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Friday, 02 June 2006



I am probably pretty similar to your mother in my attitude towards guns. I detest the thought of them. I dislike the necessity of having a military. Pat and I decided when Matthew was born that we would never have a gun shaped toy of any description in our house. I believe Matthew was about twenty months old when he first picked up a stick in the back yard, and said, "pyoo, pyoo!" Shortly afterwards he began building guns out of Lego(tm), and we realised that our prohibition was pretty much ridiculously naive. He has since had water pistols, and other gun shaped toys, although we draw the line at lifelike replicas.

This summer he told us he wanted to go to "gun camp" with his scout troop. We did a bit of soul searching, and decided that education was the better route, and let him go. He got to shoot a slingshot, and longbow, and a .22 rifle, though he stopped short of the shotgun. It was a bit too big, and intimidated him. He had a good time that weekend, and to date shows no sign of becoming "gun crazy."


Dude. Great post. I don't think I can fit this into a comment. I may have to do a post on my own. But I think you know how I feel. The one battleground that I refused to enter was the whole hair, dress, tattoo thing. I decided early on that if Max's teenage rebellion (which never occurred, but I was ready) took the form of dying his hair blue, piercing his lip and getting a tattoo, I'd be lucky. I always said to him "it's YOUR body." So when he'd talk about doing those things I'd say "that sounds interesting." He's been talking about getting a tattoo since he was around 13, but since I've never opposed it he's never done it. I think he will, eventually, but at this point it'll be discreet, artful, and invisible under ordinary circumstances. I used to say to him, well, honey you should research the tattoo artists in town, go visit them, see their work, find out what it would cost, and so on. I told him he'd have to save up and pay for it himself, but I didn't say that in a punitive way. I tried to be respectful of him.

You know what I did about the gun thing -- similar to Paul's route. Prohibition just makes the forbidden fruit that much sweeter.

Okay I better stop there. Shoot. I won't have computer access tonight to do a post on this. It'll have to wait!


Oh, and one more thing. I did have a Mexican beer tonight, like most Friday nights. But I'll control myself.

You will, eventually, say "because I said so." But you may only say it once or twice in the childhood of each of them. And it'll be so shocking, they'll listen.

the Mater

Meeting "Chuck" in the park at night isn't so scary, as long as it isn't Heston.

Simon, you are such a soul-searcher, seeker of Truth and wise beyond your years. I think you are a terrific Dad and these Chimps of yours are gonna do just fine. Tatoos or whatever :>)

Interesting choice of word, Marian: "Okay I better stop there. Shoot." I'm sure you didn't mean that literally considering your attitude towards guns.

the Mater

Oh and Simon - very clever play on words in the title!


Get a tattoo, have her tongue pierced, shave his head, wear too much makeup, date the wrong person...

Whoa, is it just me, or are these ranked WAY out of order of significance?

I've been very proactive in outlining medical/cosmetic/pain risks of tattoos and tongue piercings with my 11 year old. We've also talked about the whole goth culture, so rebellion by nihilism is likely out. She'll just have to find something I haven't broached yet. Unfortunately for her, she's got a social worker for a mother, so there's not many issues I won't broach.

I REALLY don't like tattoos (sorry, Simon) or tongue piercings.

Edmonton Jenn

Now now, why'd you have to pick the name Mary, eh? I'll have you know that Mary is a delightful lass who would be very good for Declan (and she lives much closer than those Berkshire girls).

I pretty much agree with you, but it's hard to say how I will react to teenage rebelion when it actually happens. As for the tattoo and piercing thing, well, both Moustapha and I are extremely tattoo'd and we have a whole lot of "Goth" type friends. Other than taking her to my favourite artist, I'm afraid there's not much I can do that won't make me a huge hypocrite.


"It's hard to convince someone they're dead when all you've done is atomize a fine, hydrating mist onto the enemy's face."

Brilliant. If that had been a comment on my blog, it would have been worthy of Completely Out Of The Blue Unannounced And Totally Meaningless But It’s Nice To Be Recognized Anyway Comment of the Week Honours.


Paula - those weren't ranked at all, just lobbed on the screen as they occurred to me. And I do really like tattoos; just so long as there's some thought behind the symbolism rather than picking some random sample off the artist's wall. All four of mine have that behind them. (Of course, you still don't have to like them. :)

Jenn - Sorry, just randomly picked a name. YOUR Mary is utterly perfect!

Marian - I had a Greek beer at lunch today.

Paul - I can see doing something similar for D & T when they're old enough. Outright prohibition is, I think, a naive prospect. (In most situations.)


I know the main point of your post was not guns, Simon, but since I know a lot about those and nothing of tatoos, piercings, etc., I'm going with the gun topic.

I was reared around guns and people who shot them. At an age my parents thought was okay, I got a BB gun, but I honestly don't remember ever asking for it. They taught me never to aim it at anybody, and I never did. I only knew one guy who wanted to have BB gun wars, and he was a little "off" anyway.

I was taught how to deer hunt by my avid deerhunter parents. Didn't like it. There's much more to this, but that's too lengthy for a comment.

Point being, a parent can expose a child to something without making a convert out of him.

I am glad that I know about guns, if for no other reason than to laugh when the news or a movie gets something terribly wrong.


you have no idea...

the Mater

It's Sunday morning on the east coast. I glanced at the sports page and saw that THE OILERS DID IT - those upstarts! And then I came here to see your glorious rendition of the big event ... and nothing.

Which leads me to believe that you are still nursing one helluva hangover from all the weekend celebration!

Hope they go all the way :>)


I also hope they make it to Stanley Cup victory, Mater. I'll reserve my excessive celebrations for then!

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