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Sunday, January 24, 2010

You'll Shoot Your Eye Out With That Thing

Pin It I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Your Blogosphere, Lawson truly did shoot his sister with his BB gun. I blame it on Ralphie.

We first watched A Christmas Story together with Lawson a couple of years ago. I have never seen a child so enthralled by another boy's antics and misbehaviors as my own. It should have been a warning to me. He was particularly hopped up on the idea of owning a BB gun.

[While visiting Santa at the department store.]
Santa: How about a nice football?
Adult Ralphie narrating: Football? Football? What's a football? with unconscious will, my voice squeaked out: football.
Santa: Okay, get him out of here.
Adult Ralphie narrating: Oh, no! What was I doing! Wake up, Stupid! Wake up!
Ralphie: (Ralphie is shoved down the slide, but stops himself and climbs back up.) NO! NO! I want an official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred Shot Range Model Air Rifle!
Santa: You'll shoot your eye out, kid.

I stood in the classic Mother pose, hands on hips, toe doing the "Tell Me Now" tap. "It was an accident," Lawson protested.

Autumn stood behind him, arms crossed over her chest in mute protest. Was not.

"An accident? How about explaining to me how this 'accident' occurred," I requested. Grandma Anne hovered anxiously in the background. Her soft heart hates for the kids to get in trouble, and she'd tried to pass this off as as accident, but we knew better.

I could see signs that Lawson was about to break. His lower lip was trembling, and he was visibly agitated.

"I wanted to shoot my gun from up on the hay bale, and I wanted Autumn to help me get up on the hay bale and hold the gun, and she wouldn't help me! She just kept riding her bike around and around and around and around! Right in front of me!" He stopped, punctuating his statement with an expression of frustration so acute it was very nearly heartbreaking.

"Okaaaaayyy. And then what?" I prompted.

"I shot her!" As in, duh, Mom. Perfectly natural conclusion to draw.



I waited, not responding. Ah. There it was. The tell-tale eyeball shift. Down. To the left. Anywhere but mine. "Ok. So let me get this straight. You wanted Autumn to hold the gun while you climbed up on the hay bale, and she wouldn't do it, so you shot her."






"Was there perhaps any temper involved in shooting your sister?"

Ralphie: Ooooooh fudge!
Adult Ralphie narrating: Only I didn't say 'fudge.' I said THE word, the big one, the Queen Mother of dirty words, the F-dash-dash-dash word..."
Mr. Parker, stunned: WHAT did you say?
Ralphie: Uh...ummm...
Mr. Parker: That's...what I thought you said. Get in the car. Go on! Go!
Adult Ralphie narrating: It was all over. I was dead. What would it be? The guillotine? Hanging? The chair? The rack? Chinese water torture? Hmmph. Mere child's play compared to what surely awaited me.

"Were you mad at her?"

"Yeah..." He started crying.

"So it wasn't accidental?"

"Nooooooooooo!" Wailing now. "I was mad! She wouldn't hold the gun! She just kept riding her bike in front of me!"

"What if that had been a real gun? Or what if you had shot her in the eye instead of in the arm?"

Ralphie: Was there no end to this conspiracy of irrational prejudice against Red Ryder and his peacemaker?

I had my meanest mommy voice on now. This was serious business. Lawson was wailing in earnest now, great heaving sobs. I steeled myself against it. "You know better than that..."

I went on in this vein for a while, and finally administered his punishment. All of his toy guns would be immediately confiscated until further notice. It was entirely likely that he would not regain use of the BB gun until several months from now. I had been on my way to pick him and Autumn up for an afternoon movie treat; he would have to stay home and miss the movie. He would be grounded for a week, which meant NO Grandma's House, NO DS or Wii, and NO television. (Did I say he would be grounded for a week? I meant I would be grounded for a week.)

It has now been a week, and the restrictions have finally been lifted--all, that is, except for the toy gun ban. Those will not be returned for a while, I think. It's been pretty comical, though, because Lawson, in his extreme longing for a toy gun, built around a dozen of them out of Legos. It just goes to show that a boy's longing for a gun is an irrepressible thing. Take them away, or deny them altogether, and they will use fingers, sticks, blades of grass, Tinkertoys, and yes, Legos to improvise, creative, exasperating little buggers.

Miss Shields: Oh, the theme I've been waiting for all my life! Listen to this sentence: "A Red Ryder BB gun with a compass in the stock, and this thing which tells time." Poetry. Sheer poetry, Ralph. An A+!

Sometimes you just can't win.


PMC said...

LOL! My Blake is crazy about knives. He has like..I don't know how many! Every single birthday, Christmas, it doesn't matter....any gift giving or money earned buying opportunity results in another knife. That and fire. Boys.

Richard & Natalie said...

Ah... boys and their toys. Your Lawson cracks me up, esp. since I could totally see that happening at our house with any of my boys.

When my oldest was my one and only, I was chatting with a sister-in-law and she was giving me an lecture on how she was very careful about what her kids watched and played with, no violence and definitely no guns. I had to suppress a giggle as her son ran past at that very moment, with a stick in hand that was carefully put to his shoulder, aim taken with a squinty eye, and the words "bang, bang" left his mouth. I decided there and then not to fight it.
It is inborn I tell ya, inborn for sure.

Mamma has spoken said...

My brother shot another brother with a bb gun, in the arm.The bb went into the arm. Brothers was afraid to say anything to our mother since they weren't suppose to have the bb gun. As an adult he still has that bb in his arm...
Oh and the Christmas Story is one of my all time favorite movies!

Mel said...

This is the universal story Lori. My brother shot me right in the butt with his BB gun when I was about 8 and he was about 11. And my mom LAUGHED! Oh the injustice of it all!

Rachel said...

When I had my oldest I was questioned about the whole gun thing. It is true. It is in their DNA. That and makin car and truck sounds. Everything becomes a gun and we have a gazillion all over our house in the form of sticks, wooden spoons, Legos, etc. You can't fight it so you mine as well do what you just did. Teach them how to safely use them.

You're a good mommy! Loved this post!

Gerb said...

But, Lori... she kept riding her bike! Right in front of him! What else was he supposed to do?!


Anaise said...

Ooooooohhhhhhhh! That is me breathing a sigh of relief because I read about a kid who acts like my kids.

I love not being alone in the world.

Lori said...

Whew. All of your replies just made me extremely relieved. I was a little worried that I'd get a bunch of "you let your child play with guns?" comments, and feel about this small. Oh, wait a minute. You can't see my fingers. Very small, though. Very tiny indeed.

Misty--you are right--every penny they get goes to the new acquisition of a weapon. And that's what they put on their Christmas list, as well.

Nat--LOL. That's the kind of thing you wish you could tape, and playback for her to see in a particularly sanctimonious moment.

Mamma--ooh, painful! The scars we bear as a result of misguided youth! I'm so glad that bb didn't lodge anywhere in Autumn...

Mel--she laughed! Hoo, boy! I mean...I laughed, too. Just not where he could see me. And after I punished him severely.

Rachel--what I want to know is...how does it get in their DNA???

Gerb...that is the question of the day.

Anaise--DITTO THAT!!!!

Rachel said...

Lori, It gets in their DNA because they are born with pea shooters!! :D Sorry....couldn't resist.

Lori said...


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