Blogger ate my post yesterday, so lest any of you think that Brian and Jenny are suffering from severe delusions (see the comments on the previous post), I'll attempt to recreate it.
I tend to be a gal who educates myself on a need-to-know basis, so I don't know a whole lot about child development past the age of oh, say, 9 months. So I have a question for those of you who are or have been parents of three-year-olds.
Do three-year-olds share?
I'll tell you why I ask. Yesterday Joshua and I went to our first SAHMs get together (that I found on Meetup, a handy little site). It was a lovely time--lots of fun moms, lots of fun kids--and it was at a UMC that I hadn't heard of before but that we will definitely be visiting on an upcoming Sunday. The posting said that we were to bring our kids, toys for our kids, and snacks for our kids. Since we're not exactly snackers yet, I loaded up the diaper bag with favorite toys and we were on our way. I discovered after a few minutes that the ethos was such that everyone brought lots of toys and if there was a unclaimed toy sitting around, it was fair game. Joshua was uncharacteristically intimidated for a few moments, but as soon as he figured out what was going on he climbed out of my lap and started to explore. I pulled his blocks out of my bag and immediately a three-year-old, we'll call him Aaron, gathered up every single block (even taking a few from Joshua's hand) and absconded with them. He didn't go far, so Joshua crawled over to play with them, too. But Aaron pulled the Heisman on him, pushing him back with one hand so that Joshua couldn't get to his own stuff. Fine, I thought. I have other toys! So I pulled out Joshua's measuring spoons (they're fun if you hold on to one and sling the other ones around). No sooner had Joshua taken them from me than Aaron dropped the blocks, plucked the spoons from Joshua's hand, and took them to the other side of the room. Of course, as soon as Joshua went for the blocks again, there was Aaron, ensuring that he couldn't get to them.
Aaron's mom seemed genuinely concerned about Aaron's behavior, even going so far as to tell him that if he couldn't share then they were going home. But at the same time, she was also tending to her five-month-old (which leads me to believe that Aaron may be having some issues with brand new baby sister). So he was obviously familiar with the concept of sharing, and I'm pretty sure he had at least a few months of being three under his belt, so I'm not sure what was going on.
I was a little nervous around him, though. At one point, while Aaron was playing with Joshua's blocks, Joshua engaged in the Stability Test (pushing on an object to see if it's stable enough for him to pull himself up on) along with the Show of Strength ("Look how strong I am! I can push on this and make it move!") on Aaron's back. I quickly pulled Joshua away, but his mother insisted that such wasn't necessary as "it'll be fine. He's used to it." But Aaron's other impulse issues led me to believe that it wasn't a mistake to think that he might just throw an elbow. So Joshua and I moved to a safer place.
In the previous iteration of this post, my question was, Do three-year-olds-share? The answer is that, obviously this one doesn't, so I'll rephrase.
Is it developmentally appropriate for three-year-olds to share?
Thanks to Brian and Jenny for answers already posted.