For some odd reason, I really like guns

by Wolf Pascoe on September 22, 2010

Nick said that today. Just up and said it. What struck me was not the I really like guns part. (I am already tormented with that, but don’t get me started.) What stuck me was the for some odd reason.

Lately Nick has been thinking about himself. He hasn’t found a lot of reasons for why he is the way he is, but he’s been cogitating on it. And his articulation of the self-scrutiny is new. I’m taking it as a hopeful sign of brain development.

I’m told that different brain parts develop at different rates. Nick, for example, is a whiz at weaponry. A week ago in art class he produced the above sword drawing. On the other hand, he didn’t talk until his fourth year, and even that took some professional help. Then there’s the little oddities his brain seems full of, the mood shifts, the way he sometimes spaces out and is completely gone, his lack of ability to deal with frustration, and so on.

If you’re a parent taking an honest look at the situation of kids between the ages of two and seven, you’d have to conclude that, generally, they’re completely nuts. I’m talking meltdowns over broken cookies, attempted murder of the cat, and the like.

In response to the situation, there are industries of “helpers” who categorize nutty children and try to fix them. But sometimes kids need fixing, and sometimes they don’t. How do you tell the difference?

In the monsoon of self-doubt that is parenthood, brain parts develop at different rates has a calming effect on me. I apply it liberally. A further trick, a wise friend once told Nora and me, is to enlist the developed parts of the brain in service of the undeveloped parts. Most kids, for example, love stories. Nick has loved them since infancy. He’s pretty developed there. So we give him stories. Stories about himself, stories about us. We encourage his narratives. Usually, as today, we have no idea what we’re doing. When in doubt, go with a story is the motto.

“Yes, it is very curious,” I said to Nick, when he made his remark about really liking guns.

That’s all I said. He nodded gravely and thought some more.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

David September 22, 2010 at 2:02 am

This post reminded me of this podcast I listened to recently about different intelligences.

Multiple Intelligences

Reply

Wolf Pascoe September 22, 2010 at 3:45 am

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.

–Walt Whitman

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Tim September 22, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Leonardo da Vinci as well had a fascination with weapons. Nothing is clear.

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Wolf Pascoe September 22, 2010 at 10:23 pm

As did Lincoln!

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Jane September 22, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Recently, at a family dinner with my very grown children and on-the-way to being grown grandchildren, we played a game of ‘superhero’. If you could have any power in the world, what would you want? While there were various choices for the power to end world hunger, save the planet and so forth, the hands-down personal favorite was ‘the ability to smite an offender’ such as the person who cuts you off in traffic, solicits you for a donation during dinnertime and/or interferes with you getting something done that you really care about getting done. Think about it. “The Smiter Strikes Again”. We’ve continued to tell stories about something that’s happened to us when we’d wished we had this superpower handy! Or point out when it would’ve been handy. Makes us laugh. It’s illuminating to say the least.

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Wolf Pascoe September 23, 2010 at 1:58 am

The greatest happiness is to scatter your enemy, to drive him before you and crush and kill him, to steal his possessions, to see his cities reduced to ashes, to rape his wives and daughters and use their weeping bodies as your bedclothes.

Genghis Khan

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John September 26, 2010 at 8:50 pm

It seems to me that it’s normal for 8 year old boys to be obsessed with weapons.

What ain’t normal is not growing out of it.

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Wolf Pascoe September 27, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Yes, it’s the “For some odd reason, I haven’t grown out of really liking guns” post that I live in fear of.

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BigLittleWolf February 12, 2011 at 10:24 pm

For some odd reason, I really like shoes. Theoretically, they would make excellent weapons. Especially the stilettos.

All kids between 2 and 7 are nuts? Huh. Does it really stop at 7? 37?

Fascinating.

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Wolf Pascoe February 12, 2011 at 10:49 pm

Some mothers, I think, have been inclined to employ shoes as weapons.

As to when the nuttiness stops, every year it seems to extend further.

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