Funny, I scanned all those pictures and I haven't posted a single one yet. It's just that the kids have been pretty active this summer with gaming, so I've been leaning towards more current reflections on the actions as they occur. My son, who will happily bounce from screen to screen with no time in between if we let him (and for the most part we do, unless I notice that it's been six hours straight or he's forgotten to eat because he's mesmerized), has been having a blast playing Mario Kart with his dad.
One of the key features of the boys' play is the amount of trash talking that goes on. It rarely happens when I play Mario Kart with my son, and I suspect that's because he and his father are more evenly matched; trash talking me would be mean if he did it to me because I am so clearly inferior a player. The kinds of comments I get from the boy amount to "wow Mom, at least you weren't last this time" or "Mom, you're getting a bit better - you only fell twice". It's interesting to hear how the trash talk ebbs and flows based on how they are doing. Often it's directed at each other but sometimes it's aimed at the NPCs that also race with them.
I allow trash talk between my husband and son because it's a way to safely express bravado and pecking order. Also, it's at home and I think if we were playing at school, I'd be more inclined to want to have "appropriate conversations", even though trash talk can be appropriate. Maybe next time I'll note what gets said and how they work so that no one gets their feelings hurt - because somehow, when it's between the two of them, it never escalates. When it's the siblings, however, it's a different story. I wonder why.