This is My Blog.

Mine. Ownership and possession are both powerful concepts in childhood development. I can't actually remember when Caroline started declaring objects to be of her possession but lately she spends much of her time informing me about which items in our house are hers. It's not just naming her surroundings: dolly, kitty, blankie. It's announcing personal possession over them. My dolly. My kitty. My blankie. This idea of ownership is already deeply rooted in her personality. She says "mine" with a sense of pride and with passion. Caroline clearly associates people, places and things with herself as well as her ability to care for, play with, don affection upon or just hoard them all in her stroller.

With this deep rooted sense of possession comes jealousy and paranoia. The cats are not to be trusted. When we cuddle in the morning and one of the cats jumps on the bed to greet us, Caroline quickly grabs her lovey and holds it close to her face. "MINE! MINE BEAN," she firmly warns. Friends are also not to be trusted. When we drop Caroline off at daycare, several children run over to get a hug from the newest adult in the room. "No, Eli. My mommy," again, Caroline warns, as she pushes the toddler off of my knee to make room just for her.

She'll go to great lengths to gain ownership of an object of desire, even if it was never hers to begin with. She's bitten and been bit. She's pushed down and been knocked over. She's pulled hair and had hers pulled in return. Mine! Mine! Mine! Only to play with the toy for a few minutes before the burning immediacy of ownership fades as she spies a child with another object to posses.

I'd like to say as an adult this powerful feeling goes away as we learn to master the art of sharing. I honestly believe it only gets worse. Some consider hoarding a mental illness. And we've all heard about people being killed over a pair of sneakers. If only I could go up to the woman flirting with my spouse at a party, knock her down, bite her arm and declare, "My HUSBAND!"

Or what about at work, when your boss mistakes your idea to be that of the annoying guy in the cubicle next to yours (who never seems to speak up and correct your boss)? Wouldn't it be great to stand on the meeting table, give the guy's hair a good tug and remind them all that the amazing idea was "MINE!"

We can only dream of acting out our possessive fantasies, for in reality, if we had stood on the table like a crazed ape, we would later be sitting in our boss' office, holding our packed box of personal belongings, being told we were being let go because we are not a team player, the adult phrase for the childhood term we've heard so many times before: that we can not share.


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