Cole returned from swimming lessons and requested the oatmeal cookie he'd saved from lunch. It was a DAD's cookie he'd got from hot dog day at school. It was the one he hadn't eaten. But there was only one.
I said, "We said you could have it ... BUT... Amelia doesn't have a cookie... and you have a whole cookie.... do you think you should share?"
Cole looked at me like I was a little crazy. My husband might have also wondered if I was crazy. He suggested, "Just give Amelia a chocolate chip cookie."
I shrugged. Maybe swimming lesson night isn't the time to teach good character.
I handed my son the oatmeal cookie. Then I carefully dug a half chocolate chip cookie out of the cookie jar and gave it to Amelia. (Only a half because chocolate chips are messy and the cookies were at least a week old and rock-hard and they took my two-year-old a long time to gnaw and bed time was fast-approaching).
"Chocolate chip cookie?" Cole repeated as I handed the cookie bit to his sister and he held his entire oatmeal cookie. Then he quickly broke his in half and chased her, "Actually, Amelia, you can have half of my cookie. You can have half. TAKE IT!" He tried to shove it into her face. She began to cry.
"I want some chocolate chip cookie!" he cried.
Feeling firm this time that the lesson had to be taught I said, "You chose not to share your cookie with her. Now it's too late."
"I want a chocolate chip cookie! I WAAAAAAANT one!" he cried over and over again.
And then all of a sudden, there was one hovering in front of his nose. Bless her little heart, his sister was handing him her cookie. He sighed with delight and nearly forgot to thank her and then he did thank her and reciprocated by giving her the other half of his oatmeal cookie.
Then he realized that the chocolate chip cookie half he'd just received was moist and had tooth marks in it. He examined it to see whether he could remove the part she'd sucked on and then frowned and asked if he could please have his other oatmeal cookie back.
I started to say, "No, Cole. You can't just keep changing your mind...That's not fair to her..."
But Amelia obliged and handed him back the other half of his oatmeal cookie, also soggy and partly chewed. Such a generous heart she has, if not so much finesse with the cookie-eating.
And for dear little Cole, I think there was a lesson in there somewhere. About sharing in the first place.