Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Kids and Guns

Last Sunday, I was an accomplice to my seven-and-a-half-year-old children buying guns. I drove them to the place of purchase, advised which ones ones suited their budget and supplemented their funds. Not REAL guns OBVIOUSLY. But guns all the same. 

In my defence, they bought them with their pocket and tooth fairy money. The rule in our house is that the children can spend this money on whatever they want - the crappiest toys in a euro shop, a two litre bottle of sugary drinks, whatever.  In other words *whisper* turn a blind eye.  Anyway, surely a bottle of 'sivvy' drinks is more dangerous than a pretend gun ??

Guns have always given me the shivers.  As a child growing up on a farm, you seen what happened to dogs that chased (and killed) sheep, and it wasn't pleasant. I had the unenviable job of cleaning my father's rifle. Even though it was split in two, I was always afraid that I'd blow the head off myself as I cleaned the barrel with a cloth. I'm getting a shiver now remembering it. 

When I was pregnant with my twinnies, I bought '2 for 3' books, including the novel 'We Need to Talk About Kevin'.  Without giving the story away, it's fair to say that poor old Kevin didn't fare out the best. The book is a series of letters from Kev's mother to his father wondering where it all went wrong. Was it nature ? Or nurture ? Or a bit of both ? It's the stuff that a book club could love.  But probably/definitely not what a hormonal first time Mam should read. I should have stuck
with 'A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian'.

Preggers Me was intent on being a peace loving Momma and that Poppy Cottage would be a gun free zone. (It was also intended to be a sugar free zone ... Ah, bless, I was quare innocent once !).

Roll on a few years and someone bought Leon a gun as a present.  I winced as he unwrapped it.  But I could see the delight in his face. There was no way I could chuck it in the bin. But even if I did, he would improvise.  He has used his finger, a crutch and a stick as weapons of mass destruction.  I must say, I was rather impressed at the machine gun that he made out of Lego recently.  A feat of engineering.  'Just don't point it at me son !'

When afore mentioned son was tiny, he fell in love with horses (Well actually, a donkey. Called Jimmy. That lives in his Nana's garden). That fascination led him to love Cowboy and Indian films (Only John Wayne though. He was never a Clint fan).  I tried to be enthusiastic, but also felt the need to stand in front of the TV and explain to my boy that the Native Indians were being misrepresented. He just yawned and asked me to 'get out of the way'.  Every cowboy needs his holster and it would be nothing without a gun. So, guns were aplenty in Poppy Cottage.  Despite my reservations, I LOVED the sulphurous smell of the spent caps.  Aaaaaahhh !

Getting back to last Sunday, little man was intent on buying a Nerf gun and had, in advance, persuaded his sister to invest in a Nerf Rebelle gun - guns designed specifically for girls ... Not sure I like this ... I suggested that we look at other toys, but they were having none of it.  
We purchased, rather annoyingly to the queue behind us, with a hape of small change, supplemented by me.  

The children could barely wait to get to the car to open their purchases.  I helped them unwrap the many layers of child proof packaging.  Mya had actually bought a cross bow rather than a gun and needed help setting it up.  It looked pretty darn cool.  Tattoo designs n all. I perched it on my shoulder and fired in the car, trying to avoid the dog and the children.  Woo hoo ! That was pretty awesome !! Did I just say 'awesome' ? In an American accent ?

'Mam', Mya said. 
'What ??!!', sez I. 
'Can I have my cross bow back ? Please ?'
'I'm just checking it out Mya ... Making sure that it's okay'.

The dog dived for cover under the seat.  

'Mam ... Can I have my Nerf Rebelle back ? Please ?' 
'Sorry Mya, were you talking to me ?' 

... I channel the Guns 'n' Roses Terminator tune and embrace my inner Linda Hamilton.  I'm hooked.  

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