A Refreshing Evening at the Mosh Pit

Sometimes, Family Home Evening around here kinda gets waylaid and we opt for a visit to the "playweah" (that's how Henry says "play area") at the mall. On a twenty degree day, those large motor skills and everyone's cabin fever just need an outlet. So we went.

It sometimes causes me an undue level of anxiety because my boys are...um...rough and tumble, and there are moms who don't really...um, "get" that (either in the sense that their children don't give it to them, or they just don't understand...yet. They still think it's the parent being pathetically inept, not the kid being a kid). So I feel a little extra on edge in front of the other parents. Sometimes the parent peer pressure is trickier for me to handle than the junior high/high school variety ever was.

I think my angst really goes back to the day I was there and Henry, Calvin and several other boys in the 1 to 2-year-old range were using the slanted surface of one of the rubberized truck thing as a ramp - i.e., to climb/crawl up. A mom scooped up her eighteen month old and said loud enough for the negligent mothers of young boys to hear, "Come on, Emma, I guess we just need to go somewhere else, because these boys don't follow the rules. We go up the stairs and down the slide." Keep in mind here that the "slide" has about a .05% grade...

And then there was the time that a dad not even related to any of the children involved in a totally accidental and literal little run-in was arbitrating a peace treaty between us and another set of parents. After giving us a play-by-play - "They're over there, trying to help their little boy stop crying" - He actually told us that we, the parents, should probably go apologize. Funny thing was that the mom of the crying boy was actually trying to get him to apologize to Calvin.

Yeah, so other parents can be a real stressor...

But tonight it was awesome. David and I conversed easily and more or less continuously, the boys caused few if any altercations, and Calvin even made a little friend with whom he worked out a complex game of good guys/badguys/freeze tagging/wrestling. At one point, Cal wrestled the little boy down and we had to pull him off, but the little boy told us, "My dad said if he gets me too hard, I should just one-two him." Perfect! No crying, whining, tattling, fake apologies. That's what it's all about! I wanted to arrange a playdate. Cal needs someone to wrestle with - and get a good ol' one-two from - besides me sometimes.

Then later, another boy created a little fracas with Cal and they got a little heated about it, but the other boy's mom just looked at me and shook her head, smiled, and said, "Boys." My thought? Exactly, and thank you for being cool.

Maybe Monday nights are when the realistic parents come out. Don't get me wrong - I don't condone violence or bullying or even certain innappropriate ways of introducing oneself. I spend a great deal of every day trying to engender empathy and order and manners. However, there are just some things that go with the territory - wrestling, tumbling, chasing, the occasional punch or push are part of the game of growing up. They're a little bit fun, even. And they help a boy sleep well at night.

Never knew I could feel so validated from visiting the mosh pit that is the playweah.


Lana said...

before I had a boy this would have left me clueless as to what you could possibly mean. Now that I have a boy I am SO with you!
I just say to myself I am raising a stripling warrior and besides being faithful they were also couragous and strong in battle.
Thank Heaven for Little Boys!

MotherT said...

Any parent who thinks that there is a rule for how to play in a "playweah" is much toooo grown up to take their children to one!!! The best part is to see how creative kids can be (with each other and with the play stuff)!! And, trust me, it's not just BOYS who get rough and tumble. My daughter, Jessica, was as rough as they get as a kid, now she has a 5 yr. old son--and guess what? David Riley has a built in wrestling partner for a mom!

someone else said...

Whenever I see in my bloglines that you have a new post, I click on it right away. And I'm never disappointed. I just love to read your account of the happenings in your day with those adorable little boys. It sounds like you are a mom with a pretty sound perspective on her world.

Blackeyedsue said...

Isn't part of being a boy...not just a boy...but a child...the rough and tumble part of it? Good for you! And good for those other moms!

Sketchy said...

I am so with you! LOL I can't help but thinking that the "slide police" mama is going to be in for a big shakeup one of these days when her darling rule-follower rebels. Of course, maybe she won't, she'll just marry some demanding overbearing man who won't let his wife's mother come over... So there!

It's a little sad how vindicated that makes me feel. Especially considering I wasn't even involved in the incident.

TXMommy - I love the Stripling Warrior idea!