There's been a power struggle going on in our house for a while. No, not potty training. That business actually worked itself out pretty quickly over Thanksgiving.
We've been having a power struggle about chairs. Specifically a blue chair and a green chair. The blue chair is Giada's beloved feeding chair/booster chair. We've had this thing going on three years, and it's been hard to have her give it up. We've had months of conversations that go more or less like this:
Me: "Giada, what do you think about getting a booster seat instead of your own chair?"
Me: "But kiddo, you're getting a little too big for the blue chair..."
Giada: "No! MY blue chair!"
Me: "Giada, do you want to sit at a regular chair, like a big girl?"
Giada: "Blue Chair! Blue Chair!"
Me: "Are you sure?"
Giada: "MY chair!"
I was hoping that after three years, she'd be ready to give it up, and perhaps we could get the baby in the chair for his feedings. Yet here he is, over five months old, and the feeding chair was still getting plenty of use from Giada. So I moved on to plan b, aka, the green chair. The green chair is supposed to be a combo bumbo-like seat and booster seat for later. What's not to like? So, about a week ago, our conversations morphed into:
Me: "Giada, wouldn't it be nice to let Vincent have the blue chair?"
Giada: "No. My chair! Mine."
Me: "Okay, but now I'll have to get Vincent his own chair."
Giada has been good at sharing toys, and parents. There's still a bit of jealousy going. Her dad can't hold the baby when he's around, because Giada requests to sit on his lap (the kid reasons that while mom has an excuse to hold the baby because she is the source of all his food, dads don't have mother's milk, and so her dad has no such excuse). Most toys are fair game to share, but now and then one of them becomes off limits. The idea of sharing makes more sense when it is she who is taking one of his toys and hogging it, and not the other way around.* So it was with trepidance that I ordered Vincent his own gear.
The chair showed up in a package a few days later, and I made the classic rookie mistake: I got so excited about it that I opened it right then and there, in full view of both kiddos.
Me: "It's baby Vincent's new chair. For him to sit in."
Giada: "I help build it!"
Five minutes later, with the chair assembled, this happened. The daughter ensconced herself in a seat she can barely fit in (her of the 40 in, 40 lbs constitution), and would not budge out of it. Her dad came home, and of course he started teasing her by saying "Giada bear! You barely fit in that. Besides, you're a big girl. Big girls don't play with baby chairs", to which of course Giada would reply with a whiny "Noooo! Nooo! MY blue chair!", and I would point out that she already had a beloved blue chair.
Well... It's been a rough couple of days. While Vincent has been able to enjoy the green chair by tuning out the endless whining about to the sound of "But I wanna sit in the blue chair!", Giada has taken every and any opportunity to sit in the chair she could possibly find. She almost got stuck in it once, and she can't move her legs at all in it. Neither obstacle fazes her, as this is not about enjoyment per se (though of course, she gets some enjoyment out of the baby toys too), but about possession (it is, after all, 9/10 of the law).
Sure, I could have played it differently. I could have got another regular feeding chair. I could have just gotten a bumbo with a tray. I was hoping to convey a small lesson to Giada on that. "See? If you had given up the blue chair, maybe you would have gotten a shiny new booster, instead?". I told her as much, at least once.
I think I'm the one who's being schooled here, though I haven't the foggiest what the lesson is.
* We will mention here that pre birth of Vincent I had to buy no less than three blankets for him because somebody kept going "This is Giada Baby's blanket!" and laying claim to them. By the third try I learned to hide them, and didn't bring the blanket in the house until baby had slept in it at the hospital...)