The Bean sat herself down in front of the toy and began pounding the crap out of it. Buzzers were going off, lights were flashing, plastic pieces were popping up and down - she was having a great time with it. Until the little girl next to her stole the toy right out from under The Bean's nose.
No worries. There was a full box of toys.
We reached in and pulled out an equally annoying xylophone and handed The Bean a stick which she used to pound out a sorrowful ballad of love lost. Until the little girl made a beeline for the xylophone and ripped it out of The Bean's hands.
Michael and I took a collective deep breath.
The Bean found a calculator to play with. The xylophone was forgotten. The Bean meticulously pushed buttons and finished our tax returns. Until the little girl swiped the calculator from The Bean.
My eye started twitching.
Michael grabbed the first toy, now strewn aside and neglected by the thief child, and placed it back in front of The Bean. Friends reunited. The pounding of switches and snippets of the alphabet song filled the room. Until the little girl pulled the toy from The Bean's grasp. She must have heard Michael's agitated foot tapping. The next thing I knew, she was shoving the calculator back into The Bean's hands, nearly knocking her down in the process.
Since the thought was there, despite the violent execution, we said a falsely cheerful 'thank you' to indicate sharing is nice.
But child law being what it is, as soon as The Bean started tapping on the calculator keys, the little girl needed the calculator. Now. And having 3 years and about 30 pounds on The Bean, it was quickly hers again. And The Bean was toy-less.
Michael was rolling up his sleeves and cracking his knuckles. I quickly reminded him that good hippie parents do not interfere in such social interactions. Rather, they let the child figure out how to handle the situation on their own so they do not turn into miserable, entitled adult gits looking for handouts.
We focused our attention back on The Bean who had found a plastic box with a marble inside it. A treasure that the little girl promptly pried from The Bean's increasingly tighter grip.
I sighed. Michael stood up to drop kick the little girl to the next room when The Bean having had quite enough of this rude behavior let out a little shriek of annoyance. There was only so much she would tolerate. So The Bean crab crawled her little butt over to the little girl and stole the box right back.
We couldn't be prouder.