Creative works by author Dan Foley.

The Sharing Wars

From time to time I’m going to post some (hopefully) humorous observations on life. Keep in mind these are my observations and you may, or may not, see the humor in them. After all, I’m pushing 70 and I see humor in some pretty weird stuff.


Share is a four-letter word. Well, it is if you’re a kid. I live with a 2½ year old (K) and a 4½ year old (E). The house is filled with toys, dress-up clothes and stuffed cats. They each have a favorite. It’s the one the other one has at the time. E’s two favorite things to say: “K won’t share,” and “I don’t want to share with K. For K, just replace the “I” with “Me.” The result—sharing wars.

Tactic one in the sharing wars is to complain loudly that the other one doesn’t want to share. If that doesn’t work the best course of action seems to be to wait, with larceny in your heart, until the other one puts the coveted item down. Then, as soon as it hits the floor, swoop in and grab it. Step two in this scenario depends on age. The 2½ year old beats feet laughing while the 4½ year old screams “K took my …” The 4½ (who is a lot bigger) just holds it out of reach and grins while the little one cries and runs to Mommy, Grandma, or me. Before we can even check to see what happened, E is explaining that K: . . . put it down, it’s mine, she doesn’t want it any more, or anything else she can think of that might let her keep it.

Tactic 3 is to just take it and hope the adults are so tired of all the crying that they just ignore the whole thing. This one has a maximum success time of less than three minutes.

There are a lot of drawbacks to these sharing wars, but they also present some interesting opportunities . . .especially when I’m of on one of my trips to visit family or attend a con. The trick is to buy two toys, books, etc. and to give one of them to one of the kids (it doesn’t matter which one) just before I leave. Let the battles begin. Now, here’s the best part, when I get home I present the other toy, book, etc. to the one who didn’t get one before I left. I get the satisfaction of knowing I missed the sharing wars and the gratitude of my wife and daughter for putting an end to them (at least for a little while).