For months they had been asking for Nerf blasters. This started when we saw a commercial for them while watching a Halloween special on TV. Everyday they would ask if we could get them. Everyday I would tell them to put it on their Christmas list. This toy became the must have of the year. It was the toy they would cry over if, surrounded by ripped wrapping paper and dozens of other expensive and less violent play things, it was missing on Christmas morning.
Being the responsible and prudent woman I am known to be, I researched the best Nerf gun for a preschooler and a toddler. I wanted to find an gun the kids could shoot and load themselves. An age appropriate gun.
Instead, what I found is a subculture of Nerf FANATICS. These people are intense and slightly warped. Never have I seen more customer reviews, written by 30-something, childless men, for a children's toy with comments like, "great as a side arm, but not a primary weapon."
I also found that there exists a large variety of guns and ammunition, with the youngest age recommendation being 6+ years. I did not let this deter me, rather I consulted a top military arms expert, Patrick. We decided on the Nerf Barrel Break IX-2. A double barreled, pump action gun using Whistler Darts.
I didn't want to be a glory hog, so Grandma and Grandvader got the boys their guns. I bought one for Patrick. He bought one for me. The excitement in the room on Christmas was overwhelming. The guns were removed from their boxes immediately. The Chin asked how Grandma knew exactly what he wanted. Bullets flew around the living room. Not once did I say, "you'll shoot your eye out."
In the two weeks since Christmas morning we have enjoyed a number of Nerf wars in the front yard. I have learned:
- Nothing warms a mom's heart more than her four year old yelling, "I'm going in," and "not today!"
- All troops follow orders (Nerf rules) except for the biggest and the oldest. That soldier shoots his wife in the face.
- Getting shot in the face stings.
- Sons will avenge a sneak attack on their mother (see above), even if it is just by throwing a handful of bullets in the general direction of the sniper.
- Never look down the barrel of a gun.