DS had some of his chums around after school today to play. The Gang of Four travel as a loosely formed pack, (in the way that boys do), whether it’s in the playground, scootering home from school or deciding on the lastest thing to be “into”.
The latest thing started at the beginning of this year. At Christmas, it was still all Lego this and Lego that, then from nowhere Warhammer struck like a Blitzkrieg. Every penny of the pocket money (if he were allowed), every moment of conversation, every birthday request, every…thing is Warhammer, Warhammer, Warhamer with tedious obsession. So, with DS having been to Warhammer “parties” at his chums’ and now that his collection has, quite literally, grown into a small army, I gave in to the relentless pleading and invited the rest of The Gang around for war games.
In all honesty, I don’t really have a problem with it. There is something reassuringly traditional about a young lad of 11, esconced in his room with his solvents, flocking and paints, crafting his own personal army in plastic. It gives DH and myself the opportunity for amusement by ribbing him for the nerdiness of droning on incessantly about the various models and their characteristics. (It’s not mean if you have nerdy tendencies too).
Playing the war games, on the other hand, is a rather more fraught affair. It seems to take an eternity to set up and then most of the action consistes of a the players yelling (good-naturedly) at one another, trying to determine the rules of engagement. It’s a noisy business (perfect for not-so-small boys) and the armies pretty much stand around, filing their little plastic claws or sharpening their plastic weapons, waiting for something to happen. If only all wars could be fought with as little blood-letting and acrimony.
To be fair, they probably didn’t have enough time to do their thing. It’s not really a-couple-of-hours-after-school type of activity, any more than a decent game of Monopoly would be. (My record for Monopoly is 3 days). Pizza time came around all to quickly and the Warhammer armies were left standing unmoved and unscathed, while the real injuries (and tears) took place on the garden battlefield in the pre- and post-pizza boisterousness.
So that was the war part. It was all over fairly swiftly and, for me at least, quite painlessly. Now they’ve all gone home, the house is still standing, the children have gone to bed, the wine is poured and peace reigns. My parental duty to host play dates is done for the moment.