Now that David is in school all day, Mary Virginia and Thomas have no choice but to play together.
They play really well, but they also fight. A lot. I’ve never actually kept track, but I feel pretty safe saying that the time they spend fighting outweighs the time that they play by at least double.
It’s just normal sibling stuff, compounded by the fact that Mary Virginia is four and Thomas is two. Now that I’m spending a lot of time taking care of Anna, I find myself unfairly expecting them to just play. And when I tell them to just play they almost always respond by just screaming and hitting each other. Putting them in a room together is not unlike pouring a bunch of gasoline on a pile of sticks, striking a match and then acting confused when the whole thing goes up in flames. They’re four and two. That’s the definition of combustible.
As the year has gone on, though, they’re starting to figure things out. I find them together, immersed in pretend play. Usually it’s a game that Mary Virginia has started and she’s found a role for Thomas. I’ll find him pretending to be pregnant with a tiger or wearing a Cinderella dress-up skirt, dutifully calling Mary Virginia “Mommy.”
Or like this day, when it was nap time but I had to feed Anna, so Mary Virginia volunteered to read to Thomas.
Mary can’t read, but she was narrating stories, which is just as good for Thomas. That, and he gets the chance to sit by his big sister.
When you bring a new baby into the family, there’s a lot of uncertainty. While I’ve been figuring out new family routines, the kids have, too. The only difference is that they do it without the help of, oh, I don’t know, hindsight, foresight, a fully-developed cerebral cortex, a bachelor’s degree, and access to Google. When I have an issue with my toddler, I hit up Pinterest. Mary Virginia has to use HER IMAGINATION.
When I see them snuggled up on bed together, that’s when I know that we might just make it out of this year alive after all.