I'm afraid I may have made a grave, grave, mistake with my children this year. 2-7 years of exemplary parenting has been undone in a single motion. As I may have set in motion a chain of events that could lead to a destructive tyranny as yet unseen in this world, I feel I must publicly apologise. As good politically correct enlightened parents, we have endeavoured to guide our children to raise above their baser human nature. How hard can it be to override centuries of consistent, repeatedly demonstrated behaviour? Obviously no previous generation has been enlightened enough to simply tell their kids otherwise. So far, it's been a roaring success. They're delightful, respectful citzens of the world who eschew war for love, fists for dialogue, and anger for peace. We use wonderfully expressive gender neutral terms like 'child', 'sibling', and 'thespian'. They say "This lesser aged person I know" instead of "My friend", so as not to make other kids who may overhear feel excluded. We teach our kids to use their words, not their fists. Your 2 year old sibling will appreciate your 5 year old words of wisdom and stop pulling your hair. You'll then engage in a mutually complimentary dialog about how your voices were heard, followed by a brief nod. We've never bought the kids a toy gun because it's been proven that every tragedy in the history of the world was perpetrated by someone who, at some point, had one. Cause and effect, people. Cause and effect. Thanks to that choice our children have, up to this point, being idyllic with no semblance of bloodlust. Every time my son thrusts a stick at me to make imaginary Jiffy pop, I beam with pride. I still have to correct him that popcorn goes 'pop pop' not 'pow pow' and I'm 'dad', not 'dead', but that's a different topic; my other children have problems with descriptive vocabulary too. I'm not sure what that is. My oldest often mistakes 'creepy' for 'cool' whenever I do something awesome, and my equivalently-valued additional child is constantly saying she 'hates' us instead of 'loves'. That's a different blog, though. Anyway. This year, we decided we were alright with water guns. It's not about the violence, it's about a fun way to cool off in the summer we told ourselves. Despite our many technological advances, there doesn't seem to be a decent non-gun based airborne water delivery system. Today, G and I had our first no holds barred, full tilt, Mutually Enjoyable Water Exchange Session with our "water fun squirters". At first, it seemed my apprehension was unfounded. We had fun, we laughed. Whenever I ran out of water she would stop and wait for me. Noticing the instructions said to avoid the face, she instantly changed her pattern. We were changing the world, one moment at time. Then, about halfway in, we took a break to refill. We chatted. I was standing by the door, while she climbed up onto the deck. I commented on how hot it was. And she got this look. I'll never forget that look. She looked at me with this glint and her eye and said "Yeah, I'm hot too...<pause>...hot for war!" And which point she doused me, smiling gleefully and laughing. Forgive me world.
In all seriousness
I have to add, should she ever read this, that I had an awesome time. I was originally going to do a short blog about how I've never been prouder at that moment. The gleam in her eye, the drawn out pause then the capper. The delivery was perfect and totally me. It's always great to see yourself in your kids.