Sunday, January 30, 2011

The difficult art of sharing

This has been a pleasant weekend, filled with happy activities for Son. Who would not share. For any promised benefits. Under any threats. Whether or not the person requesting the sharing is his best friend or an attractive stranger. The answer is a firm and whiny "no." On Saturday afternoon, after his nap, the Diplomat and I took the bouncing-off-the walls child to Barnes and Noble, where the good people of B&N have set a train table with tracks and wooden trains of the Thomas variety. Hundreds of children get to play with them on a daily basis and in the process wipe their snotty noses/drooling mouths on the unsuspecting trains in a happy and endless exchange of winter germs. Barely recovered after a week of debilitating flu, the Diplomat and I stared meekly at the bacteria-infested train table and then at Son, who was holding a train in one hand and a muffin in the other, and then simply gave up. Son needs to build immunity after all, right? Both of us had dragged Bangla homework in the hopes that while Son plays idyllically with some new-found train buddies, we can study. Not so much. 5 minutes into the visit, Son immediately took possession of the only three trains on the table and hoarded them in his hands (which already had 2 cars of his private collection in them). Anybody's attempt to wring out A train from his cold, stiff hands was met with unadulterated hostility and outright displeasure at the audacity. Utterly embarrassed under the reproachful gaze of mommies-whose-children-apparently-share-everything, I proceeded to loudly explain to him how he really needs to share. He flatly refused and poignantly took the trains behind a column of children's books, where he sulkily hid for almost 2 minutes. He re-emerged and through some (rather cruel) threats, involving the fate of his entire car collection at home, he reluctantly gave up one of his trains to a boy waiting at the table. His facial expression suggested that we might as well have been removing his liver for donation.
And on Sunday morning, I took Son to the Washington, DC Building Museum to see the LEGO exhibit and create some mischief with his best buddy E, while I chatted about nothing with his parents M&M. It was our first time in the museum and I have to whole-heartedly give it huge thumbs-up!! It is heaven for children--it has a so-called "Building Zone," which houses all types of building-type toys for kids, including the ubiquitous train table, a play house, blocks of all sizes and what have you happy children paraphernalia. A lot of that stuff gets taken out of the play area into the main area of the museum, which is one vast courtyard with a fountain the middle, where children can and were running around, screaming, laughing, pulling hair, stacking blocks, picnicking on the carpeted floors and in general having a jolly good time. We also went to the special LEGO exhibit, where the museum has provided mountains of lego pieces for everyone to construct their fancy. Son was entertained for over 20 mins without even noticing my absence--I had veered off to watch the exhibit of giant models of buildings constructed from millions of LEGO pieces by possibly really bored adults without jobs.
All was going stupendous until it was time to eat. I procured some sandwiches, a brownie and a fruit cup with the intention that the latter two will be shared by the two kids. It soon turned out that I had been rather over-optimistic. Son categorically refused to share even a single grape with his best buddy E and sat sulking in his seat. Soon Son announced that needed to go poopy. We got up from the table and M made the tactical mistake to reach out to the fruit cup while it was still in Son's sight. Freaked out by the possibility that all the soggy, sad-looking fruit will be eaten by some scruple-less people, Son immediately denied the need to go to the restroom, climbed back into his chair, pulled up the fruit cup and hurriedly and systematically began to chew each piece lest some was left behind for others to stealthily consume in his absence. Exasperated, I took the cup with us to the bathroom as he clearly needed to go. Needless to say, I discussed the concept of sharing with him ad nauseum--he simply gave me a look like I had lost my mind. To tell you the truth, I also hate sharing. Sigh...

In other news, since I got the offer to join the March A-100, I have not been able to get in touch with the person who extended the offer, or with anyone else in the registrar's office for that matter, regardless how many times I tried to call last week. And I called A LOT--any self-respecting stalker would envy my persistence. Stay tuned.


  1. No one likes to share, even Bill Gates or Warren Buffet, till you cannot hold it yourself any further! This is a common trait of all human beings, irrespective of the gender! My grandson will start sharing once starts socilaising when he grows up, but that too due to emotional or tactical compulsions! Try to make him understand the advantages of sharing, like in barter system! I wish our acceptance speech gets accepted today.

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