621. Rough and tumble

© Bruce Goodman 23 June 2015


Nora Stapleton was an exemplary teacher. She taught a class of boys and girls of mixed ability. They were aged between nine and ten. She not only taught them arithmetic and writing and all the other stuff. She taught them values.

One must hold the door open for everyone, not just for girls. That would be sexist. One must always leave the toilet seat down. In fact, if Ms Nora Stapleton had her way she would have supervised in the boys’ toilets. If boys learned to sit down when they had a pee there wouldn’t be all this trouble with the toilet seat. And the rough and tumble! Nothing annoyed Ms Stapleton more.

“Boy! Boys! I went to the zoo and the baby lion cubs were fighting and snarling. Little boy puppies tussle and tumble. Little boy kittens tussle and tumble. All the baby boy animals tussle and tumble. But boys! Boys! You are not animals! You must never fight, neither inside nor out. You must respect each another. Be gentle. Boys! Boys! Stop that constant brawling!”

That was years ago. Ms Nora Stapleton’s dead now.

When they grew up some of these boys hurt others; like, for example, some of them hurt their own kids. I guess they’d never got to learn the limits of their strength.

16 thoughts on “621. Rough and tumble

  1. Cynthia Jobin

    Tussle and tumble is what boys do….constantly…at least that’s what my five brothers did. Then there was a habit, as teenagers, when they were constantly sizing up other males (an escort of mine, for example) and always coming up with the same verdict: “Aww…I can take him..easy!” I often wondered why they put things in those terms, but I guess it was that they were learning limits, by winning and losing in physical “combat.” It must be true that they need to learn the limits of their strength…and this is how they do it.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      Yes I think you’re right, and I think most psychologists would agree. When I was a school librarian (in a school ages 5 to 18) some teachers were constantly trying to stop the boys from “scragging” as it was known as. I used to let them tussle in the library during lunch break because the carpet was soft – much to the chagrin of some!

      Liked by 1 person


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