Since Will first became mobile, we struggled with the idea of giving Luke his personal space and a place to go away from the baby versus giving Will free reign regardless of where he chose to wreak his havoc. We initially decided that Luke's room could be his own private space where he could go and shut the door and be alone if he needed it. However, this quickly turned into a lot of slamming doors and unnecessary drama as it evolved from a space Luke could go to be alone to a place Will wasn't allowed to go and wasn't allowed to touch anything. As Will got old enough to care he began to get his feelings hurt by the slamming doors and Luke started to stash toys in his room just to keep Will from playing with them. I became increasingly irritated with the situation as it escalated to Luke absolutely having a fit for the two minutes Will would be allowed to be in his room while I helped him get dressed. There were tears on all sides of this battle.
Back in February, when we had the blizzard of 2011, we were cooped up for quite a few days. Luckily, the first day I had to go to work. (Luckily? I don't know about that.) As I prepared to be home with the boys the next day, I decided I had had enough of this behavior. I started talking about it the night before to Luke--about how the slamming doors hurt Will's feelings and about how he should start letting Will come in and play. Luke didn't think I had any good ideas. So the next morning, I drew a line in the sand. I said no more shut doors and Will could touch/play with whatever he wanted. He could have his alone time with the door shut during quiet time and that was it. I told him it was too cold to shut the door. (I do have a reputation around here for coming up with abstract and inane reasoning to get my kids to do what I want--but this one had merit. Luke's room is the coldest in the house and it was 17 degrees outside. I couldn't let the kid freeze!)
This was initially met with resistance but I held my ground (silently giggling inside).
The door must remain open.
Nope, you can't block his way either. . .
. . . put your arms down. . .
You can't smush him up against the wall either. . .
And that was it. All smiles from here on.
Luke even gave Will one of his most coveted toys.
I was a little surprised. He put up a good front initially, but once he gave it, there was not a single problem. The whole day went smoothly as did the next, and the next, and the next. A little surprised is an understatement. I was actually stunned that this worked. But it did and now the two are playing together like peas and carrots.
As for the rest of the wintry weather--
Well, it was 17 degrees outside. I was not taking anyone outside who refuses to wear mittens and hats . . . ahem, WILL. I stood outside in the wintry weather waiting on the train for long enough to get my fill of the snow. Luke didn't really ask to go out, so we didn't.
But we did try on funny hats! I love funny hats on kids! They just make me smile.
But it didn't last long, as I knew it wouldn't.
Will was permitted to look at the snow. (I know, I'm such a good mom, right?)
And once the weather was above freezing, I bundled them up as much as they would allow, and we went out for an afternoon at the boys favorite park!