Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bringing Up the Next Generation

Wow, it has been a while…like a long while. I’m not sure if I’m going to keep this up, but who knows? Maybe this will be a rebirth of more half-assed revelations, rambling half-assed diatribes and, of course, half-assed innovations that no one asked for or needs.

Let me get some basics out of the way. It has been four years since my last post. I am now the father of a very precocious three year old girl, husband to a cute/crafty budget analyst and owner of the world’s dumbest, yet somehow endearing pit-bull. I have become a home owner. I am a salaried archaeologist and I have finally become financially stable. Ok, enough of that, let’s move onto something else.

Last week my daughter was looking through the game closet and found our old Nerf guns way in the back. Yes, my wife and I have Nerf guns. Moving forward, Nevada exclaims “I want dis, I want dis.” Now I want to assure you that as a parent I had some compunction about letting my daughter play with these particular toys…for like three seconds. Before you knew it my daughter was ducking incoming nerf fire and running tactical ops on mommy at the end of the hallway. I must admit after the initial shock of having her parents chasing her with play firearms she fell in quite quickly.

I would like to point out that a day before this episode she came running into the kitchen with an improved lego gun, of her own design, and shot up the joint like a scene from any Tarantino film. She has never shied away from violence. In her Supergirl costume she will run up and, with sound effects, pummel us into submission. I swear the most violent thing we watch with her is Blue’s Clues and she has never seen me in my Superhero costume. So, here is a clear-cut case of nature vs. nurture.

Back to our game of “guns”, as it was coined by Nevada; she had so much fun that she didn’t want to stop for a nap and after she woke up it was the first word from her mouth. The game evolved and we each took on personas. Nevada became an old west deputy with a cowgirl hat, badge and sidearm. I became a leather jacketed renegade cop with a bad attitude and, coincidentally, a three day beard. And LJ was…um…a ragged mother on the edge? Well, it was fun. While I may have had reservations about shooting my little girl with nerf guns at first I must admit it came with some small satisfaction very quickly. Especially when after the game was in a temporary lull and she we would be gathering up stray ammo, she would come running up and exclaim “You got me Daddy! Right here (pointing to her belly),” always with a big smile on her face.

My father forbid play guns in our house because he didn’t want us thinking guns were toys. I was banned from watching G.I. Joe or owning any of the action figures. Yet still my brother and I would use any and everything that may even resemble a gun to shoot each other. So, maybe this is some ingrained behavior. Well, at least when she starts playing with the other neighborhood kids she will dominate.