Life Savers


I have managed to keep all toy weapons out of our household for the 4 3/4 years I have been a mother. That’s pretty much de rigeur these days for any mother, along with watering down all fruit juice by at least half.

This hasn’t meant that my boys have never play-acted in a violent way. No, they have merely been forced to improvise, and have daily sippy cup shootouts, and remote control duels to the death.

This all changed last week, however, when Cooper talked his babysitter into buying him what he and his brother, in hushed and reverent tones, call a “life saver.”

Had I been consulted about this purchase, I would have strongly advised against it. Especially against buying ONE. One is much worse than two, because my boys have spent the week since it arrived fighting over who is currently getting to hold it. The light saber has spent at least as much time hidden above the microwave as it has being played with, because of the extreme anxiety it causes whomever is not in ownership of it at any given moment.

Cooper claimed he really needed it because he’s going to be Obi-Wan Kenobi for Halloween, as pictured above. Now, make no mistake, the tail is wagging the dog here. Cooper has never seen Star Wars, and that costume is pretty boring, in and of itself. But with a light saber, it becomes every boy’s dream.

And so Fergus was up before 7 this morning, to have some uninterrupted quality time with his very first phallic symbol. So as not to wake his brother/ rival for its attention, he sang quietly: “I a Wife Saver… I donna hurt somebody… I a Wife Saver… I donna kill somebody…”

But his older brother overheard this last part. “Fergus. Life Savers don’t kill bad guys.”

At this, I breathed a sigh of relief. Their innocence had not been entirely, irrevocably ruined.

“They have mean light that comes out of them,” Cooper explained. “And if you hit a bad guy with one, it doesn’t kill them, it just hurts them a VERY LOT.”

Sigh. Five more weeks till Halloween.

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