Just recently, something which I have been waiting for has begun to happen. When Harriet was born, Norah naturally did not view her as a playmate immediately. It is, after all, difficult to play with a little sister who can’t lift her head or focus her eyes on you (one’s attention tends to drift). Then there was a time when the idea of the girls “playing together” was more scary than anything else.
The Toy Wars began when Harriet could walk and though there is a temporary truce at the minute, I am sure they will continue. You know, whatever one has, the other wants. Simple and powerful illustration of human nature at its most raw. Daily. So I’ve watched and waited and kept up a steady stream of mommyganda (That’s Mommy-Propaganda, folks. It is the reason why carrots, in this house, will be forever known as “yummy carrots” and the morning tidy-up routine is often referred to as “clean-up fun time”). In this situation the mommyganda has been to bring up the fact that sisters are very best friends at every possible opportunity. There have been glimmers of hope.
They really do adore each other. But lately, just lately, they’ve begun to really settle down and play together. The new Thing is making “houses” all over the house, often in a small space. I find them sitting together under the table or behind the chairs in the living room corners. They are always nearly buried in a mountain of dollies and toys, and Norah always says, “I am the mommy and Harriet is the daddy and we are in our house toglether!”
Yesterday while I was packing boxes they went into their room and shut the door. Hearing only giggles, I left them alone, with only a peek or two to see that no Situations were developing. Once Norah came out and went running into the living room. She returned with Pinto, the beloved rocking horse sent by Auntie Em. Wedging it across the girls’ bedroom doorway, she said, “I’m just going to block off the door here with our horse, okay? That way no one can come in. My sister Harriet and I are playing here so you don’t need to come in.” And the door shut.
I don’t know when I’ve been so delighted.