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I just got shot with a baby bottle. Can anyone relate?
My 3-year-old is a sweet, cuddly boy -- who really, really, REALLY wants a gun for the holidays.
He's like Ralphie in "A Christmas Story," who tries to convince his parents and Santa that he should get that Red Ryder BB gun.
The weird thing is I have no idea where he got the idea. He doesn't watch violent TV. He watches documentaries about the first moon landing and Leap Frog alphabet videos. He has a few books about pirates, but they use swords and cannons.
About a year ago, he started aiming crayons at me instead of at paper. He made "shooters" out of Mega Blocks. I've also been shot with the hose from his little fire truck and with countless kitchen utensils.
Desperate, I turned to a book recommended by our preschool teacher, "Playful Parenting" by Lawrence Cohen. In summary, Cohen says you don't have to buy toy guns, and shouldn't, but you can't change a kid's desire to play with them. So don't bother stopping boys from pretending. And if you get shot, play the "Love Gun" game.
So I told my son, as he aimed a wooden spoon at me one day, "That's a love gun and if you shoot me, it will just make me love you more!" Then I chased him around like I was love-struck Pepe Le Pew.
We both thought I was crazy.
What he needed, I decided, was a toy he ABSOLUTELY could not turn into a weapon. A baby doll.
He'd shown no previous interest, but I wasn't worried because we know other boys who love their dolls (see Poop contributor Tanya Schevitz's earlier post).
First, I read him the book "William's Doll" to prep him. Then I gave him a doll, stroller and aforementioned bottle.
He spent about 15 minutes dressing the doll in his old baby clothes, racing the doll in the stroller through the house and racing stuffed animals in the stroller.
Then he picked up the pink bottle, the kind where the "milk" magically disappears when tipped, and said "I shoot you."
Nature? Nurture? I give up.
Is he too young for "Grand Theft Auto"?