So the violence issue.
We were able to keep our boys from violent play for a long time
as they just weren't exposed to violence at all, really.
They didn't really have a concept of it.
Once when Talmage was 3 he saw a wooden toy gun and, when asked what it was, he thought it was a telescope.
I knew it couldn't go on that way forever, but it was nice for a while.
But once they got a little taste of guns and battle play from others,
it unleashed this obsession with weapons and fighting.
To make a very long story short,
I spent a lot of time agonizing over the issue
and talked about it with a lot of people.
One day, I was driving in the car and our guideline suddenly hit me:
If it's okay in real life, it's okay in play.
But it was a major "Aha moment" for me,
and thus commenced the channeling of their obsession into
slaying dragons, battling monsters, and defending their baby brother from attack tigers.
It still drives me crazy that everything has to become a weapon,
but thus it stands.
So the other day Talmage wanted me to make him a shield out of cardboard
and he wanted me to paint "CTR" on it.
(In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, CTR stands for "Choose the Right," and the shield emblem is commonly used as a reminder to shield yourself from sin.)
Now he and Wesley hold out their shields with vigor and yell,
"I'M NOT GOING TO DRINK ALCOHOL!!!"
Of all the things they could say, I find it hilarious that they chose that. I'm so glad to have such sober little boys.