Saturday, May 9, 2009

On My Way to Mommy Jail... Adventures in Parenting Part 3a: "Incendiary Devices"

As soon as a child is born, parents begin devising lists of things their child will never do.  Yeah, RIGHT!  That lasts for about a few weeks, then the pacifiers come out and it's all over.  Eventually, the prepared baby foods, disposable diapers, cartoons, Barbies and guns all make their way into the politically correct parents' home.

Now, the state in which I reside has determined that all fireworks are illegal, so you can imagine my angst the first time the spouse wanted to stop at a fireworks warehouse while we were on vacation.  I was duly horrified!  This would surely be cause to be sent to Mommy Jail!  

That year we got a few harmless poppers, sparklers and (gasp) some tiny fountains.  And I have to confess they turned that years' birthdays and holidays into rather festive occasions, so by the time the next trip to the midwest rolled around, I was the one loading up the cart with bigger and better incendiary devices.

For Vladimir's fourth birthday, we invited three of his closest toddler friends and their parents over for cake, ice cream and a few fireworks.  They were delighted by the fountains of sparks.  The last fountain turned out to be a dud, though.  Not wanting to disappoint the wee ones, the spouse ran inside to select one last fountain for the finale.  He grabbed one of the "freebies" that are thrown into the bag as a bonus when you make your purchase at the fireworks store.  Thinking it was just another fountain, he lit the fuse and got away.  (The basic instructions that come with all fireworks.)  We all waited at a safe distance for the colorful sparks to begin spewing out the top of the cone.  

At first all that came out was smoke, which quickly got thicker and thicker until it started emitting a foul odor that soon became unbearable.  Yes, gentle reader, it was a smoke bomb.  Eyes began watering, people began choking and children began crying that they wanted to go home and never come back again... ever!  (By that time I was ready to check myself  into Mommy Jail.)  Great way to get your guests to go home after a rousing soiree!

Except for that disaster, it was all in good fun.... until my spouse started demonstrating to four year old Vladimir how you could put a firecracker in a tube and shoot wads of paper towels out the end just for fun. 

"HOLY CRAP, Vladimir's Dad... What are you thinking?"

Needless to say, I was duly outraged, but lost that battle as I did many others.

Now Vladimir, being the curious and resourceful little fellow that he was, decided to make some refinements to this system on his own.  Eventually, he actually figured out how he could take a narrow piece of PVC pipe, plug up one end,  drill a little hole in that end, insert a firecracker fuse through the hole, put an old fashioned toy cowboy gun cap next to it, put a little piece of wooden dowel down the other end, and get ready to fire it off.  All you had to do was pull back on a rubber band attached to a nail, which would hit the cap, ignite the fuse, explode the firecracker and shoot the dowel out the other end.  

"HOLY CRAP, Vladimir!  HELLOOO???   Remember Mommy Jail???"

But wait... that was actually very ingenious.  We were so proud, we didn't even mind so much when Vladimir shot out one of the garage windows.  Although, at the same time, Mommy Jail was invoked to prevent further occurrences. 

However, when Vladimir wanted me to drive him to the hobby store to buy some metal tubing and slightly smaller diameter metal rod to shoot out of the end, I had to sit down and have a serious talk with him!  A small, short piece of metal rod that is shot out of the end of a metal tube is called a bullet!  Duh!  Time to have another serious talk with the spouse as well!  This had gone way to far!  Once again, I had to burst Vladimir's bubble.  

Better the bubble though, than his eye or some other important body part!

To be continued....



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