Emma found Sarah’s water pistol, after experimenting with it a bit she walked up to me, and posed a question quite cheerfully, holding forth her treasure. “Mommy can I shoot Ava?” This is perhaps the most bizarre question I’ve gotten from a child of mine to date. The answer was “No! You don’t shoot ANYONE! Least of all babies!! When its summer though, you can play with that water pistol outside!” I removed and hid the offending article. I immediately thought, note to self: Have another gun safety chat. You can never have too many.
Although it was a water pistol, and Emma was likely referring to the ‘squirt’ function as ‘shooting,’ the question stick out to me. How is it that my adult mind takes something utterly innocent, AKA Emma’s query regarding the squirtability of her little sister. Rather than being struck by the thoughtfulness that must have accompanied such an idea, and being proud of the fact that she asked first, all I heard was the word “Shoot” and instantly added a sinister meaning. This goes back to yesterday’s post, and the change adulthood brings. So, maybe my reaction may have been a bit overboard, but either way, eventually Emma will get the “respect guns” chat. She already had a bit of a version. Sometimes when I’m making parenting decisions I wonder if I don’t confront things differently after the fact, or define things better. If there is anything I’ve found its that parenting is a journey, I need to pace myself. Also that, however nice it would be to have the “right” answer apparent, it isn’t always. I’m still wondering if I goofed that “teachable moment.’