Monday, September 29, 2008

Little sister

Poor Lily is having a hard time being the little sister these days. One of the nice things about where we live is that we have so many neighbors who have kids the same age as Ella, but that's also one of the problems. Lily considers them all her friends, too, even they are all two years older than she is. She desperately wants to hang out with them and play whatever it is they are playing. And for the most part, the big kids are great with her, including her in their games. Some days, however, I can tell that they want her to just go away, which is understandable.

The girls spent most of last weekend playing in the backyard. Our friend M, who is Ella's age, came over Sunday afternoon to play. Ella and M got involved in some very complicated game that only they understood, but Lily really, really wanted M to watch her do tricks on the trampoline. She kept yelling,"M, watch me do this!" M was a good sport, but I had to intervene on more than one occasion to rescue M from Lily.

At one point Lily wan in tears because Ella and M weren't including her in their game. I tried my best to distract Lily by offering other activities that she could do with me, but it was of no use. She just wanted to play with the big girls.

We had the same problem this weekend. M spent the night Saturday, and Lily kept tagging along, five steps behind M and Ella. I offered her the chance to go with me to the knitting store and then to get a treat - trying to give her some one-on-one time with me while rescuing M and Ella from Lily - but she refused to leave the house. I decided that dragging her out with me would cause more problems than it would solve.

It's not that Lily doesn't have any friends of her own, because she does. But other than MJ, who lives next door and who is a year younger than Lily, we don't have any who live close to us. It takes effort on my part to set up playdates for Lily, and these days it's tough for me to work up the energy. I'm hopeful that Lily will start asking to have playdates with friends from kindergarten, since those kids will at least live in the neighborhood.

In the meantime, I'll try to keep her from being the pesty little sister AND try to find special things for her to do when Ella is otherwise occupied. It's not easy being the little sister.


Keeffer said...

there's no such thing as a pesky little sister. If big sisters didn't think they were better just because they were born first there wouldn't be problems.

hokgardner said...

For those who don't know, Keeffer is my baby sister. She's 6 years and 9 months younger than I am.

FishyGirl said...

It's probably harder for her because there isn't a big difference between the two. My sister is 3 years younger and it was always a pain to have her tagging along. Oddly enough, my kids seem to play with friends as a group, and it doesn't matter that there's a 7 year age difference from the oldest to the youngest - they all play with the same neighborhood kids. Poor Lily. I hope she finds her way soon, and then she and her friends can make Ella stay away :-)

Cathy said...

I struggle with the same thing with my two sons. The younger one always wants to be with the older one, and I can't pry them apart even when I can see it's going to end up in a fight.

katesaid said...

I'm the much-eldest, enough so that my sisters never had the chance to be pesky, just small. And, now, babysitters.

Jacob struggles with this, with Emily - she has a BFF, one who drives me i-n-s-a-n-e, around the corner, and he gets so jealous and lonely sometimes. But the house full of little boys across the street from BFF is populated by savages and beasts... so he can stay home with me. Happily, he's a pretty mellow, Zen kind of guy, easily distracted.

Jolly Roger said...

Wish I had some tried and true advice, but we don't even have enough kids around my neighborhood to go around in the first place! I do feel your pain though.