) go to sleep. But the rest of the time I am enjoying watching my little ones get closer together, especially when they make me giggle too.