The family dynamic around here is constantly evolving as family members come and go. Days when Cameron is home from school are energetic, loud, even frenzied. He and Eli play well together, but their play involves a great deal of commotion and activity. And naturally there is more conflict between children and between child and mother. As I mentioned before, when the boys play together Miriam is content to just be nearby, not directly involved but in close proximity.
On days when Cameron is at school the house is mellow, quiet and idle. Eli plays alone in peace, without the demands and instructions from his older brother. Miriam naps longer because of the calm atmosphere, giving Eli hours of alone time. It wouldn’t be quite truthful to say that Eli and Miriam play well together. I think they are still sorting out their relationship. Miriam feels a little more confident trying to be directly involved in the play without Cameron around, but Eli doesn’t want her there. In a passive-aggressive way Eli does his best to quietly remove her from his territory. She resents his efforts, either because her feelings are hurt or because she is just fiesty enough that she doesn’t want him to touch/push/pull her in any way.