We’re all familiar the Book of Mormon story of the Ammonites: a people so penitent and contrite that they buried their weapons of war deep in the earth as a symbol of their promise to never fight again.
It’s a touching gesture. But after today, I’m not so sure those weapons weren’t buried by frustrated mothers who were sick and tired of all the arguing over whose sword was who’s.
Let’s just say there is a plastic toy sword being buried deep in our city’s landfill as we speak…
It all starts so innocent, doesn’t it? A gift. Yesterday somebody gave us a toy sword as a present. Just because! So nice. So thoughtful. One caveat: I have two small boys who are very much into toy swords. That’s right. Two small boys, one sword. One sword, two small boys. Houston, we have a problem.
Oh sure, we set timers and tried to take turns. We calmly lectured (ok, so maybe not “calmly”) about the virtue of sharing, and attempted again and again to broker “deals” (that sword for my special Lego ninja…) but it was all in vain. There was crying, wailing and gnashing of teeth at every turn from the moment they opened the package till the sun went down.
“It’s my sword!!”
“No, it’s my turn to play with it!!”
“My turn was too short!!”
“You said I could have it after breakfast!!”
“But I just waaaaant it!!!”
After hours and hours of this, I’d had it. As only a fed up mother can do, I snatched the sword out of their gimme-gimme clutches and dramatically marched out into the cold night air with it. All the children waddled behind me like incredulous little ducklings in their cold, stockinged feet, wondering what in the world I was up to with that crazed look in my eye. Down the driveway, through the snow, and around to the side of the house where the big black trash bin lives, I thrust the three dollar piece of plastic down into it’s dark depths with flare.
“There! It’s gone! It’s nobody’s sword now! Problem solved.”
Tell me someone else has moments like these.
My mother-in-law was notorious for cutting the electric cables to the TV as her no-nonsense attempt to snap her children out of it’s captivating spell. Cut them! Just like that. With real scissors! She did this several times. (I’m not sure whether they kept buying new TVs or if they got to know the TV repair man pretty well.) I used to not be able to wrap my head around such drastic measures. Talk about brazen.
Now I totally get it.
As a result, my husband and his brothers grew up learning how to splice wires together and fix things. Who knows? Maybe my boys will grow up to be archeologists.
I can only imagine what other mothers have buried deep in the earth, during their more colorful moments, over the ages. I can’t be the only one.
Read more by Margaret Anderson at www.jamsandpickles.wordpress.com