So after many attempts to not introduce gun play into The Boy’s world, I have accepted that it is a natural part of his DNA to be fascinated by fire arms. It might be genetic because Juanito has a substantial fascination with things that go boom and gun collection. Well, I’m sure it’s not substantial, not by his means at least. But having been raised in a house where there were hunting rifles and shot guns in my dad’s closet, we were raised with what I call a healthy fear of guns, so any guns are bad guns. Don’t touch don’t handle kinda policy does that to you. Juanito’s biological dad, who was actually present until he was seven years old, was not only a state trooper, but also retired army and marines. Guns were a daily part of his childhood and he was raised with a healthy respect AND proper handling. I don’t have the ease with guns around like Juanito has so we’ve agreed that no guns until The Boy (soon to be Boys) are older and understand the ramifications of handling a gun. The specific age is still being discussed and more importantly will be determined by the maturity level of The Boy(s). THAT we agree on.
Therefore we did not encourage water guns or toy gun or any toy that had an aim/fire aspect to it. But still food was aimed and freakishly accurate shooting sounds were made with forks and toys and cars and green beans. Eventually, the term “shoot gun” came into his budding vocabulary well before other more appropriate words. Like please, thank you, dog, Mom….. We have enacted the point and shoot rules that you do not point and/or shoot a person or an animal. You can shoot the house, you can shoot the bushes, the trees, but do not shoot Mom. Or Cass. Or Alfie. We’ve had to pass this rule on to Grandma’s house as well.Last night before dinner, The Boy was outside while Juanito grilled some chicken, and came to the dinner table with a broken water gun that has spent the better portion of the Arizona summer laying in the rocks in the blaring sun. The mere fact that this plastic thing is still together is a miracle, let alone still working. Well, it’s not working since half of the parts are somewhere else. But yet, The Boy was glued to the gun. It was at the dinner table and it was next to him while he was curled up watching Disney Channel before bed. It was a bone of contention when it was time to go to sleep and the rule “don’t sleep with your gun” was in forced. Sometime between going to sleep and waking up the gun went missing. Thankfully. Because when The Boy woke up his first question was “where’s my gun?”
I’ve read articles about the pros and cons of gun play. I accept that this is apparently a very innate part of my son being a boy. I know that we are teaching him good manners about gun play. And when the time comes that Juanito gets to take him shooting for the first time he will be taught the right and wrong way to handle a gun and himself around a gun. Until then I am sorry if my child shoots you with his green bean, fork, sun-eaten pieces of a water gun or even just his hand.