I was enjoying watching a group of small boys rumbling at creche the other day. I thought they were having fun and weren't hurting each other or being mean so I let them go for it (it was a wet day!).
Sometimes as women we can find it hard to see little boys being quite physical with each other. Can't they colour-in or join in with the singing? But there's something about boys and the way they relate to each other that is just simply very physical.
My four year old son's happiest moments are when his big brother will chase him/rumble with him/wrestle on the trampoline with him. And my 11 year old son is very happy that his baby brother is now old enough to enjoy it!
The problems I have with the boys playing come when they start talking about wanting to 'kill/stab/shoot/strangle' each other. I'm not thrilled with them using weapons to play but I'm most of all concerned with the way they speak about and to each other. I want to ask those big questions like, "what kind of a grown-up do I want my son to be?". And I want them to be men who can speak kindly and respectfully to one another. The line between imaginary play and real play can be quite small when you're with a sibling. I also want them to listen to each other ("stop, when the other person says they've had enough"), respect each other's bodies ("don't injure each other"!) and through this show self-control.
The mystery of being a mum to boys continues ...