Taxi cab was tough to share with a playdate a few months ago.

"OK, Mia, let the little boy get on the tractor," the nanny called as Beren and I followed a Canada goose. My child had come within 12 feet of another child. When polite, middle class (and their associates) central New Jerseyans who are supervising a child over 3 months of age notice their young charge is within this distance of another child, their mind becomes clouded by the "Sh" word.


In Kindergarten I received a "NI" (Needs Improvement) grade in sharing. "Rachel is not capable of sharing," noted the teacher on my report card.

When Mia and Beren circled around to each other again, Mia was inside a Little Tikes playhouse and Beren outside.

"Mia, let the little boy in. Give him a turn." Mia banged the door on Beren's arm.

"I think they're fine," I called.

"We're trying to teach her sharing," she replied.

I nodded.

A moment later Beren and Mia were inside the house together, both trying to squeeze into the window with the shutters.

I mumbled, "Give Mia a chance," and cursed myself for my unconfident, nagging tone. The kids scowled and elbows flew. Like a paper match, the fire was quick and extinguished. Mia and Beren moved around the house, each on their own task.