One of the benefits of having kids close in age, specifically the same age, who generally get along with each other is the amount of time they play together. Don't misunderstand-- there are times when C & S bicker constantly over most anything: the color of the spoon, the seat in the car, the shirt the other is wearing, who gets milk in his cup first, etc. However, there are long stretches of time when the two of them, with F sometimes involved, will just play together.
In fact, I realized that when we moved to New Haven, we were all pretty much playdate virgins. Oh sure, on our rural campus up in Maine, we would have the few other faculty kids over at various times. These were never particularly scheduled & never ever referred to as "playdates." We just randomly ended up in each other's homes after brunch in the dining hall or met up after running around outside in the campus bowl. Because the boys always had each other, we didn't feel the same need/urge to schedule time for playing with other kids their ages as perhaps parents of singletons do (often to save their own sanity so the parents can finally put down the legos, play-doh or puzzle pieces). Our new foray into the world of playdates has been interesting, but that's a subject for another post, another day.
S & C are particularly good at imaginary play. They could be really successful on that improv comedy show, Who's Line Is It Anyway? The original British version of that show was often pee-in-your-pants funny, but I'm not saying the boys are comedic geniuses-- even though they make us laugh regularly. However, they do like to make up their own song lyrics which they unselfconsciously sing out strong, and they would be particularly good at that props game where the contestants get a random item that they must make a variety of uses for. You should see what the guys can do with a laundry basket or a spatula.
During this play, they create elaborate scenarios. Ok, 'create' might be misleading as they often lift the main points of their plots from books & shows. (We've yet to begin talk about plagirism & appropriate crediting/citations. That will come when they're six). S & C throw themselves with great gusto into their new characters & frequently get their stuffed animals involved & maybe a laundry basket or two. A favorite scene involves becoming their stuffed animals. I applaud & encourage this imagination-at-work & frequently peer quietly through open doors to watch them in action. But, I admit it-- I just can't stand the noise their puppy-selves make. This high-pitched chatter has me gritting my teeth & tensing all the muscles in my back & shoulders. This morning's before-school puppy play nearly drive me over the edge of sanity.
Perhaps there is a need to do some new stuffed animal shopping. Bullfrog, C? A large, adult bulldog, S?