Today, Silas got whatever he wanted.
Tomorrow, Petra will.
I devised a system about a year ago that on odd-numbered days, anything that only one of them can win, Silas wins. What shall we pick to watch for TV time? Silas picks (Wild Kratts, always). What do we listen to in the car? Silas picks. Park or museum? Silas picks. Pasta or tacos? Silas picks.
Petra used to get upset over it, but it’s easy to remind her that yesterday was her day, and tomorrow will be her day, so it’s just today that is Silas’ day.
Of course, it does lead to some strange conversations, because three-year-olds aren’t so good at comprehending time. I wrote down this one, some version of which happens pretty much daily.
Is it my day today?
No, it was your day yesterday. It will be your day tomorrow.
Is tomorrow after rest time?
No, tomorrow is in the morning, after bed time.
Is today tomorrow?
No, today is today. Tomorrow is tomorrow. After dinner and bed, and then you wake up and it’s light out, and that’s morning and it’s tomorrow.
That happened today! Today is tomorrow. It’s my day.
She can do this for about an hour.
This system is fantastic, mostly, though. She kind of gets it, and Silas understands completely. It works with birthdays, too. Turning an odd age? Silas gets a party. Even age? Petra’s turn.
I’ve begun telling them the date and asking them to figure out whose day it is. Sometimes I give them a number of objects equal to the day to help them, if they seem to be struggling. As a result, they’re a bit obsessed with odds and evens.
And I’m obsessed with rules that End Whining. This one more or less does it, about a certain set of things.