No Toy Guns. Nope. Not For My Boys.
When boy #1 was just a chubby little muffin, I vowed to never buy him toy guns. For that type of play encouraged violence, and this sweet, blue-eyed toe head was going to stay that way- sweet and nonviolent. I scoffed at Moms who let their little men run around like wild maniacs, waving plastic shotguns and screaming "Pewww, Pewww, Pewww...chick chick...pewww!" Irresponsible parenting!
One sunny afternoon when Liam was 15 months old, classical music played while I prepared a homemade meal in an apron reminiscent of June Cleaver (those are lies- I was watching a talk show and boiling noodles), nature defeated nurture. I heard it...."Chick, Chick Pewww....Pewwww, Pewww, Pewww." Noodle watching commenced as I searched for the source. And there he was, arms raised with his left eye closed aiming at his oversized stuffed gorilla. His weapon... my husband's asthma inhaler.
Boys #2 & 3 did not need to use my husband's L-shaped life-saving device as a makeshift gun because once news spread to family about the inhaler incident, laughter and gifts of plastic guns came pouring in. There are so many guns in the house that my type-A personality has organized them in bins and baskets and there is even a special bin in the bookcase labeled "bullets." I almost went as far as to create bins for "scopes," "clips," and "shafts," but I thought that might be pushing it. The boys run around the house and yard hiding and strategizing while I sigh and try to convince myself that it's all in good fun and is great exercise. If I denied them gun play, maybe they would end up like those kids that never get fast food while they are growing up, then go to college and go hog wild on inferior meat and french fries (true rationalization of mine).
Liam saved his money and bought himself an airsoft gun for his 11th birthday this spring. He and his Dad came home from the store with 2 plastic pistol-looking things, safety goggles, targets and about 60 million tiny plastic BBs. They had a blast shooting things and I think it may have even scared the chipmunks out of eating my garden. So far he hasn't pulled a "Ralphie" and "shot his eye out," but accidents are bound to occur. For example, two things happen when your son spills a gigantic canister of BBs all over the floor:
1) You realize how dirty the floor is.
2) You continue to find bullets into mid-summer, particularly when you are barefoot and crabby.