Friday, November 14, 2008

Until now, playdates for Will have been mostly joint affairs – get-togethers for moms and kids all at once. I realized yesterday, when we had Will’s friend Creight come over by himself, how much I can accomplish around the house during a kids-only playdate and how much more I notice about the kids’ play when I’m not flapping my own mouth with another mom or two.

The highlight from yesterday afternoon was when I eavesdropped from the kitchen on this conversation that the boys were having in the next room. For over an hour, Will, wearing his spiderman costume, and Creight, dressed up as Batman, had been concocting various superhero adventures around the house. Their teacher had talked with them earlier in the day about how the Pilgrims came over on the Mayflower from England after deciding they didn’t want to live under their king anymore, all of which managed to inspire this dialogue (which I quickly started transcribing):

Batman: I’m glad we’re here to protect each other.

Spiderman: Me too. And when we kill bad guys we protect the whole world too. So there’s no more bad guys except in England. Because the people want to do what they want to do, so that’s why they sailed to America, so they don’t have to live under the king.

Batman: I think we should go to England and kill the king with our guns.

Spiderman: Ok, let’s go!

And the boys gathered some plastic pegs, which they were using as guns, and ran into the next room.

For me, fresh off reading Vivian Paley’s “A Child’s Work: The Importance of Fantasy Play” (which I recommend to early childhood teachers and parents alike), it was a fun scene to overhear.


Allison Kennedy said...

How cute! But I'm glad no one got killed. :)

Annie Addington said...

Yeah, once upon a time all this gun talk might have seemed a bit disturbing to me. But I've long ago decided that boys have an innate need to work out their gun/violence issues through play while they're young (I don't provide toy guns, so Will has to resort to tinker toys, plastic pegs, sticks and the like). But I've decided there's no point in trying to censor his play -- the more I told him not to talk about guns the more he'd love to do it anyway.