Keeping Score

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Categories Behavior, Toddlers

It’s been happening for a while now. And it’s a little irritating. Tiny will say, “Like Buba” and that’s my warning that somehow she’s notice an inequality. Suddenly she’s keeping score, and she wants everything to be even between the two of them. If Buba gets his lunch on a blue plate, Tiny needs her lunch on a blue plate. If I’ve cut up his toast into smaller pieces, she’ll want the same. But it’s not just about things. If I give Buba a little tickle when I put him in his crib for nap time, Tiny will get very upset if I don’t do the exact same thing for her. Meanwhile, Buba could care less if his straw is a different color than Tiny’s, or if I kiss her on the forehead and him on the cheek.

Perhaps it’s not that big of a deal. Perhaps this is a phase, and not a battle I need to have. But I really want Tiny to understand that things don’t have to be exactly the same for them. That there are times when their needs may be different and times when I’ll want to have individual special moments with each of them.

Is/has anyone else dealt with this sort of situation? Is this desire to keep things equal a multiples thing or do singleton siblings go through this as well (asks the one who grew up as an only child)?

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4 thoughts on “Keeping Score”

  1. I can see already with our 7 month old girls that this will be an issue in the not-too-distant future with one of them, so I look forward to the responses!

    I was the oldest of two. My partner was the oldest of four. To this day, if we are splitting food, we are eagle-eyed about making sure that we have evenly split whatever it is. I think it’s leftover from our childhoods!!
    .-= z.´s last blog ..Too busy running my mouth. =-.

  2. As a mulitple I can tell you that this will be ongoing. I think only now have my sisters and I stopped comparing and arguing about “fairness”. My mom always said she wishes she had done a better job teaching us that things didn’t have to be fair.
    .-= Mommy, Esq.´s last blog ..Mother’s Day 2.0 =-.

  3. I have two younger sisters and we always “kept score”. What I remember most about that was splitting some yummy piece of food (have one cut it in half and the other choose first) and whether punishments were equal. 15 years later, I’m still a bit ticked that my middle sister and I both got grounded for two weeks when I missed curfew by only five minutes and she missed hers by two hours a couple years later.

    I think I’d just treat this as a phase for now, but if it continues longer than you think is necessary, maybe start stressing the point you mentioned about having special moments with each of them as individuals. She may not get it at this age, but I bet she will in a few years.

  4. My sisters and I were always fighting over what was fair – we are each a year apart. I think my mom may have indulged it a bit but I can’t remember for sure. Chances are, we probably just wore her down with all the whining. I remember my friend’s mom said to me, in response to something I thought was unfairly divided, “What? You think everything should be even-steven? That’s not how life works.” I was so shocked to hear an adult say something like that – I had never heard the expression (I was 10ish) and assumed that fairness/equality, even as it applies to sizes of food portions or TV time, was universally accepted as the right thing.

    Now that I’m a mom, I have learned a new expression: You get what you get and you don’t get upset. So, while I still think fairness is a good goal, I don’t want my kids to hung up on it like my sisters and I did. I’m sure when they are my age, they will remember that little saying as so annoying!
    .-= Nicole´s last blog ..Babies (the movie) – One Mom’s Take =-.

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