Seth and Skyler, as typical brothers only 13 1/2 months apart, struggle with not a little competition between them. This is evidenced currently in both of them needing to play with exactly the same toy at exactly the same time. All the time.
Yesterday Skyler had a bell that was, apparently, the only thing in the entire world that Seth needed for happiness and prosperity. Amid his wails, I pointed to a toy car on the floor. "Look, Seth," I reasoned with him, "there's the car that Skyler was playing with twenty minutes ago that was the only thing in the entire world you wanted to play with. There it is! He's not playing with it!" And then the clincher, "If you get your hands on it before he does, you can play with it!"
The sobs stopped at that compelling statement. He marched over to the car and snatched it.
"There's the helicopter beside it," I added. "They can play together. Hey, you can go get as many toys as you want from the playroom, and play with them all! Why would you need that bell? You can go be selfish."
Such words of admonition were, of course, going to be heeded. (What obedient children I have, when I appeal to their lower natures!) Within a minute Seth came waddling back into the room, carrying such an armload of toys he could never hope to play with a single one of them in his current situation. "Seth," I chortled. "Why do you have all of those toys? You can't play with them all at once!"
"I have them all," he spat, "so Skyer can't have any of dem."
"Why are you carrying them all?"
"So Skyer will be sad." (Well, at least he's honest!) "You said I could be selfiss!"
"Well, apparently, you can. But is being selfish making you happy?"
He pondered for a moment. "Yes!"
Oh well. Despite my explanations of how playing by himself would not be fun for long, I'm not sure he got the point. Some lessons must be learned over time, I guess....