You just call on me, brother, when you need a hand

I (sometimes) enjoy observing the social interaction between the boys. At 8 years old, Boy One is becoming old enough to understand the merits of bargaining, cooperation, extortion, and manipulation. Boy Two still sticks with his old standby of brute physical force.  It’s a constant battle of brains versus brawn and I just sit back and watch it play out.

A few days ago, Boy Two received a painting craft as a gift. Paint is something of an anomaly at our house, and you’ve probably read enough of my posts to understand why, so this was a big deal.  He talked about it nonstop for days as he waited for me to finally decide it was worth it to risk my carpet just to get him to shut up about the stupid paint. I figured Boy One would throw a fit over the injustice of only Boy Two receiving a painting craft, but he didn’t say a word. “I guess he’s just not that worried about it,” I thought, but I underestimated him. He had a plan.

When it was finally painting day, Boy Two excitedly laid out his paints and went right to work. A few minutes later, I looked in to see Boy One working diligently with the paints while Boy Two played Minecraft. Both seemed content so I didn’t get involved. When the painting was finished, Boy Two thanked his brother profusely for completing it for him.

With that success under his belt, Boy One moved on to his next conquest. Within minutes, he was “helping” Boy Two build a structure in Minecraft while Boy Two watched. He even suggested that Boy Two cover his eyes so he could be “surprised” at the end result when Boy Two tried to exercise a little too much creative control over the structure.

This is a risky game that Boy One is playing because Boy Two is significantly stronger than him and he knows it, but so far we’re at Brains – 2, Brawn – 0 for the evening.

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