Yesterday I stayed home with the boys because my mom is sick. In the big picture, we had an awesome day. We played outside, went to McDonalds, and did a little gardening.
While I was cooking dinner, Rylan kept getting into stuff (being the carpet cruiser that he has become), so I asked Jaysen if I could give him his "tree" to play with. Jaysen got this tree toy for his first birthday. It's been a favorite throughout the years. It's a tree that you put balls into the top, and they come spiraling down a slide, while different musical excerpts are annoyingly exuded from the tree. Plus, the tree has buttons to press for sound effects. A parent's dream. Right. Anyway, Jaysen said yes, Rylan could play with it, since the darned thing hasn't worked in a couple of years. Until I put batteries in it.
Soon, Jaysen was in the kitchen too, trying to con Rylan out of his ball. I told Jaysen that he had two balls- Rylan could have one. Jaysen insisted on finding another item to trade Rylan for. As this is happening, I'm noticing the tree periodically inching across the room. Rylan would make a reach for one of the buttons, and Jaysen would move the tree just out of his reach. I told Jaysen he had to share. He refused. I warned that I would have to take it away if he didn't let Rylan play with it too. Still refused. Holding my breath and gritting my teeth because I know what's coming, I take the tree away and put it up on top of the entertainment center.
"You can have the tree back when you can share."
"NO! It's my treeeeeee!"
"Jaysen, you need to share with your brother."
Screaming, sobbing, throwing things at me...all of the good stuff from the good ol' days.
I decide to try to ignore the outburst and feed Rylan dinner.
"You can't feed him breakfast! Gimme my tree!"
"Are you going to share?"
"NO!" Throws pillow case at my head. He also proceeded to rip a notepad all over the floor, and throw some toys in the garbage. I told him that he needed to calm down. "NO! I NOT calm down! You get out of my house RIGHT NOW, Mommy!"
He grabbed my arm, bared his teeth, and readied to bite me.
"Jaysen! Bite me, and I will take you straight to your room!" He did this sort of growling thing he does through clenched teeth when he gets mad, then came "I hate you! I HATE YOU!!!"
I just stopped and looked at him. We have been talking about the word "hate", and I've been trying to explain that it's okay to hate broccoli, but we shouldn't hate people. He hated me.
The look on my face must have said something because he immediately said "I'm sorry! I LOVE you!" and put his head in my lap sobbing. The sobbing changed. It became sort of sadder, with more meaning. I stroked his hair, and it was then that I realized...I was wrong.
I was wrong, wrong, wrong. The tree had been a favorite plaything of Jaysen's since he was a baby. Aside from his video tapes, it's the only toy that he still plays with on a regular basis. He loves that tree, and now that it worked, it was like an old friend came back. I expected him to share it with his little brother, who drools, puts things in his mouth, and tears things apart.
Crap. How do I fix this now?
I decided to still have Jaysen calm down. It took awhile, but once he did, I got the tree down and told him yes, it was his toy, and if he didn't want to share it with Rylan, to please play with it in his bedroom. He was so happy to get the tree back, that thing hasn't left his bedroom since.
The rest of the day was awesome. Good moods for everyone, playing together, and just enjoying being a family. Oh well, maybe next year will be my chance at the "Mom of the Year" award.