And today, Gabriel got into a fight at CDC, and ended up hitting his (former?) friend Minoj. He almost got sent home for not talking about it with the CDC director, who determined it was a disagreement rather than an act of aggression (bullying). Then I saw the CDC director giving Minoj's mother an "Ouch Report" -- something the CDC has to do in writing to report an injury that occurs while in their care. I approached Minoj's mother and apologized. She was gracious and kind, but obviously rattled on behalf of her son, I felt all that much worse.
Boys will be boys is one thing, but I'm getting tired of my sons alienating their friends, and putting me in a weird position with their mothers.
I don't know how much this matters, but both Gabriel and Julian's former friends are only children. Maybe they're just not used to the rough-and-tumble dynamic that brothers get to exercise and develop (overdevelop in our case). Certainly this doesn't justify my boys' behavior, but my guess is that their friends' threshholds and expectations are set differently. For example, Gabriel claimed that Minoj provoked him by filling in some holes Gabriel had dug, and Minoj probably never expected to be clobbered for it. Julian would still have filled in the holes, but he'd know darn well what he was risking. If Minoj had a brother, he might have done things a little differently -- like duck.