I've discovered the defining moment of my parenting skills. Being a bleeing-heart liberal, my utopian mothering senses determined that my precious little boys would never play with toy guns.
I don't need to hear the arguements for the contrary - all the guys saying "I played with them when I was a kid and I turned out okay". We also said that about smoking in a car with the kids. Just because we are not all dying a horrible death, doesnt mean that we're still doing it.
Even living in Canada doesn't give a mother a fighting chance. Cable TV, Hollywood and Toys R' Us continue to perpetuate the myth that toy guns are cool and acceptible. If they are so exceptable, then I suggest we start manufacturing Prison Bitch Barbie, Gangsta Ken, an array of toy coffins, and a play heroin kit. After all its just pretend.
Pardon me, I am going to be free with my language. Who the HELL came up with the great idea that play and pretend had no bearing on reality? Who in the heck is telling us that play is not about learning, its about pretending. Who made that chasm? Aren't they the same? I hear some banter as if they are total opposites - cripes! I figured it was a marketing genuis who came up with that definition, since it has convinced whole generations that little girls playing with toy kitchens and little boys playing with guns have absolulely no bearing on how they are genderized and socialized.
At the moment I am working against some significant socio-cultural pressures. Yesterday Harry approached me with his defining question Our conversations went something like this:
Harry: Mom, Guns are cool, right? Mom: No they aren't Harry. Guns kill Harry: I want to kill Mommy, can I have a gun? (mom is freaking out internally) Mom: Do you know what it means to kill, Harry? Harry: No. Can I have a gun? Mom: Guns kill things. People. Animals. To kill means to make something dead. Harry: Gun are cool, right? I want an I, Robot gun mom. Mom: Guns Kill, Harry. They make things die. Do you know what it means to die? Harry: No Mom: Pappa died, where's Pappa? (my dad, who was not killed by a gun, but another popular killer, high fat foods and ciggarettes) Harry: Pappa's gone. Mom: Pappa is dead. Thats what guns do Harry: Mom I want a gun. I just want to hold it.
Then, I just ignored him. It felt like chinese water torture. When he eventually got tired of being ignored he went on-line, typed Gun in Google, clicked on images, found a picture, then went to File and Print. Instant coloring page. You can see his creative endeavors for yourself.
So, if a mother were to handle this wisely, what should she do, other than shipping him off to Tierra Del Fuego until he is 21? Do I continue the moralizing banter? I am not buying toy guns. That is a given. This does not stop him from creating them on his own. In those given circumstances he isn't allowed to point those creations at any animate object. Part of me fears an Alex Keaton like rebellion. Instead of getting this hippy peace and love message from his political mother, he'll revoke his Canadian citizenship and become president of the NRA. Even worse...a Washington Lobbyist.
Ah, to be 5 and live an uncomplicated existence eh? Right now, potty-training Aidan seems more like a challenge I'd rather confront. A little pee on the floor is much easier to clean up.