28, 2003 - Friday
This shovel that Harry is holding is the "purple shovel." It's a silly little shovel of no apparent visual significance, especially compared to the big yellow spade that I got for Harry a couple of weeks ago. Yet, for some reason the purple shovel has become THE major object of desire and contention between my two boys. For example, when we drive in the driveway on a day suitable for playing outside, going back a solid month to when there was still snow to be shoveled, Harry will start calling for the purple shovel well before we stop. "I want the purple shovel," he'll say quite adamantly. Jeremy can't say "I want the purple shovel" because he can't speak yet, but there's absolutely no question that he wants it too. The more Harry talks about the purple shovel, the more Jeremy grunts, points, and screams. Jeremy's usually the lucky one because his car seat is on the driver's side of the car and that means he typically gets out first. When he does get out first in these situations he invariably struggles to get down from my arms, runs around the back of the car, and heads straight for the plastic beach bucket that regularly holds the idle purple shovel. This can make Harry furious because he is still strapped in his car seat. What's more, Jeremy often appears to taunt him, holding the purple shovel up and making more grunting noises. So, today as I stopped the car, Harry called out for me to get him out of the car first, clearly knowing the routine and scheming for the purple shovel. When I open Jeremy's door anyway, Harry emphatically calls for me to "bring Jeremy over here IN YOUR ARMS and open my door." I'm left to try to teach lessons in patience and generosity.
The most amazing thing about this silly shovel is that with almost everything else 'sharing' is actually going surprisingly well.