When the Older Sibling’s Away, the Younger Will Play

Having only one kid is a piece of cake. Before parents of only children get upset, I’m certain that parents of three or more would laugh at me and say that having only two kids is so easy, they could do it with a hand tied behind their back. I understand that it’s all relative, but that doesn’t change that this was an easy weekend, entirely because one child was away on a Girl Scouts camping expedition. The five year old left behind thoroughly enjoyed his time too…by going through his sister’s stuff.

Things were calm this weekend, until suddenly we’d notice they were too calm, which would be when we’d find our son in his room playing with toys of his sister’s. He knew better than to play in her room because that would make obvious what he was doing. Instead, he’d tip toe into her room, pull out whatever it was he wanted, and play in his room.

Each time he’d get caught, his immediate response was honest and understandable: “But mom, I really, really wanted to play with this, but she never lets me!” For the most part, we let things slide with kind of a wink and an unspoken agreement that this was all between us. The only time we got upset was when he played with the Lego Hogwarts set and tried to move the fragile buildings into his room. That was a mess. While he was playing with toys that didn’t belong to him, he was playing quietly, completely entertained by the new-to-him toys. The quiet was my favorite part. No wasted energy refereeing fights or hearing gripes or even tempering their ruckus behavior when they are on the same side. It was bliss.

Without argument, when we returned home from a Sunday breakfast out, everything went back into his sister’s room – included the repaired Hogwarts. All back to their correct places, as they’d been when the weekend began, with nary a peep about it when his sister returned home soon after.

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