Ruffled Feathers and Spilled Milk

Farming with ducks and dairy goats, chickens and children.

Weapons of Mass Destruction

Posted on | October 15, 2010 | 7 Comments

It was too quiet.  Way too quiet for 4 kids that were home from school early and went upstairs over an hour ago.  Does anyone else find it odd that the term for a half day of public school is called an “early release” day?  Isn’t “early release” the same term the Department of Corrections uses for criminals who get out of prison early due to good behavior?  Personally, I find it amusing and alarming all at the same time.

Speaking of alarming, 4 kids playing quietly for a long period of time usually means:

A:  They are in my room, surreptitiously checking the bedside table drawers.  Which might entail having to answer questions for which I do not have any prepared responses.

B:  They have dug out their hidden stashes of birthday, pinata, and holiday candy, thereby ruining any later attempt at getting them to eat the cabbage rolls planned for dinner.

C:  They have found the old dog asleep on her bed and are dressing her up to look like a cowboy warrior princess.

D:  One or all of them have applied stickers/paint/markers to the walls and they are now trying to devise a removal plan that does not involve Mommy being in a bad mood for the rest of the afternoon.

But when I went upstairs, things were worse than I imagined.  The den was empty, except for the old dog who was resting comfortably and not wearing any accessories.  The bedside tables in my bedroom did not appear to have been tampered with—there were no fingerprint in the dust.  (Which I purposefully leave there for security reasons.  I am not too lazy to dust upstairs where no one except for me can see it.  Really.)  However, when I  wandered into Middle and Little’s room, I stopped in my tracks, aghast.  This is what I saw on Little’s bed:

I don’t know what should bother me the most:

A:  The fact that we have obviously spent an inordinate amount of money to provide our children with a Nerf arsenal.

B:  The idea that two 5 and 7 year old boys recognize the weapon capability of miniature souvenir baseball bats.  And the irony that those bats were given away free at the local baseball team’s game celebrating Public Safety Night.

C:  The marshmallow shooter (small camouflage-colored pieces of PVC pipe) has been dismantled for easier carrying and concealment into, I’m assuming, places where marshmallow shooters are unauthorized.

D:  Even the Frisbee and the detachable leg of the LEGO table have been converted from innocent playthings into armaments.  Which, of course, debunks the ridiculous theory that if you don’t provide children with play weapons they will not engage in warfare.  Please.  They will poke each in the eye with dandelion stems and bomb each other with acorns, even on a good day.

E:  All of the above.

If you’re not thinking E is the right answer, then thank goodness there are worse parents than me in the world.  Because when I finally discovered all the children in Big and Pretty’s room, they were gathering all the pillows, blankets, and sleeping bags out of the linen closet.  They claimed they were helping each other make forts so that they could then attack each other. They promised to put everything back where they got it when they were done.  (Which means I will spend 30 minutes before bedtime rolling up and tying sleeping bags before stashing them back on the top shelf of the closet.)

At first, I thought it was odd that they would cooperate in the building of forts and then wage vicious combat against one another.  But then I considered the Geneva and Hague Conventions.  Hey, if adults can cooperate long enough to write down the necessary rules and regulations of killing one another, then I suppose there is nothing weird about children constructing their forts together before a battle.   Although it doesn’t bode well for a future in the Peace Corps for any of them.

After I determined they were sharing the construction materials equally, I went back downstairs and had a cup of coffee.  I even took advantage of the (temporary) peace and quiet to call a friend and chat on the phone.  Which may make me a terrible mother.  But I figured I should get some down time while I could.  Just in case I had to take someone to the Urgent Care.  Which stays pretty busy on early release days.

Comments

7 Responses to “Weapons of Mass Destruction”

  1. Michelle
    October 15th, 2010 @ 5:25 pm

    I love the line up of weapons! And yes, I would have also had a cup of coffee since they were entertaining each other without blood shed. I suspect that doesn’t happen too often. Sounds like a fun afternoon!

  2. Michelle
    October 15th, 2010 @ 5:27 pm

    The “I suspect that doesn’t happen to often” above refers to you relaxing in the peace & quite, not that there often isn’t blood shed! LOL! (I couldn’t edit it)

  3. Susann
    October 16th, 2010 @ 3:56 am

    Love this one particularly Stevie. I too have seen some very odd weapon choices out of my son…(picture a small nascar flag or his giveaway beads from Hurricanes game) they’ll still find weapons. Oh and my dog files her nylobones into dagger shapes and leaves them around the house waiting for her day I guess! Yikes!

  4. Elena Gustavson
    October 16th, 2010 @ 5:26 am

    Laughing this morning. A lot. What a great post! thank you for the story.

  5. Tanya
    October 16th, 2010 @ 5:29 am

    What do you mean that if you don’t buy your kids play weapons they won’t engage in warfare? I have been protesting buying nerf guns on that premise for 3 years!!!

  6. Lisa D.
    October 16th, 2010 @ 8:11 am

    Hilarious! And creative! I DREAD early release days. Why not call them “nothing accomplished” days! I, too, would take a break while I had the opportunity –

  7. va_grown
    October 18th, 2010 @ 12:05 pm

    “If you’re not thinking E is the right answer, then thank goodness there are worse parents than me in the world.”

    Too funny!! We have no toy weapons yet at all and my boys (2 & 3) still manage to Cowboy and Indian it up with their little index-finger 6-shooters or throw rocks at each other, with the accompanying pshaw! pshaw! pshaw! gun noises that only little boys can make.

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