Hi! <Waves>

Funny and honest tales from a made-to-work Dad of three, wobbling, graying, and laughing his way through parenthood. Armed to the teeth with Nerf guns, full of pie, fighting a chocolate addiction, but genuinely honoured to be at least half of Team Parents (yay!).

10 June 2016

You Want to Buy What?...

Boy8 has been earning money.
Which is about time cool I can retire!.
Nothing wrong with earning a bit of cash for fun and hijinks.

But it does present one slight problem.
What does an eight year old spend his money on? Money that he has earnt and is therefore free to do with as he pleases. Well not pleases. He is eight, there has to be a bit of parental checking. But mostly whatever he wants, because we want to teach him that working for money gets him stuff...

You want WHAT?
Boy8: 'I just thought I would try it ... I might like it'
But it's utter, utter, crap!
Boy8: 'Come on Dad it's not as though I'm asking to buy the Beiber album'
<Heart flutters> Yeah I suppose… <breathes through it>
But still?... you really want that?
Boy8: 'Yes'
Fine… But I think it's a waste of money
Boy8: 'So you've said'
And crapola...
Boy8: 'Yes. You said. Still. I like it!'
And that's all that counts... isn't it?
Boy8: 'I don't understand... Why are you so against DC comics. You love Batman!’
<Looks away>
Boy8: 'He's DC!'
<Mutters> Only in name…
Look we hate all DC because... because... er… well they suck to start with…
and er… the Green Lantern! <Points>
It's very complex. You won’t understand. So go enjoy your non-Stan Lee, tiny, poorly formed, it's only Batman and Supes that sell it really, where's Spidey? Huh?, DC Universe...
Boy8: 'I shall. And I will love it!' <Eyeballs me>
Good I hope you do you... <I don’t>
<Both huff off>

Actually what he wanted to buy was a NERF gun. Thank bacon.
Which is a plastic toy gun that fires foam bullets. They are a right laugh to play with. I know.
They’re mostly safe. You'd have to try to hurt yourself with them really. But then that’s what Miss5 and BabyBoy1 regularly do. With everything.
Still, me, Boy8 and Miss5 have had many good laughs playing with NERF guns.
I have my own pistols for... work… purposes  <Does shifty eyes>

(Boss: ‘Office inspection!’
No! No! Don’t come in here!
Boss: <Gasps> ‘It’s… it’s… beautiful’
You’re not cross?… the trip wire!….
<NERF boom>
Ow <Removes bullet from nose>
<Removes bullet from bosses nose>)

I (me) don't think playing with TOY guns is a bad thing.
I’m of the thinking that if you take away the guns, they use sticks, take the sticks away, they point and cast magic spells on each other. And surely we have all learnt the dangers of stopping children casting magic spells from Frozen (that was the moral I promise).
Also I live in UK and there are very few real guns about.
We have them at airports, armed Corgis at Buckingham Palace, around London hidden under pillar boxes, farmers have shotguns that fire salt (some fire pepper) and there’s the odd gun club hidden away in a tiny village. Oh and Scouts tend to get to fire 2.2 rifles for fun when camping.
But that's it. Years can elapse between seeing a real life gun in my world.

So Boy8 isn't going to come into contact with real guns unless he is very naughty at the Queen, joins an 18+ rifle club, goes camping with the Scouts, or goes abroad where everyone has them.
So playing with toy replicas, IMHO, is fine as long as it's done in a safe and reasonable way.

And by reasonable I mean:
No head shots.
No other head shots.
No re-enacting death scenes from films he shouldn't have seen yet. And definitely no smegging executions. Yuk.
No aggression. The moment it stops being fun, it stops.
No shooting at Miss5 or BabyBoy1 (unless they are shooting at you).
No making me spill my tea.
No leaving loaded guns around for Miss5 and BabyBoy1 to find. I don't want to have to talk BabyBoy1 down from the chocolate cupboard.
No sitting about just holding a gun. That’s weird.
No running into the room and shouting 'Say hello to my little friend' and then wiggling your todger at us. That's my party piece.
No cackling. Soft or otherwise.
No shooting the cat. I am not sure why.
And no shooting either of Team Parents (yay!) early anytime in the morning as you may get NERF bullets shoved up your nose. Or worse.

Basically, you play nicely, happily and in good spirits. It's fine.
Much like crickets 'Spirit of the game', behave like a gentleman and we can all have fun.
However he wanted this...

(You need it because you’ve heard the U.S.A. have started arming their bears?...
Boy8: <Nods>
Do I need to get two one?
Boy8: <Nods>)

It's not very 'Spirit of the game' is it? It's more ‘Spirit of Death and Destruction'.

I know what you're thinking.
Just say no. If you don't want the shooty thing in the house. Just say no.
And I would very happy doing that. I can live with the endless hours of Why??? and tears? The stairing. The pleading.
That does not daunt me.

But it’s his money.
Boy8 worked hard for this. Washed cars, cleaned out rabbit poo, hoovered cars, and missed out on fun to earn money. He worked for his money. I’d be annoyed if someone told me what to do with my peanuts money. Same applies.
One day Boy8 should will become a man.
Then he will have to make his own decisions about what to spend money on, and why. So why not let him start now?
Even if his decisions are dumb gunney.

Of course Team Parents (yay!) met to discuss this.
We needed to check we were both fine about what Boy8 was about to bring into the house.
We have to consider Miss5, BabyBoy1 and the cat as well.
Mrs. Amazing had the same thoughts as me, he worked for it, he should be allowed to get it. He just better not shoot the crap out of us, all the time, every day.
Bullets up the nose and all that.

Anyhoo... It was ordered. It arrived. And I returned from work to this…

(That is not setting the table… Where's the chocolate bowl?)

Bit of a shock.
I found this weird to come home to. It's like something from a film.
I half expect to find him covered in camo-paint and flicking my clipper open and shut.
He was not doing that.

Instead though, he is really, REALLY, excited to tell me all about his new gun!
What each bit does, how it does it, why it does it, and all the different combinations it can do. And there's a lot. And he tells me over and over. It's really sweet.
It lovely to be around Boy8 when he is that excited about something.
Then because he's eight and really wants his Dad's (he did the same for his Mum earlier) approval, he asks me to have a go.
He offers his new and favourite toy and asks me to have a go. I don't like to be rude....
It is fun.
But I still hate the smegging thing.

As me and Boy8 talk about each part.
I realise that I know lots about guns and how they work. In fact a shed-load (Standard UK measurement). And I'm not a gun fan. I'm more of a hugger. <HUG!>
But I knew the names and use, for almost every part of his new death device toy.

Boy8: ‘What's this bit called Dad?’
Er that?... er... That’s a Drive-Socket-Blammer... it helps stop the bullets from wibbling about...<Is lying>
Boy8: ‘Really?’
Uh-huh. Blamo for short...
<Avoids Mrs. Amazing's eye>

I even knew why the bore (the tubey bit the bullet goes down) is all twirly (twirlyington) as though I was Leon a sniper rifle expert.
Which I am not. But it got me thinking...

Brazilla: 'OH NO! WHY! Don’t think! It hurts! I’m knackered!!!’
Brazilla: 'I'll make your leg hurt if you do!'
<Limps off>

Where has all my gun knowledge come from?
It's fair to say Commando, Highlander, Pulp Fiction, Full Metal Jacket, Platoon and Bambi (<Rifle crack>, 'Mother? Mother?') would account for some bits.
But the ingrained, almost second nature, understanding of guns? That can only come from long discussions, in depth, about a subject and I haven’t done that about guns since I was nipple knee high to a grasshopper (You're a very large grasshopper?), eight-ish, nine-ish, ten-ish.
Possibly just about the same age as Boy8's is right now...

<Penny wiggles about a bit, wobbles, leans one way, leans the other>
<Finally drops> <Plop>
O... This is important to him...
Brainzilla: ‘Ya lemon...’

Even so.
I'm not enjoying having the gun in the house except when it’s my go. It feels wrong.
Yes I know it's plastic. But it's aggressive plastic. It's let's kill everyone plastic.
I don’t like the power trip holding it gives him.
I don’t like that he can’t sleep with it in his room.
I don't like that Boy8 carries about it, from room to room. As though it's a teddy.
I don't like he watches me through the snipe scope.
I don’t like that it’s huge on him.
And I especially don't like it when he has it resting on the ground. Gun legs down for maximum stability. Long range sight on for precision. Waiting for his poor tired out Dad to innocently walk into the room trap...

<Is happily skipping and singing> Because I am liv-ing, in a mat… Back in black, I hit the sack...
<The trap is sprung>
OW! OW! OW! No head shots!
Boy8: <Giggles>
OW! OWWWWW! Ooooof! Fowl! Not there either!
Boy8: <Quiet cackling>
<Ducks for cover>
<Sound of a gun out of bullets>
<Re-emerges from cover> Oh-ho!
O dear, dear, dear, dear! Out of ammo huh? MY TURN... <Picks up two cushions>
I prefer the lower calibre approach... <Pats cushions menacingly>
Less chance of running out of bullet... <Big smile>
<Opens can of soft-cushion-whoop-ass on Boy8> <Spills it...>
Boy8: <Click> 'I have a spare clip you know'
I did not know that...
<Does Sundance Kid style rush into the rain of bullets, cushions in hand...>

(Who the devil are you? How did you get into my house?
Mr. Newman: 'I’m Paul! Hi!' <Waves> <Shoots>)