I Can't Get Rid of the Guns

As I stood on the playground today watching my almost-four-year old run around with a stick pretending to shoot trees and air (as I have asked him please not to shoot his friends), I had two parents come up to ask when the gun nonsense started. With a quick eye roll, my answer is, as always....who the hell knows?

I'm convinced this is some inherent trait of the Y chromosome. I mean look at the letter--a Y is shaped like a sling shot! My son doesn't have toy guns. Nor do we let him watch violent TV; in fact, we don't even have TV. But from the first time my son chewed his PB and J into an 'L' shape and then looked at me and said, 'hey mom, it looks like a gun!' I knew I was doomed.

I'm not unfamiliar with this scene. From a very early age my brother played army men, cops and robbers, Star Wars, GI Joe, all with 'pchew pchew' in the background. This was, of course, before the days of school shootings. Now every mother cowers when her son starts pretending to shoot birds and squirrels in the trees.

Based on what I saw today at the playground, I would say the gun infatuation does not actually indicate any violent tendencies. All the boys were doing it. Moms of girls are often horrified by this asking, 'where did he learn that?' or 'what are you going to do about it?' Obviously they didn't have brothers who did this either.

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter that we don't have toy guns in the house because the sticks outside, markers, pens, chopsticks, bread, toy shovels/rakes, crackers, lollipops, etc. all have become some kind of "weapon." So I've given up trying to deprogram him and instead am just trying to get him to tone it down. It makes many people uncomfortable--mostly those with girls--and quite frankly it just gets to be annoying after a while. It's the flip side to my Disney-Princess-wearing daughter.

Soon to be cross posted on DC Metro Moms.

1 comment:

Robin said...

I too always wondered this. Especially when my son turned legos into a gun at age 2. After telling him not to and him redesigning it, or making it and insisting it was something else I realized I may as well tone down and at least not give a huge reaction that he does it for attention. As well as age appropriate talks about in real life it's for real.