Once upon a time I flew from Idaho to Florida for my little sister’s wedding. A redeye flight. With a two-year-old and a five month old. By myself. I’m sure everyone with more parenting years under their belts is laughing, but I really thought it was a good idea at the time. And though I didn’t get any sleep, we made it to our destination without me crying once. Win.
While we were in Florida we stayed with my twin sister and her family. They have two boys who are the same age as my kiddos. During our trip I got to experience some of the differences between boy and girl toddlers. Especially in how they quarrel. We didn’t even make it home from the airport before Evelyn learned the word “antagonize” (and that we don’t do it), and her cousin, Samuel, learned not to take food from girls. My sister had brought some yummy food pouches to keep the kids content on the long car ride back from the airport. We put the toddlers in the back of the minivan and I was squished between the two baby seats in the middle row. I handed each of the bigger kids a food pouch and turned to catch up with my sis. About one minute later I heard Evie’s voice from the back: “Oh, It’s all gone.” I knew my baby could suck down some food pouch, but I was surprised she was done that quickly. I turned and saw her trying to wring out the last few drops from her cousin’s puree. Samuel was innocently finishing off the last half of Evie’s pouch. I cocked an eyebrow him: “Samuel, did you take Evie’s food pouch?” “I did.” He matter-of-factly nodded his head once. His mother jumped in at that point and explained that it wasn’t polite to swap food pouches if his was empty.
After that was dealt with, the adults settled back into the ride and conversation as Samuel pulled out a couple toy cars to play with. I turned my attention back to the front of the van. Suddenly a howl issued from my young nephew. “NO EVIE! It’s my truck!” I snapped my head around again, expecting to find Evie with one of the toys. Instead, she was sitting quietly with her stuffed bunny. Perplexed, I turned back around but kept watch out of the corner of my eye. Soon enough I saw my little girl lean forward. I turned a bit more and listened. She craned her neck to look at Samuel and smiled mischievously at him. Then, so sweetly and quietly, said, “My truck Samuel.” Again, my nephew (this time with tears thrown in): “NOOOOOO! IT’S MY TRUCK!” I tried to stifle my laughter as I calmed down the little guy and then told Evie that the trucks were in fact his toys and that antagonizing her cousin was not loving or polite. I turned back around, shook my head, and wondered just how many shenanigans those two munchkins were going to get into.