Saturday, April 19, 2014


Most of the time my girls play well together but this week has left them with a lot more togetherness than they are used to. Their teachers are pretty good about treating them as individuals, thus they don't really work together much in school. This week has been 24/7 sisterness and it leaves room for conflict.

Lucy learned immediately how to spin a coin when we were out for dinner with some of our friends a while back. Yesterday she was spinning the coasters on our table when Kate wandered out and wanted to do the same thing. You will see "just a tiny bit" of what I talked about yesterday with Kate's very short frustration fuse (the reference to the "Pump it up" disaster is mentioned):
Spinning coasters from Lisa on Vimeo.

Lucy experiences the same frustration when Kate zones out doing one of her favorite things: creating displays with her treasures. Kate came into my bathroom one morning while I was just getting out of the shower. She set about creating one of her displays and was quite content when Lucy found us.

I asked Lucy to sit far enough back so that she wouldn't knock Kate's treasures over. Her feet are bunched up because one of Lucy's favorite tactics is to "toe" the things Kate is playing with, somehow thinking that she's not really touching them if she's not using her hands/fingers.
As expected, Lucy can no longer contain herself and starts edging over along the cabinets.

She manages to knock the egg over so I move her back away.
Her next favorite tactic is to "show the treasures to puppy", thus the stuffed animal is the one responsible when things get knocked over. Notice the quick glance up to see if I'm looking...
After preventing another mishap, Lucy is relocated to my bed to watch from afar as Kate finishes her masterpiece.
And yes, I did try to get Lucy involved in something else but she is not the kind of child who will play by herself (as noted in several other posts on this subject). Even just being right outside the bathroom was torture for her (and our ears). Which is probably part of the reason that Kate loses it when Lucy has my full attention as she tries new things. Lucy spends so much time literally "on top of Kate" at home, taking my time and attention away from Kate's quieter pursuits in order to keep Lucy from becoming destructive. If Kate is building with blocks or legos you can be sure Lucy will come along and "accidentally" knock it over. Puzzles pieces will get bent, board game pieces will fly off the board, statements of "I'm bored" will be uttered repeatedly if we are working on writing our letters or numbers.

I spent my entire hour with my therapist last week talking about this one recurring dilemma. My girls are such opposites that even trying to do things together like puzzles, playing games like Candyland are frustrating beyond reasonableness. And yet, I cannot seem to get them involved in their own pursuits unless they are doing art and even then, Lucy needs to be right where Kate is, using the same markers, etc.

I can't even fall back on an age difference as an excuse to them as to why they need to do things separately as they are very aware that they are only 6 weeks apart in age. I've had many short discussions with them about how they are two separate people with separate skills and interests, but they are 4 so that was pretty much a wash.

Thank goodness school starts again on Monday so we can all have a little less togetherness.

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