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.