I have been known to proudly state how I am just fine keeping my babies in a safe little bubble for several more years to come.
I mentally edit books I read out loud to vet out the negative, whiny, and mean characters and I always change words with negative connotations to words on my safe list.
Sometimes, I feel a little loony as I frantically race across the kitchen to turn off NPR as they describe a gun battle in Fallujah but I firmly believe words have power and sensitive little 3 year old ears have no need to hear a graphic description of war with bullets echoing in the background.
And, then there are the kids at the park. Oh, the kids at the park.
I'm not talking about my kids. The kids I've known since infancy. The kids whose mamas are my friends. The kids whom I know and approve of.
I'm talking about the kids with guns. Fake guns, yes. But, a fake gun may as well be a real gun when you are 3 years old and have no concept of violence and death. And, apparently, it only takes a few minutes of witnessing these fake guns in action for Henry to internalize the concept of shooting and "blowing away".
Long before my babies were born, I knew we would not be a "gun" house. As a teacher, I chastised little boys who were forever turning every math manipulative and piece of playground mulch into a weapon. Guns are not toys. Duh.
At this point, I've come to accept that boys are naturally drawn to weapons. Since this natural tendency to violence is completely foreign to me as a former little girl, I assume this hard wired trait is an evolutionary design hearkening back to the days of hunting for survival.
Or not. Who knows.
But, at least the thought of evolutionary psychology makes me feel better when my precious, sweet, tender little 3 year old is running around the house armed with a plastic giraffe, shouting "shot shot shot".
Seriously. My hearts breaks each time he "shot shot shot" at his sister.
I tell him, "Let's pretend that is a water hose and let's water your garden." Sometimes that works for a bit but before long he is shooting again.
I say, "Let's pretend that this a giant mixing spoon and let's mix up a big bowl of cookie dough." But, soon he is shooting.
I remind him that shooting is pretending to hurt and we don't want to hurt.
I attempt to ignore the shooting just like when we ignored his "oh, shit"s and "damn"s but the shooting pushes me over the edge and I can't seem to ignore it. And, after an afternoon of shooting following a morning of a rough little boy playing too roughly with a sensitive little sister, I tend to lose it. And, that's not good for anybody.
Advice? Words of wisdom?
Boy mamas, I need some guidance.