Tonight we did a favor for another family and had one of Elie's school friends over for a sleepover. It wasn't a stay up all night sort of thing, it was just a play and go to bed right on time sort of thing. It went well, except for one small part: Elie's siblings.
The kids all play exceptionally well together. This does not mean they don't fight. It also does not mean that they spend every waking hour interacting with each other. It means that when they are home, they play around, with, against and sometimes apart from each other. And when an individual child is thrown into the mix, it can throw off the balance.
This friend is Elie's age. She is one of two children and her sibling is a brother who is a couple years older. She's not really used to sharing. And it's starting to be the case that Elie wants to have her own friends. To do her own thing with. And that's okay.
But Talia and Isaac and Leila do.not. want to be left out. Today I just couldn't get them to do anything by themselves. We did end up having some nice chatting time while I was making dinner and they were sitting on the counter, but every so often Talia would ask in a very plaintive voice, "Why can't we be with Elie and S?" Oh it was hard.
I wanted to tell Talia that Elie needed some time with her friend. I wanted to tell Elie and her friend to include everyone. I wanted everyone to just be not sad. I reminded Talia that there are times she has had just her playdates with her friends (granted it was at their houses, but still). I tried to get her to think about how she would feel if the situation was reversed.
In NOVA, most of our close friends were families. Our kids knew that we all came as a package and so did the other family. It worked out well. Now the kids are getting older and finding friends that don't come in a family package. Good for them, hard on me.