Toy Story


On Mondays, I pick up Robbie and his buddy Pete from daycare. Everyone comes back to our house, and my friend Rebecca comes to take Pete home around 5:00. As they’ve gotten older, Pete and Rob have started actually playing together instead of just existing in the same place. And, with playing, comes jealousy…

Robbie has a toy that he has never liked. Ever. It just never intrigued him, and I’ve been meaning to take it down to the basement to clear some space. It’s one of those walkers-turned-ride-on-toy things. It doesn’t light up or make noise, so Roberto is really all set with ignoring it. Until Pete noticed it. Then, all bets were off.

I looked up this afternoon to see Robbie pulling Pete by the shirt and Pete tried to “ride off” on the toy. Pete, understandably frustrated and concerned for his own safety, just tried to pull himself away with more effort. Undaunted, my son moved to Pete’s side and grabbed his collar. Then, with strength and rudeness that I am embarrassed to admit came from my child, he pulled Pete right off the toy. Onto the floor. And Robbie picked the toy up and took it across the room. He didn’t even ride it away! Robbie has no idea what the toy is actually used for (unlike Pete who knew exactly what it was when he uncovered it). He just knew that he wanted it.

Unfortunately, so did Pete, who was up and shaking the dust off his shoulders. Pete was across the room in a second, ready to fight for the toy. Each boy, standing, had one end of it. Until Pete let go and sent a startled Robbie flying across the room. Encouraged by this brief victory, Pete hopped on, hoping that Robbie wouldn’t be able to throw him off if he really dug his heels in this time. Although Robbie didn’t try to pull Pete off the toy, he did try to pull the toy with Pete on it.

At this point, I felt it was my parental responsibility to intervene. There were tears, red faces, and yelling. I did the only thing a responsible parent could do. I took the toy and put it on the dining room table. Then, I opened the tool kit, since it has about twenty different things for them to play with. And what happened? You got it. They both wanted the hammer…


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