Monday, October 11, 2010

Who's line is it, anyway?

Endlessly entertaining. If there's one phrase I would choose to describe life with young children, it would be just that - they are endlessly entertaining. I love to hear the funny things that they say, and of course, those are easy to record and remember. But equally amusing to me, yet harder to record, are the unique ways in which they play, or how they climb the stairs, or the faces they make at themselves while brushing their teeth - when they think no one is looking...

The weather has been gorgeous these early fall days, and we've had the windows open as much as possible. After school one afternoon, the big boys were playing outside in the front yard while Pax and I put away clothes in the rooms upstairs. I was was intrigued by the game that was unfolding outside; Aidan and Leo each had their baby dolls with them, as well as the doll-sized stroller. At first, I was confused and slightly alarmed at what I saw - one of them would snatch the baby from the other's arms, shove the doll into the stroller, then race across the grass and push him straight into the bushes, a formidable tree, or the bumper of the car. What on earth? I thought. I'm always so proud of my boys for playing with dolls, but now I wasn't so sure - the game looked awfully.... violent. At least from the poor doll baby's perspective. The longer I watched, though, the more clear it became that this was a carefully orchestrated, detailed, almost scripted kind of play, with definite roles and rules. Finally, I couldn't resist not knowing. I went outside and asked them about their game. "It's called Kidnappers!" Aidan exclaimed. "We are taking turns protecting our babies from the Bad Men who have tried to kidnap them!" "Yeah!" piped up Leo. "We are saving them!" he explained, dangling his beloved doll baby from one foot before dropping him on his head. "Oops."

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