The kids were playing dinosaur at the museum today. There was another mama there with three boys and they were playing together with Marshall and Stewart. They were gathering and guarding their eggs which resulted in some very active play. I wouldn't have really given if much thought since no one was getting hurt and no one was being mean, but the other mama kept barking for her kids to share and stop being mean. So, I got down there with them, near their "nest" and directed some quiet encouragement to Marshall, saying something like, "you're doing exactly what the dinosaurs did... protecting their young". Lest you think that I was being an instigator, the boys were just growling at eachother and grabbing for the eggs, with the smallest bit of tame wrestling AND I didn't direct this comment towards her children.
After the next order came out, I assured the mom that she shouldn't worry about my kids and that I was ok with their play. She said that not sharing wasn't ok with her. I don't think I responded. (So you know, it wasn't a tense exchange.)
I couldn't figure out why she thought her kids were being mean, and I couldn't wait for them to leave so the imaginative play could continue without interruption. I felt like her standards of control were unreasonable. From my perspective, the boys were just pretending. The grabbing wasn't bully-ish or mean, it just seemed like a game. I was mystified. It was weird.
They continued to play until finally the mom said that they had better move on so that no one would get hurt. I was glad. Marshall and Stewart continued to play pretend dinosaur, growling, waving their dino claws and showing their terrific teeth.