Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Bubbles and Guns

Leo received a bubble gun for his birthday back in May.  Of course we call it a bubble machine - because...I'm not really sure.  I don't want him playing games where he is (even pretend) hurting people - so this would include gun play (but also sword play or pretending to hit).  But I'm not exactly sure why we've chosen to avoid the word gun.  I mean, it's not like I don't want him to know what a gun is...and there are plenty of non-violent guns (glue guns, bubble guns, water guns, staple guns...of course, I know every tool is a weapon if you hold it right).  So why avoid the word?  We are already asking ourselves if we should or shouldn't categorically disallow water guns - maybe ones that don't look so much like firearms and call them water squirters?  We let them squirt each other with the hose - a hand held squirter would save a lot of water.  What about a few years down the line if he asks to play paintball with his friends?  I feel like I haven't thought this one through yet. Do you avoid the word gun to describe toys or tools?  If so, why?

Anyway, this bubble machine/gun was stolen from our front porch last week.  It was a major bummer because both Leo and Zoe love bubbles - to the point where a mama could get winded trying to satiate their bubble appetite, so the automatic bubble maker was a huge hit.  We often play with it out on our porch.  That paired with the kiddie pool and popsicles is how we've spent many an afternoon.  Our porch is not easily visible from the street so I usually feel ok leaving the inflatable pool, our chairs and a few toys out overnight.  Our bubble machine/gun was among them - and it was just gone one morning.
I was upset, not devastated - but irritated and saddened.  It felt like a violation knowing someone walked up our steps, stood on our porch and chose one of our toys to walk away with.  When Leo asked about it I explained to him that it appeared that someone had taken it.  When he asked why I told him that sometimes people take things that don't belong to them.  It's not very nice and it's ok to be sad about it.  He thought about for a few minutes, quietly, then he said, "Mama, maybe they don't have a bubble gun at their house."

Oh this kid.  He wasn't sad at all.  So we talked a bit about how lucky we were to have a bubble gun and how some families don't have all the things we have - from toys to a fridge full of food to a safe and comfortable home.  We agreed it's still not right to take things that don't belong to you, but it was clear that he understood what might drive someone to do it.

Two days later jb came home from work with a new bubble gun/machine for us.  We've been reveling in bubbles - and how lucky we are - ever since.


  1. lifewithkaishon8/12/2013

    Being stolen from is a violation. I'm so sorry it happened to you. I am glad it didn't effect Leo in the slightest!

  2. Wow, I really appreciate you sharing your and Leo's interaction about the bubble gun. Last month, someone stole and destroyed our Jeep, which was more of a sentimental thing than a financial loss, and our two year old has been asking about it a lot. I struggle to explain it to him because I am deeply angry and hurt, but I don't want to brew in him the kind of anger and judgment that sometimes grows out of these situations. So thank you for sharing.