|Boy Three contemplates his icing soldier|
|His defenses appear to have been buttercreamed|
For Boy Three’s birthday my friend Fionaoutdoors offered to make him a cake, something she’s very good at.
She asked what kind of cake he’d like and he said: “A gun.”
Visions of icing trains, tractors or even dinosaurs fled, leaving sticky trails.
Eventually, he settled on an army cake, things army being at the top of his list at the moment.
I’ve no idea where this very sweet and loving little boy’s urge to arm himself comes from. He has big brothers and, therefore, a wider diet of influences than many of his peers, but still.
Obviously, in an ideal world my children wouldn’t want to play pretend games with weapons of individual destruction. But then again they’d also eat five a day, enjoy trying new things and always remember their manners.
I’ve never thought there’d be much point in banning guns as that would only give them a mystique far greater than a flimsy plastic toy deserves.
I also remember that 40-odd years ago, another little boy adored army games and toys. He was my brother and ended up as a fine man and excellent soldier.
So instead of fretting too much about the now-four-year-old’s growing armoury, I’m spending my energy emphasising the rest of the things people in the army do. Currently one of his favourite pastimes is playing secret, sneaky missions, when he isn’t eating cake.