What do you do when an 8-year-old you don’t know unloads an entire water pistol on your chest?
If you’re me, you yell at him.
Let me back up a bit. With a heat wave hitting, I skipped out on an afternoon of work to take my boys to one of our local spray parks this week.
We’re against weapons in our house. I’m a city slicker with no need for guns. I get that conflict games are a part of a boy’s growing up, but we’re trying to add some sense of consequence to gun play. So when a stranger’s kid emptied his ammunition on me at the playground, I lost it.
My t-shirt was drenched, and I growled back on the kid: “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?!”
The kid was stunned.
Yes, I was at a water park, but there is a playground for small kids next to the spray area. I had already asked the kids to take their gun play back to the wet deck as my younger son was not interested in getting wet on this day and was enjoying the slide.
“Do I know you?” I continued. “Am I playing in your game? I asked you to move to the other area and you shoot me?” The kid mumbled an excuse as I continued to vent.
As with spanking, this was a complete and total fail on my part. I overstepped a boundary, lost control of myself, and reacted emotionally instead of rationally.
I walked away.
My son has been asking for a chance to get involved in water park water fights this year, and the rule will be you only shoot people you know and who are playing in your game. We’re also getting non weapon squirting devices.
Apart from the bright colors, there’s almost nothing to distinguish them in design from full assault weapons. Massive water containers, hoses to backpacks with extra ammo, big triggers with multi-action pumping – it’s a little over the top, isn’t it?
What’s your take on water weapons with your kids? Do you have ground rules, or just let them run wild?
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