There are times when I just have to laugh at the conversations that go on inside my head.
Our oldest daughter had a swim meet in Lunenburg yesterday and my husband took her while I stayed home with our two youngest.
I had some laundry to do and one quick errand to run but told myself that we were going to have a fun, outside, awesome summer day together.
The errand involved Walmart and so the kids and I made our way to Dartmouth Crossing mid-morning. As soon as I walked in, I knew I was in trouble. The very first aisles were absolutely filled with bright colourful summer play toys. Before I had a chance to say anything, the kids were all smiles as they looked at bubbles and floaties and lawn games and beach toys.
It didn’t take us long to get to the water gun aisle.
Guns. The debate began raging in my head as the two of them started the begging process. “Please please please it’s nice outside, we can play in our bathing suits. We don’t need big ones, just little ones like that pack (she points to an $8 four-pack). One for each of us and a friend, please mom.”
In a split second it felt like I had a Deanna on each shoulder and they were debating with one another.
One kept reminding me that guns are bad. Aren’t there a million ways to have fun without pointing guns at each other? I don’t think it has been intentional (maybe subconscious) but I’m pretty sure there haven’t been any toy guns in the house for the entire eight years that we’ve been parents.
With that I steer my three-year-old son to some small water-shooting fire trucks, diggers and airplanes. He seems intrigued. Success.
Our five-year-old daughter is still caught on the other ones. “I love the purple and red one in that pack, it’s so pretty.”
Then the other Deanna chimes in with an, “oh come on, you are completely over-reacting” kind of message. This Deanna chose to remind me of how much fun I had as a child having water fights and running through the yards in our neighborhood. How the massive super soakers we ran around with had absolutely no impact on my view of real guns in any way.
So I said yes. I went in for a shower curtain and came out with four waterguns and a water-spraying fire truck. We got home, I filled a bucket with water and showed them how to submerge them until the bubbles stopped so you’d know the toys were filled.
For four hours – I’m not kidding – the three of us played outside with their new guns, buckets of water and a sprinkler. There was no fighting and it was the one of the longest sessions of creative play that I’ve seen the two of them engage in.
The kicker? They didn’t even shoot each other once. They played car wash and used the guns to draw pictures with water on the driveway. Hard to believe I almost ruined four hours of harmless summer fun because of gun debates. Well, I lied a little. They did shoot their Dad when he got home but truth be told, I may have been the instigator in that scenario….
Deanna is a Mom of three, wife, marketer and blogger – lover of travel, morning coffee, family time, belly laughs, good friends and uninterrupted showers! Follow her on twitter @DeannaCMiller