Thursday, March 31st 2011
Pillow Talk

Last night Seth-5yr barged through some double doors at the end of the hall leading to the master bedroom and scared me to pieces and in that moment, I hit ‘publish’ on that post that was really not even started. And that’s how that happened. Those double doors stay open during the day, but closed at night because the loud way in which they open gives me some time to wake up and prepare somewhat for whichever child is coming my way to complain/vomit/put cold feet into my shoulderblades all night.

Last night, it was none of those. Seth-5yr came with tears in his eyes and said, “My fote hurts.” He clutched his throat so I’d understand. A tear slid down his cheek.

A hurt fote is aided tremendously by snoring peacefully next to your mother and occasionally waking up and kissing her arm and saying, “I just YUV you so much,” and going back to sleep. So this morning I was planning to cancel my appointment with a barbell and scrap my errands and take him to the doctor. But he was fine. He scooted over closer and threw a warm arm around me and kissed my cheek and whispered, “I just YUV shotguns. Dey make tings byeed.”

And then I was wide awake. I have not sheltered this baby with all that I have within me in order to wake up to THAT.

I should point out – as much for your reference as for my own need to remind myself – that Seth-5yr does not watch shows with guns. He does not play games with guns. Only this year have the boys been allowed to have Nerf guns, and that’s because when I thought I was ready for that step a few years ago? I wasn’t. And I took them all away. Because I am just that kind of overprotective and it freaked me out when they aimed and shot each other because they are my so sweet babies and I couldn’t handle it. Now the rule is they can have Nerf guns, but they can’t shoot each other. I know!  Sucked the fun right on out of the whole Nerf Gun Concept, right? It takes a lot of dedication and hard work to be that neurotically overprotective, and I take my workload seriously.

I come by those views honestly, though. I hope you’ve never sat with a therapist and a fake encouraging smile on your face while trying to coax a child to tell you all the details of why and exactly how she’ll shoot you if she gets the chance. Gently nod and smile, push away the cold fear rising up within,  and say it’s important for her to “get it all out” and then admire and analyze the details in the picture she draws of the incident. Already instructed by the therapist that expressing empathy is the only helpful response, that’s what you do, even though that’s not what’s within that’s really wanting to be voiced, expressed, heard, allowed out.  So… that sort of thing can MESS A MOM UP in weird ways that carry over to Nerf gun policies for 3 perfectly normal, healthy kids who do not understand what’s threatening about the sight of them shooting orange foam darts at each other. And I can’t explain it. It just is.

I discussed shotguns and blood and hunting and animals and death and the food chain with Seth-5yr this morning in as normal a voice and mood as I could manage considering I’d JUST woken up and this is a subject matter I know I’m damaged about and also, I really needed to go to the bathroom.  And I think I did okay. And I think the expression of love of shotguns and the remark about blood are probably not danger signs that mean I have to start watching Dr. Phil and looking for therapists. I THINK this was probably normal little boy stuff that I don’t like and don’t understand… right?


8 Comments on “Pillow Talk”

March 31st, 2011
8:51 am

So many things are cured by snoring peacefully next to your mother!
Melissa recently posted..A Pigs Valve Or A Coat Of Paint

March 31st, 2011
9:29 am

Totally normal little boy things. I wasn’t going to let my boys play with toy guns either. Then E made one out of toast one morning at breakfast.


I realized then – my boys live in Texas. And there is something in the air here that makes them want to play guns. i didn’t like it either when they shot each other with nerf guns and water guns, but if it makes you feel any better – both of them have lived to be teenagers. (AND – we have guns in the house – lots of ‘em – because the hubby is a hunter man, takes the boys hunting and the boys have been taught about gun safety their whole lives and they’ve yet to aim a real gun at each other so far.)

Yes – I had to clarify that last bit which I’m sure makes me come off as a not paranoid enough mom, but hello. Redneck here.

So – good news – your boys sound totally normal. Bad news? The chances of them growing up to be rednecks are higher than normal. (Unless, like me, you’re ok with that to a certain point)

March 31st, 2011
9:59 am

I know! Totally agree.

There comes a day when each Texas Boy Child will form guns out of toast. And I hate to say it, but i took the toast away and said NO, YOU MUST NOT BE HUNGRY. Isn’t that lovely? I think it was a sandwich at our house, actually.

i DO appreciate your perspective, particularly since we’re practically neighbors. And particularly since you said this is normal which is what i SO wanted to hear. Mike is a hunter sort, too. sorta. he hasn’t been in over a year I think. But there are guns, and they’re locked in a case not in the house and I haven’t agreed for the boys to be initiated in any way into this hobby. But it IS part of the culture and it will need to happen – preferably when they’re older and with Mike because the alternative will be with buddies when they’re teenagers, right?

Secretly, one of my favorite tv shows (and i only watch a few anyway) is Top Shot. Have you seen it?! I could really get over this and turn into a serious hobby shooter if I’m not careful.

I cannot imagine what Seth-5yr would say to that.

Jennifer Sullivan
March 31st, 2011
7:51 pm

Totally normal for the boys to “yike” guns. I understand your fear though and completely agree that the scars from previous incidents will never be fully gone, but your boys are loving and caring and awesome and what happened in the past won’t happen with them. Don’t forget they love you and will always want to protect you and their brothers (even if they do want to shoot them). I’ve pulled Nerf darts from the toaster, blinds, couch cushions and removed them from the dogs fur (he ran into a dart, he was not shot at) and as long as no one says they want to kill anyone else I’m good with it. It’s great to hear them laughing and howling and even more fun if they play with the lights off!
Jennifer Sullivan recently posted..I won a Versatile Blogger Award

March 31st, 2011
8:30 pm

It is totally normal little boy stuff but I agree with you that some of that stuff can be hard on a protective Mama. We used to have some neighbors whose sons taught my three boys the fine art of using PVC pipe as lightsabers (think Star Wars) and they would happily duel in the front yard. I put a stop to that when my youngest somehow got his finger slammed in between two dueling pieces of PVC pipe and almost got it broken. It was a terrible shade of purple and quite swollen. I also can’t stand it when they “rassle’” with each other. My husband will get down on the floor with them and wrestle and I always have to leave the room because I know that what starts out as playing will end up in someone getting mad or hurt. I think all that testosterone just makes them behave in ways that we can’t always understand. Don’t know why they don’t want to just sit quietly and do crafts or go shoe shopping!

April 1st, 2011
4:04 pm

the dog threw himself in front of the nerf dart, huh

you’re onto something about the mysteries of testosterone! but OH! I wish they’d sit and quietly learn to knit! that’d be GREAT!!?

Jennifer Sullivan
April 2nd, 2011
11:34 pm

Yes, Freaky used to try to play. He wanted to catch the darts in his mouth, and the kids would get so irritated and yell “Freaky, out! Call him to the bedroom, he’s helping them win!) Both “teams” of kids thought of him as a hinderance until Miranda wisened up and realized he was a good “guard” dog and then she would rarely get shot when he would “play”. Yesterday at the birthday party hubby brought out all the Nerf guns and all our friends kids were shooting each other. I got a text this morning from one of my friends that she found a dart in her purse!
Jennifer Sullivan recently posted..7…It’s my B-day- oh &amp I’m pregnant

April 3rd, 2011
1:43 pm

It’s a good party when the guests go home with surprise, unintended souvenirs in their purses!
HolyMama! recently posted..Vegas- Baby!

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