This morning on Today, we learned that horseplay teaches boys and girls life lessons, like thinking fast and shaking things off. A book called The Art Of Roughhousing, by an MD and a PhD, supplies parents with information and tips about how to participate in physical play with their kids, absurd but true. Watching the dads featured in the segment get on the floor and roll around with the children, I had two reactions: First, I wanted to yell at the fathers. Who's the kid and who's the parent? You're gonna break a vase! Or an arm. Stop rolling around on the carpet and change some lightbulbs or take out some trash. Then I remembered how, when I was a kid visiting in rural Georgia, my grandfather used to pick me up by one leg and one arm and hurl me into the creek. I'd swim back to shore as fast as I could, eager for him to do it again.
Anyway, when it comes to the gender divide on roughhousing, I don't have any anecdotal evidence to submit in argument. My dad was definitely more likely to give piggyback rides than my mom. But dads can't be the only ones into roughhousing, can they? Anyone have a mom who's equally into horseplay? (That sounds bad. You know what I mean.)