Ben and his friend were in the bedroom playing war. Because they are the kinds of boys they are, the game involved lego and much discussion but very little discernible war play. Still, because I am the kind of mom I am, I suggested some other more friendly narratives in which to involve their lego. Eli listened attentively and then offered his peace plan:
“All war, go home! Have dinner! Go to sleep!”
Ben and Eli were playing with their homemade paper walkie-talkies. Ben was sending Eli “text messages” by writing commands on small slips of paper, walking over to Eli and reading him the message. Smoke signals would have been more efficient, perhaps, but who am I to interfere in a self-initiated game that requires none of my involvement? I’m no fool.
And so it went, with Ben writing out his messages very carefully, reading them to Eli, and then the two of them running to the meeting place:
“Eli! I’m sending you a text message. It says, “Meet me at Pier 47! That’s the dining room, ok?”
Or, “Eli! I’m sending you a text message. It says, “Meet me at Pier 23. That’s the bathroom.”
Until Eli had enough. He ran to the art table, cut out a slip of paper, wrote an indicipherable message, and ran it over to Ben.
“Ben! I’m sending you a text message! It says, “Stop bossing me!”