Jack and Josiah (above) along with Jorge (my husband) comprise the Blue Guy team
Between years of teaching and parenting, I have played A LOT of kitty-cat and puppy dog in my life. Being on all fours, pretending to eat from a bowl, meowing and barking, it is a game almost all small children love.
Maybe it is an adult coming low to the ground, the physicality of pretending to be something beloved, or just acting silly; it introduced me to play from a child's perspective. The games evolved over time as my boys grew. They would climb on my puppy back and somehow tickling ensued. I found I really enjoyed physical games with my kids. Running, chasing, hiding, jumping, climbing, I felt alive in all the best ways. Kids really love it when you play with them; I learned this from this very smart guy.
We had incredibly gentle boys so my concerned husband started to introduce a playful form of wrestling. The boys loved this "Blue Guy" game and it soon became a nightly routine. (Don't ask me where the name came from, I have no idea)
Jorge would cackle and yell as the boys tagged team together against him. It wasn't long before they could give him a real run for his money. The intensity and frequency ebbed and flowed through the years but Blue Guy was a staple for connection in our house.
When we found out Jorge would need a pretty involved knee surgery I wondered what would happen to their beloved game. It was out of this crisis that Mama Slam was born. If he could wrestle with them, why couldn't I? I was just a fill in, a substitute for the master of Blue Guy but I was pretty sure I could hang.
So Jorge had his surgery and I was determined to become the Mama Slam champion. We even had tournaments. The prize was a night out to dinner, at a place of the winner's choosing. They were gunning for pizza; I had a salad and soup joint in mind. It was the best 2 out of 3, I almost won.
Jorge's recovery took longer than we expected and Mama Slam replaced Blue Guy. Everyone plays now, gender has gone out the window as Lucy can very much hold her own. I've been banned for several months due to protecting our future girl team. Our baby girl to be born any day now will complete the trio that will be pure girl power versus a very experienced boy team. I really miss Mama Slam, more than I expected, but I'm sure the comeback will be fierce and fun.
Tell us your favorite physical games to play with your kids in the comments. If the whole idea makes you tired just tell us the ones you watch your kids play from the bench at the park, it still counts.
Here is some more great info on raising active boys.