No! Mine!

In Lyn's final year at the Albuquerque Special Preschool, the school coordinated a Christmas party with a nearby middle school.  They paired two sixth graders with each student in the preschool.  The sixth graders came to the preschool with presents for each child.  Refreshments were available and the children were allowed to open their presents during the party.

The teacher working with Lyn was thrilled because Lyn participated and demonstrated appropriate behavior throughout the party.  She unwrapped her own gift and really seemed engaged with the two sixth graders who were working with her to make the day special.  They had brought Lyn a tea set that came in a sturdy, suitcase-like box.  Mom was thrilled when she learned of Lyn's reactions to the day's activities and the gift.

At the end of the preschool day, after Mom had loaded Lyn and I back into the car to return home, I apparently turned to my sister and demanded "Give me it!  I want to see it!"  (Let me stop here and state that I do not remember this event.  Unfortunately, I can believe I was an imperious brat in that moment.)

Lyn turned as far from me as the car would allow and yelled "No!  Mine!"

I burst into tears and tried to get Mom on my side by saying that Lyn was being selfish and not sharing.  Mom, much to my apparent dismay, told me to leave my sister alone and that the gift was hers; not mine.  Mom, however, was even more excited.  This was the first time that Lyn had not given into my demands, the first time that she had uttered those normal childhood words of "No!  Mine!"  She asserted her ownership and was not going to back down on it in the face of my noisy tears.

For weeks, any time I attempted to get the tea set in my clutches, she would snatch it away from me and would repeat the "No!  Mine!" reaction.  Mom was proud of her and continued to advocate that I back off.

Lyn, however, would not play with the set.  She would admire it in the box.  She would guard it jealously from me.  She would not open the box and play with it.  Mom and Grandma tried to show her that she could open it and that the box contained many pieces for her to play with.  The moment they would lift the lid to take out a piece, she would loose interest and walk away.

Eventually, however, she did allow me to look at it.  Eventually, the pieces came out of the box and we had many tea parties with the set.  I remember the tea pot held many rounds of Kool Aid.


  1. Growing up with a brother, we were often given two identical gifts that would either be different colors or marked with nail polish somewhere so that we could tell them apart.

    Ironically -- the first time my brother and I were allowed to buy/select gifts for each other for Christmas -- we bought each other the IDENTICAL gift. :-D

  2. Cute story, AZThespos. Thank you for sharing it.

    Lyn and I were given very different gifts and our differing interests were kept in mind. We had to share a room and we tended to share our belongings as well. I always knew that I could anticipate hand-me-down clothing from my sister or my older cousins. Of course, we squabbled over toys and clothes. But, all in all, I remember getting along with my sister pretty well most days. We may have annoyed each other. But, in the end, we really did love each other.

  3. And in the end you really were VERY good girls as you are today. I love you both beyond measure. And your brother, lol


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