Delight your offspring with ultraviolence

I have a high-energy kid, the kind no one can quite believe when they really see him in action.

The kind that comes up to me and harasses me and looks to cause general mayhem and bedlam when I have the audacity to, say, attempt to blow-dry my hair, or try to dress myself.

So … I’ve started shooting at him. And he loves it.

Before kids, I always imagined I’d ban all guns, and they’d be none the wiser. “Mommy, what is that awful, scary loud thing that goes bang-bang? It frightens me, Mumsy, therefore I shall never, ever, ever be a criminal or a cadet!”

Yeah, right.

Even a few years into the game, I still successfully banned any trace of weaponry from our house. And then, one dark day at Target, I fell from grace.

I handed The Elder a dollar sword and let him have at it. And, for fairness, I also got one for the two-year-old. Hey, he’s gotta defend himself in those aisles somehow. I also gave them two flimsy shields, so how could it possibly go wrong?

Sure, ultra-righteous supermoms glared at me when they saw The Younger with his wispy baby hair being stabbed by a bellowing kindergartner, but come on. He had A SHIELD and a sword, so of course it was all good. Teach a baby to slay, and you’ve protected him for life.

Now we’ve moved on to this weekend, where The Elder and I have developed a new favorite hobby. He sneaks up on me looking to create chaos, I retaliate by machine-gunning him down with a Conair hairdryer. He erupts in manic giggles.

And I emerge with partially styled hair, the likes of which I haven’t seen in 5½ years.

And everyone lives happily ever after.—Jillian O’Connor

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