Boys and Their Guns

You have heard of the saying, “Boys will be boys.” Well, my 4 yr old is a boy’s boy. He loves cars, dirt, making messes, wrestling, and making his momma crazy. Now added to the list, is pretending he is shooting everything in sight. When I say everything, I’m talking me, the wall, TV, his sister, the sky, and strangers. I can play dumb and act like “I have no idea where he gets this from,” but the truth is I know exactly where he gets it from. No matter how much we have tried to not allow our children to watch people shooting each other, there have been times when we are watching a movie while the kids are playing in the other room and just when someone’s head is about to get blown off, here comes the innocent little man up behind the couch saying, “what happened to him Mommy?” Does he come in the room during the other times when nothing bad is going on? Of course not, kids have a way of showing up in the exact moment you don’t want them to. So based on past experiences, we don’t watch those kinds of shows while the kids are around, or if we do, we make sure they are locked away in a dungeon somewhere. (I kid) Then there are times when we finally sit down after a long day thinking the kiddos are asleep, watch Games of Thrones, where people are getting stabbed and things are happening you kind of wish you didn’t know about, and then BAM, you hear your little sweet boy ask, “Why’s it all red Mommy?” Your boy sneaked out of his bedroom and is laying on the floor upstairs where you cannot see him, right smack in plain sight of the TV! So great, you think you’ve scarred him for life because God only knows how long he has been watching. Now you realize you cannot watch anything else but Yo Gabba Gabba until he is 18, basically your life is over. (by the way, anyone else think that show is creepy?) So now he likes to build “guns” with his blocks, position his fingers to “shoot” things, and wants me to buy him a gun. I don’t know what is the right thing to do:  1) ignore it, 2) put him in time out for “shooting” his sister, 3) quickly tell him to not do that, or 4) give up and buy him an AK 47. This used to not be a big deal, kids used to play “Cowboys and Indians and  Bankers and Robbers,” but times have changed. Just like we don’t ride in the back of a pickup truck going 60 mph on the freeway and fight over who is going to ride the “hump,” or lay out in the sun without any sunblock and burn till you look like a lobster, we know better now. Studies show that kids who watch violent shows, videos, etc… at a young age have a tendency to become aggressive and violent as they become older. It probably takes more than watching a few clips of shoot em ups to get this way and there are other factors that come into play, but I can’t help thinking if I am being overly sensitive about this or if I should send the message that “shooting” people although it is just pretend, is not okay. I know guns don’t kill people, people kill people, and blah blah, and I have no problem if he wants to shoot a gun one day, but at an appropriate age and in an appropriate environment. So I tell him that it isn’t nice to “shoot” at people, he responds with “Why Mommy?” or “no, Mommy, it’s not a gun, it is a water hose.” See how they turn it around on you?
Maybe I’m worrying too much (Moms do that), because his innocence is still there and probably won’t disappear until puberty (then I’ll run for the hills). He comes up to me and gives me a kiss for no reason, always asks if I’m ok when I hurt myself, makes sure he gets his sister a cup of water before he gets himself one, and wants me to hold his hand and hug him for “5 more minutes Mommy,” before he goes to sleep. Hopefully, this is a normal phase and it will pass, but now I have  an additional problem: my darling 2-year-old girl has started to get into the “shooting” action and likes to “shoot” me too, but she does it with a wink. What  is that all about? Is she trying to send me a hidden message? 

Should I worry or just let this phase pass?
Tell me your thoughts, I’d love to hear them! (as long as I agree with them- jk!)

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Your Vote is Your Voice

This isn’t my usual mommy bloggy stuff, so excuse me if I get off my mommy soap box and ride on a different theme for today.

Ok…ahem….testing 1, 2, 3…. (Mic on)…

When I hear someone say, “I’m not going to vote because it doesn’t matter,” it is like nails on the chalkboard. To be honest, I used to be that person. Shortly after high school and up until my early twenties, I didn’t really pay much attention to politics or who was running for what. I didn’t think my vote counted for much and that the majority of the country would vote for the right person. Now I know better and it seems ridiculous that I ever thought that. I sure  annoyed some people in my own family by having that type of attitude. I know better now and the tables have turned. So when I hear that statement, I want to shake that person and tell them, “What is wrong with you? Ok fine, if you don’t care, then vote for this person,” but I know that is not right either and plus I don’t like getting the stink eye. Our vote does matter and if we didn’t vote, then nothing would change and the country would be run by a small group of people without fair representation. Do you want your off the wall neighbor who you think is cra-aa-zay, but you know who votes, to decide the fate of your nation? Many of us forget that there was a time when certain groups were denied the right to vote. Sure, Black people were given the right to vote with the passing of the 15th Amendment in the late 1800s, but there were loop holes. The government put into place a rule that you had to pass a literacy test in order to vote and most Black people at the time couldn’t read because they were never taught due to that little thing called, oh I don’t know…. Slavery. White men got around this because if a white man couldn’t read, he could still vote if his grandfather had voted. This “grandfather” clause worked because the literacy law of voting wouldn’t have been enacted for dear old grandpa’s time, hence, a genius work around. (As Dave Chappelle would say…”That was racist!”) Also, women weren’t given the right to vote until 1920. Woman’s suffrage took years to take place because many people felt it didn’t matter. Give women the right to vote and they will take away our booze! (We ruin everything)  Even many women didn’t agree with their right to vote, mostly upper class women. They felt they had enough influence with their husbands that they didn’t need to give women the right to vote because it would dilute their opinions. It is easy to see how absurd that would be now and which is why so many folks don’t see the importance of voting. I didn’t live in the time where women couldn’t get a divorce even if she was horsewhipped by her husband because it was acceptable to use excessive force in order to “control” your woman. (You can’t control this, c’mon now)   I didn’t come from a period where interracial marriage was illegal because some felt marrying a person of color would create a “Mongol” breed and it was important to “preserve the racial integrity of its citizens….to prevent the corruption of blood” (see Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia). I also didn’t live in a time of the Civil Rights movements of the 60s and 70s that fought for equal rights for all citizens. Even though I didn’t live in these times, it is important to remember that we can vote because of our ancestors, because of their blood, sweat, and tears. We are free because they stood up for what was right and so we can sit here on the computer and gripe about how the country is falling apart and then do nothing about it. There are countries where people risk their lives just by voting, something we take for granted. This country was built on equality and is why so many people want to live here. Being in a free society has not come without its struggles, discriminations, or mistreatments. Living the American dream is a right given to all citizens and can only bring about progression for the good of everyone. To live free and to ensure all are free and receive equal treatment may be a burden at times, but a burden that is worth fighting for and part of that process is by voting. I am not going to say who I am voting for, my family and friends know my political views, and I am not going to tell anyone who to vote for (no matter how much I want to), but what I think is more important is to vote, period.

Your vote is your voice, so use it for the love of God!

Ok…(mic to the floor)…

So who are you voting for so I know if I should take you off my Christmas card list?  Jk!  No seriously, who?


So what are your thoughts?  Am I alone in my frustration?

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