Once while browsing through clothes at a consignment shop, I witnessed an interesting mother. She and her daughter were looking through dresses. A small boy zoomed past; I guessed him to be 3 or 4 years old. He waved a toy pistol he’d ‘borrowed’ from the toys for sale and made shooting sounds as he ran.
The woman stopped the pretend assault and relieved him of his weapon. “Now, Garrett**,” she admonished, “We don’t shoot guns.”
She might have gotten offended if she’d seen my expression, a mixture of hilarity and shock. For, in our house of 4.5 boys, we possess a full arsenal of Nerf guns, Nerf crossbows, plastic bows, Nerf swords, Minecraft swords, and many off-brand toy hand guns. When not shooting darts all over the basement; my kids and their friends hurl pillows, socks, and each other at each other.
The consignment shop mother’s comment reminded me of my own mother’s words, once upon a time. My oldest was two years old, and he had been fascinated with guns since he’d learned to speak. After aiming a squirt gun her way, my mother said, “No, Samuel**, we don’t point guns at people.”
All this talk of guns and swords and pro-gun rights for children might peg me as a weapons-happy, gun-lovin’, dyed-in-the-wool carrier who won’t have my right to bear arms ripped from anything but my cold, dead fingers.
Although I am in favor of that amendment, my support of the boys and their pretend weapons stems from logic.
- My children turn most objects into weapons, and then use those weapons to attack each other. The toy guns with their sponge bullets give them a better outlet for that aggression.
- It’s impossible to play the sorts of war games mentioned in #1 without ever pointing a gun at a person.
- All of my rules have been created to channel the boys’ actions into somewhere productive instead of trying to make them stop feeling the way they do.
So, what’s a mom to do? Our official rules are:
*You can’t shoot anyone not playing The Gun Game and not holding a gun.
*You can’t shoot heads or sensitive parts.
*You can’t shoot at close range.
*Swords can only hit other swords.
*Only wrestle with Dad.
Actually, our #1 rule, the one I made years and years and years ago is:
*No heads, no necks.
My sister thinks it’s hilarious, but now she has children of her own….
Sunday, September 8: “Parents, Put the Phone Away!!!,” a post encouraging parents to put the phone away.
Monday, September 9: “The Boy Mom Poem”
Tuesday, September 10: Shared a funny parenting meme.
Wednesday, September 11: Outlined the steps for framing a beautiful food picture.
Thursday, September 12: “Underpants and Floor Food,” a snippet about what children prefer.
Friday, September 13: Discussed teaching how income and credit cards work in, “Kids and Credit Cards (The Magic Money.”
Saturday, September 14: Shared Anxiouscougar‘s tweet about funny things we tell our toddler.
Sunday, September 15: That’s today!
©2019 Chelsea Owens