1. Before I had my first child -"My children will never play with toy guns. Guns are serious business. They should be used for getting some venison and little else. My future children will be thoughtful and not ever consider perpetrating acts of violence either real or imaginary."
2. First child is an infant/toddler - "Look at all those hooligans kids shooting things." A smug smile would accompany my obviously better parenting.
3. Now that child is even older - "Stop turning those sticks into guns. Put your fingers down. I'm looking at you Mister. Put your fingers down. You may NOT say 'Bang bang you're dead' to the tree."
4. Add another kid - "Maybe if I pretend I don't see them, I don't have to try to stop the inevitable. I played Star Wars and GI Joe as a kid and managed to not turn into a sociopath killer. Lets hope for the best."
5. Kids a little older - We went to a garage sale and there was a whole arsenal of toys spread on the lawn. "Yes, kids. You can each pick out a sword. No, not a gun." Swords became our gateway drug into the word of weaponry. I end up duct taping many of these weapons after rowdy games of pirates, which kept my children content in their make-believe worlds for a full summer. Imagination is good, right?
6. Kids got little older, as they tend to do - Child receives Nerf gun as a gift. Clearly this is the coolest thing he has ever gotten. "At least its not a realistic replica of a tommy gun or howitzer." I sigh in resignation.
7. Present Day - "Just don't shoot anyone who doesn't want to be shot."
Sometimes you pick your battles, don't you, Moms? Sometimes those battles involve foam bullets and plastic swords.