Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Sibling rivalry is an awesome thing
Sabrina came home from school the other day, beaming. She'd gotten 20 out of 20 words correct on her spelling test. I sat on the couch and looked over the paper she handed me.
"Wow, that is great!" I said. "You are so good at spelling."
"Me too!" announced Max, and plopped down next to me. He stared over my shoulder at the words. He looked at me expectantly; he wanted to show me he knew them, too.
"Sabrina, do you mind if Max tries your words?" I asked, not wanting to steal her thunder. She didn't mind.
Max has gotten to be more competitive lately, and it goes beyond the thing that started last fall in which he always wanted to be first—into the car, into the restaurant, wherever. Happily, that phase didn't last. Now he is all about the win. When he and Sabrina play Wii bowling, he is determined to beat her. If they're playing t-ball in the backyard, he wants to get more hits than her. I literally had to stop the kids in their tracks the other day when Max wanted to race Sabrina down the stairs, a recipe for disaster.
Not that winning isn't a typical thing for a kid to want, but until now, this drive hasn't been part of Max's makeup. It is very cool to see him motivated like this; I think it's healthy for him and Sabrina, too. I want her to think of her brother as someone who cares about doing well, in sports and in life—and someone who can do well. I want her to see his abilities.
And so, Max and I went down the list of words, with me pointing and him speaking. At times, the hard part was knowing whether or not Max actually knew the word because his speech can be difficult to understand, but he genuinely seemed to. When he finished, he flashed me the biggest smile.
"You got 100!" I said. "Good job!"
I sat there beaming with pride for both my kids—and plotting just how I might be able to put this newfound competition to use with chores.
Posted by Ellen Seidman at 6:35 AM