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Toddler Blood Lust

April 25, 2013

Yesterday I bought H his first gun.  We were supposed to be buying a watch which was all he’d wanted for the 2 weeks that it took to fill up his sticker reward chart (stickers earned for not climbing into J’s cot between sunset and sunrise).  Five minutes of being in the toy shop, however, and I was presented with a green and gold laser gun with purple flashing lights and what look like little polystyrene balls which rotate when you pull the trigger. 

“This is what I want” H declared, “not a watch”.  I suddenly turned into a shopping channel salesman wannabe as I paraded all the different, tacky plastic and garishly coloured watches in front of him, replete with accessories and ‘projector lights’ (I have no idea what one of those is, but it sounded cool). 

The boy was not for turning and, as this was his shopping trip, I bought the gun.

I have to admit that I felt really odd about it, particularly as he then proceeded to head up the street shooting at will.  I came up with some very hasty ground rules: 

  • no shooting at people, which sounds a bit mean until you realize that the gun has a laser which can, I understand, cause blindness;
  • no shooting indoors (it’s very noisy! This rule had to be revised rapidly when I noticed, on the way home, that H had his window open and was holding the gun out of the window shooting at passers-by because “I’m not allowed to shoot it inside”.  The rule is now that he is only allowed to shoot outside buildings and inside cars – it gets complicated!);
  • no glorification of war and death. 

Ok, that last one wasn’t true, but I really struggled with my innocent little man turning into a mini-Rambo. 

When A got home I gently broached the fact that we’d been to the toyshop but hadn’t bought a watch…we’d bought a gun instead.  “Great, all little boys need a gun”, was A’s rather robust response.   Later, when in vacant and pensive mood it flashed upon my inward eye that any bloodlust in my son may actually have inadvertently been encouraged by me.  The last time we went shopping I bought H a fly-swat and set him to work on all things in the house that buzz.  It turned into an insect death camp, administered by H but entirely at my behest. 

The gun is I suppose, in comparison, pretty benign.


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  1. permalink

    Love your latest missive. I am beginning to get a rather interesting impression of your upbringing of toddlers and young children.I would have thought that buying a deadly weapon in a place like Pakistan and adopting a shoot as you go policy could be heading for trouble. I shall be good though and say no more. xxx


  2. abbeyjones permalink

    This reminds me of a time, teaching kindergarten, when I had to sit everyone down to discuss how “we don’t use foam letter f as a weapon.”


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  4. Thank you very much – you’re very kind!


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