(originally posted December 15, 2009)
Scenario 1: My son came out of his playroom the other day carrying half of a marshmallow gun and a water gun. He pointed both at me and said, "Just pretending mom, just pretending...but put your hands up."
Part of me wanted to laugh and part of me has horrified. I immediately began thinking of all the ways he could have learned this behavior. Was it TV or a day care buddy, his dad or another relative...did it even matter where he learned it?
In my house we've always stressed that guns are for animals only (yes, I realize this could offend some) and not for people. My son knows that when his dad gets all dressed up in camo that he's not going off to shoot at other people, but at some animal. He may not know why but he's very aware of the fact that he wants to join in some day.
In the end, I decided to go along with it. I raised my hands and swore that I did nothing wrong and that he shouldn't shoot me or take me to jail...
Scenario 2: This morning as we were heading to school, my son noticed a vehicle in the ditch. It must have slide off the road during the last few days when the weather was less than delightful. He asked why the car was there and I explained that the person must have hit some ice and slide off the road. My son then asked where the driver was and if he was dead.
You can imagine my shock, but I said no, the driver isn't dead, he must have been picked up by someone and driven home. And that he'll be back to get his car once the snow melts a little. Smart as he is...my son asked how I knew for sure that he wasn't in fact dead...
What amazes me so much here is how, at the age of 4, he can sort of grasp what it means to be dead. He knows that the person is no longer able to move, drive or speak. He just may not realize that it's permanent. Scary and yet incredibly amazing.