My 6yo niece (let's call her Belle--she likes that name) and 10yo nephew have the day off school today, so they are spending the day with us.
Well, when Belle is here after school during the week, I can't say I notice too much how she is playing with her little sister, my 3yo niece (oh, let's give her a name, too--Delfina), who is with us full-time. Or, rather, I haven't noticed lately. Today, with all siblings here the whole day, we took the day off school and I tackled decluttering while the kids just played.
It seemed the common issue of Belle trying to control everything, especially in regard to her sister, reared its ugly head. 13yo dd came down to talk to me about some of what was going on. I then went and stayed upstairs, then we had lunch and things were a bit better. I think she knows I will redirect any controlling behaviour. (Which usually plays out with me giving some nice activity to her little sister that she has to wait her turn on. :D) But it didn't stay.
Belle and Delfina were playing with my 10yo ds on the upper level and Delfina was growing tired of the game, so she came downstairs and played with a very small Casio piano we have here. Within a few minutes, Belle was downstairs, asking to have a turn.
Normally, that would be fine. But I have seen all day how Delfina just goes with whatever Belle wants to do, and I am still seeing during the week how Delfina can't seem to figure out anything to do with herself--she is so used to Belle being her constant directress. And this is a definite habit of Belle's, to see her sister pick something different, so then she goes and asks for a turn; Delfina is usually very compliant, so she ends up losing out. So, today I stepped in and said, "Belle, you will wait until Delfina decides she is done and you won't ask her if you can have a turn." Oh man. The evil eye began. Frequent glances my way, palpable feeling of anger without her actually doing anything.
Delfina found herself a new spot near the window; Belle followed. Belle started in with the impatient sighs--because we all had to know that she was unhappy. And maybe, just maybe, it would get her her turn faster, right? ;) I kept getting evil eye glances, but didn't let her see that I saw her. At one point, Delfina very proudly and happily said something along the lines of, "It's my turn and Belle has to wait." I replied, "Yes, it is. Belle will sit there and wait or she'll find herself something else to do while she waits her turn, but it's your turn." I knew proposing that Belle find something else to do wouldn't go over so well, so I put the 2 options out there so it was completely her choice. She chose to stay. Giving me an unhappy glance ever so often. I made sure not to laugh.
It was eventually her turn and she did not say a word when the piano was given to her. Of course, that had me thinking we'll need to play some Grace and Courtesy games. lol. She played a little, but kept glancing at me in a different way. I couldn't figure out if she wanted my attention or was trying to figure out just how attentive I was to what she was doing. Finally, she said to Delfina, "Let's go downstairs." (Yes, a 2nd downstairs--I'm in a 4-level split.) Hubby was there with a colleague, showing him some stuff, so not a great choice in areas to go make noise. I also suspected she was up to something because she will often do that--give me glances and then get her sister to follow her somewhere else where she can be in charge of her again, so I told her no, that her uncle was down there with somebody and it wasn't a good place to be right now.
The colleague is gone and now Belle is wandering around aimlessly. The evil eye is done, but she did just do a particular kind of pitiful voice so that I would say yes to her going to play on the computer in ds's room (which doesn't stay on, so a good reason to say no). Time to go find some crafts or games or something to do with them.