When people hear that Baby Beez is and will forever be a (not so) lonely only, I’m encountered by concerns that she will not learn to be good at sharing. She is three, and she has the usual three year-old misgivings about sharing. But on the whole, there is nothing significant about her only-ness in terms of her sharing capabilities.
I, however, have a lot to learn about sharing. I blame this on my three younger brothers. Primarily the oldest of the three. You see, he is about 2 years younger than me, and was often afforded the get-out-of-jail-for-eating-everything-in-the-damn-kitchen-free pass of being a “growing boy.” So whenever shopping day came around, which as everyone knows means 24 hours of blissful feasting on all the glorious fresh things straight from the grocery, he destroyed it. I mean he killed every last Oreo, every last Chips Ahoy, every last anything that was actually GOOD and I wanted to eat.
He even, on multiple occasions, committed the unspeakable crime of stealing my leftover doggy bag from a restaurant meal. YOU DO NOT TOUCH OTHER PEOPLE’S TAKE OUT. And yet he did. (I have petitioned the legislature to make “stealing someone’s doggy bag” a defense to criminal mens rea, with little result as of yet.)
This childhood trauma stayed with me. It has caused me to be an utter psychopath in our own house when it comes to any kind of desirable food that I’m afraid someone else might snap up before I get to it. I am not above leaving long notes detailing the bodily harm that will befall anyone who touches my food.
You know who does not have a similar psychosis? My husband. Who is an only child. He never knew lack. When he wanted Oreos, he went to the kitchen and got the Oreos, because there was no one else around to steal them first. Or if he ran out of something, he could tell his mom, and she’d go to the store and get more. So he never had the trauma of a junk food craving gone unfulfilled because a bratty sibling swooped in first. Which also means that he is utterly unsympathetic when I go off the deep end over food.
I brought home ice cream last week. I waved the cartons in Mr. Beez’ face and announced “IF YOU TOUCH EITHER OF THESE, I WILL STAB YOU IN THE NECK WITH A PEN.”
Mr. Beez hates coffee, and does not much care for blackberry either, so neither of these tempted him. He said that it was not necessary to threaten him with violence. If I tell him something is mine, he will just not touch it. But I am incapable of such trust. I have a deep-seated doubt of household males’ abilities to not destroy all the things in the refrigerator that I want.
Also last week, I indulged in a major splurge… a whole CASE of PumKing beer!
Again, I declared that the entire case was “MINE!” And he better not touch it. He had no objections. He doesn’t like PumKing either. And he also pointed out that it is not necessary for me to be so dramatic.
After all this, I seriously doubt the characterization of only children as incapable of sharing. Even Baby Beez, when she had a sleepover with her friend Elena this weekend, shared her toys much better than I am capable of sharing my food. But for now, I’m chalking it up to a survival instinct. Clearly there is no survival without ice cream or beer.