Monday, January 10, 2011

Symbiotic Relationship

Ethan loves to shoot the air soft gun he got for his birthday. He lines up soda pop cans on the fence and stands back to take shots. Or sometimes he just walks right up to the cans and shoots at point blank range. He prints targets off the computer and works on his accuracy. Any time he has free time, he's out in the back with his gun.

Of the several rules and responsibilities we have for the gun's use, one is that he must pick up all the little colored plastic pellets he shoots around the yard. Shooting is fun. Picking up pellets is not.

Ethan, however, has found a way to satisfy this rule without having to do the actual pick-up work.

Isaac collects air soft pellets. When we take a walk through the nearby woods, he is always on the lookout for pellets. He picks them up and puts them in his pocket. He is not allowed to go into the woods alone, so he can only go pellet-hunting when Mom or Dad go with him. Which is not nearly as often as he'd like.

Now, when Ethan shoots his gun, he doesn't worry about how many pellets he expels into the nether regions of the yard. As soon as he's done, he comes in the house and announces to Isaac, "If you pick them up, you can have them."

Isaac rushes into the backyard, sometimes in his stocking feet, mostly without a coat, and scampers around picking up all the pellets he can find while Ethan sits in the warm house, smugly shirking his responsibility.

Both boys are so completely happy with the arrangement I haven't been able to come up with a logical protest.

But something about it doesn't feel right.

1 comment:

Natalie said...

So classic. I should email you the test I made Nathan take before I let him buy an airsoft gun.