They have built a ship of sorts using a few blankets and toys. The Little People Farm is the helm. They have adopted 'ye olde snarling pirate voice' and are marching in circles repeatedly singing their pirate anthem.
The fracas comes to a screeching halt when Jude decides that he is fed up with being the "bad guy pirate."
He wants a turn at being the "good guy pirate"---a role which James has claimed as his sole possession.
James spends a few minutes trying to convince Jude that the world needs bad guys because, afterall, who are the good guys supposed to conquer? Jude isn't buying it.
"I want to win, too!" he says.
"Well, bad guys don't win," James says.
"I wanna be the good guy pirate! Can you let me, James? Can you?"
"Well, no," says James. Becausing the prospect of losing (even pretend losing) is anathema to James.
Jude, pirate patch still covering one eye, scurries downstairs to find me. James follows close behind. They don't have to go far, I've been sitting on the stairs listening to their little conversation.
There follows a deeply philosophical discussion edging close to the question: why does evil exist? If there were no villains, would the good guys get bored? Can the bad guys win sometimes?
James is willing to let the bad guys (ie. Jude) win a few times.
This doesn't cut it with Jude. Jude suspects that even though the bad guys might win a few battles, the good guys (ie. James) ultimately win the war.
They are not content to both be good guys and fight invisible enemies. They scoff at my suggestion that we let "everyone win!" The boys believe this politically correct idea is complete bunk.
Duh, mom. That doesn't actually happen in real war!
I guess they're right.
Our compromise is that the boys take turns being the conquering hero. I set the timer and they alternate bad guy/good guy roles every ten minutes.
Because ten minutes of glory is worth sharing.