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?
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.