Choose Your Battles: The one about how I said guns are O.K. Ish.

Alternately titled: The Hill I Chose to NOT Die On: Gun Control

Alternatelyly titled: I have a boy, and sticks and stones may break my bones, and other creative uses…

Alternativelylyly titled: Give a kid a fish duct tape, a toilet paper tube and freedom to collect sticks in the yard with his buddies, he might make a gun…

sticks and toilet paper roll

I have a boy.

All the hasty generalizations one might make about boys… that’s my boy.

Aaaaand he’s my firstborn…

When I was a freshman new mom, I was committed. NO GUNS.


No finger guns, no stick guns, no race car guns, no Mr. Potato Head arms-guns… and certainly no dinosaur tail guns!

Do you see where I am going with this?

One fateful day… when my son was, oh… say TWO… he sat at the kitchen table. The noises he made — artillery. Blasts. And some dino growls.

“Joel. Let’s not play guns. Eat your lunch.”

And then I looked. Had I an iPhone back in early 2001… not only would I have a picture to share, but I’d also have Instagrammed the heck out of it. BUT.

My son…

From his peanut butter and jelly sandwich.


He had eaten around the crusts.

He was meticulous.


He had eaten that sandwich into the shape of a gun.

On that day… in that moment… I threw up my hands and said “I give up.”

And when I say I’m gonna do something, you better believe I do.

Oh did I ever give up!

the nerf arsenal

And now I ask… How about you? What has made you throw up your hands and “give up”? Before I was a parent, I was the BEST parent. How were you a better parent before you became one?


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6 Responses to “Choose Your Battles: The one about how I said guns are O.K. Ish.”

  1. Christine says:

    I say, fairly often, I wish I could take back everything I said about parenting before I had children. Some fights are just too big…and you can’t win. And I also think by allowing certain things in moderation you are teaching…well…moderation. Which can be a good thing, and a tricky concept for many, including me. Here’s my very similar post http://quasiagitato.com/2011/04/05/you-gotta-know-when-to-hold-em/

  2. Candi says:

    Well let’s see…I said I would never cuss in front of my kids- Fail.

  3. Laura says:

    I think I never really realized just how hard it would be to parent and have learned that you definitely have to pick your battles.

  4. Becky W says:

    I have 3 older sisters. 2 had kids before me. I watched and watched. And then when it was my turn…I pretended my first was my second. Honest. I looked at my sisters, did what they did, didn’t hover, and pretended my precious first was a whoopsie second. And I try to remember the little saying, “The kids won’t remember the dust bunnies, just the nights you read to them.”

  5. Kristina says:

    I had to laugh when I read this thinking back. My sons ALL 3 make guns the same way and I had the same rules! We now give duct tape for stocking stuffers!! I remember age 2 / oldest son : carrot and banana guns. Now they are a way of life. We roll with it. I realize as I get older, we females often don’t understand the ways of males. As I age and watch my husband and sons, they are so wonderfully different from us and that is exactly what makes us love them so!

  6. Garnish says:

    I swear “all things become guns” is built into the x chromosome. As a mom to three boys I can totally relate. My oldest loves to target shoot (with a BB rifle) and it was a HUGE step to agree to this for birthday a couple of years ago (you’re going to shoot your eye out!). But honestly, it provides great focus to hit that bullseye, he follows the safety procedures and has never pointed that thing inappropriately (like at a little animal). There was a great article a couple years ago in the Boston Globe magazine entitled something like – how a gun hating mom raised a sharp shooter olympic athlete. It made me realize, it is what it is! End ramble 🙂

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