I'm feeling buggered. Why? Well, I organised a birthday party for my youngest's seventh birthday. I can almost see you nodding in understanding.
It all went very well for 5 six/seven year olds plus my eldest, his best mate and his brother. All boys, so loads of testosterone. I had them fighting with swords, flour batons (in pop socks); on the football pitch; pelting each other with blow pipe pellets and stomping on each others' balloons.
They shouted at each other, gave orders, argued, pushed each other around and competed ferociously. At tea time they were perfectly well-behaved, scoffed the pizza I had made, the grapes and then the apple tart and deadly chocolate cake made by NG.
I kept access to sweets down so they wouldn't go home with a total sugar overload - just a minor one... Their goody bag consisted of a sword each, not a bag of sweets. They thought this super cool and a fab idea. Not sure how keen the parents were.
I was totally amazed when one boy told me he couldn't join in with the flour bashing because he wasn't allowed and his clothes were new. Having picked up my jaw, I asked him if he was indeed a boy, and not to talk daft because in any case his knees were green from footie. He was the one who was forever telling everyone else what they were doing wrong, reminding them of the rules, and whining that they were misbehaving. He's a future administrator, that one. There was another who was a total wimp - the child on the footie pitch who looks uncomfortable; the child who tells you 5 times he wants to take sweets home for his siblings and you wonder about his sincerity ; the child who shrieks to the others not to hit too hard during fights, a lot; the child who resembles a delicate flower rather than a rampaging geezer (like I'm used to).
I have full-blooded males in my house - I'm used to it and I understand it. I don't get wimps and find it difficult to be sympathetic to their plights. I think they all had a good time though even if there was a lot of pushing and shoving. It was in fact, normal boy interaction; the survival of the fittest - Darwin at work.
The house was awash afterwards with balloon bits, blow pipe ammo and sweet papers. The joy of tiles is that it is simply swept up and chucked. Tea was outside and quickly dealt with too. Having no dining table (yet) proved to be a blessing - there was that much more play area for balloon stamping. There's always a silver lining!