Tales of a Tireless Mom: Nature Over Nurture
Why it's almost impossible to fight this losing battle.
“QUINN ANDREW SHUMWAY, STOP SHOOTING YOUR SISTER!”
If I had a nickel for each time I’ve yelled this in the past few months well, then, I certainly wouldn’t have to work for a living. It seems as though every ten minutes I’m asking, telling, yelling, BEGGING Quinn to stop firing imaginary bullets at his sister/brother/mother/father/dog/neighbor/friend and once even the unthinkable…
It was right after Christmas when my mother stopped by to say hello to the kids. Quinn ran through the doorway, stopped, told my mother quite frankly, “Wait, I have to shoot you first,” took aim, fired, and ran away.
So much for world peace.
What is it about boys? As soon as they can grasp things, they throw them. Everything becomes a ball – a sock, an apple, whatever they can get their chubby little hands on. When they walk, they start pushing things around while making engine noises and you realize that they’ve turned trashcans, laundry baskets and floor plants into vehicles. And then, they graduate to the next phase of boyhood.
The 3-year old Rambo.
This week, Quinn has been going to sleep with an empty paper towel roll that makes for an AWESOME gun. Normally it seems to be a rifle but judging from the way he was holding it lately, I believe it has become a rocket launcher. I mean, the sound is always the same – “Pchoo, Pchoo!” – but the weapon may change depending on the target.
I tried to outsmart him by suggesting, “Ooooh, maybe that gun shoots marshmallows!” After two rounds of happy bullets, I was hit squarely between the eyes again with a “Pchoo, Pchoo!” What ever happened to pacifism?
Nature over nurture is a funny thing, I suppose. Ben followed this exact pattern – ball, vehicle, weapon – so when Georgia came along it was all I knew. Right before she turned one, she started coming home from daycare with pictures of her asleep with baby dolls, pushing them in carriages and cradling them in her arms. On her first birthday, her teacher Carlene gave her a new baby doll of her very own because, as she told me, “She is a GIRL! She loves BABIES! She doesn’t want to play with trucks and balls…SOMEONE HAD TO BUY HER A BABY DOLL!”
Before long, Georgia had amassed so many of them that the pretend daycare she was running had become overcrowded and we had to move some of the kids to a new facility (at least that’s what I told her).
While I know that Quinn’s obsession with shooting everything is just a phase and that it too shall pass, I keep trying to remind myself that at least he has a vivid imagination. Violent and scary, but vivid nonetheless. As long as he outgrows it and I’m reassured that I’m raising a normal boy and not a future felon, I’ll try to put up with it.
But all the same, I’m keeping an arsenal of marshmallows close by. Just in case.