Thursday, 6 February 2014

Riding in cars with boys

Bloodthirsty little bugger. 
In 2010 we took the sensible step of moving closer to our local primary school.  We reasoned that we still had 10 years of attendance at the school and it was much easier for the kids (and me) to be within easy walking distance.

It worked beautifully for three wonderful years.

Then we decided to send Josh to a school 10km away, at least two and possibly four years before we really had to.  Because we are (as I've said before) bonkers. 

Now Josh is only 8, just starting year 3. He's a bit young to be thrown straight into the bus system, so we are easing into it.  And of course, we started up a car pool.  

Because, as you all know, I LOVE a car pool.  Luckily the parents of the other two kids starting from our area were as keen to car pool as we were.  Because what's not to love?  

So for the last two weeks at 7:25 someone has picked up Josh and whisked him away to school, leaving the girls and I in a pure girl environment until 8:50, bereft of shooting noises and fart jokes.  

Or we all have left the house at 7:20am, passing by a selection of kind friends who are willing to hold my girl children until they can be released into the wild, and at 7:25 and 7:27, pick up Josh's two local mates.  These two boys went to another school together before coming to this new one but they have been very inclusive of my lad and for this alone I love them.  

Once collected we then head towards one of the exit roads for our suburb.  There are several of these, all joining the big artery road that leaves the Northern Beaches, crosses the Spit Bridge and heads towards the city.  At 7:30 it is a very clogged artery and it takes a while to escape our suburb and join its city bound flow.  Having four in the car means we can take the transit lane which theoretically makes our journey faster.  

Faster only in comparison to those not in the transit lane.  Not faster than other things, for example, tortoises and snails.  

So this trip, (which in no traffic takes about 20 minutes) is more than doubled at peak hour.  And the boys, trapped in the back of the car, get a tiny bit restless.  

So they shoot things.  Mostly other cars, sometimes pedestrians.  Never cyclists (cause one of the boys Dad's rides to work and it might be him) and not usually motorcyclists unless they are fat (their words not mine- no idea why).  

The reasons for being shot are vague but I have noticed the following trends:

If you jaywalk, you get shot.

If you have only one person in your car, you're shot.

Buses get shot, especially those with other school kids on them.  (nice)

You can arm yourself with an imaginary gun, grenade launcher, machine gun or bomb.  You can order your fellow shooters to only attack people with backpacks, or just red cars, or don't shoot that truck!  They are unlikely to hear you because they're shouting similar things back at you, or they're busy making incredibly realistic noises related to their weapon. 

You never ever miss.  Ever.  You can tell your mate they missed, but they just ignore you.  

You never run out of ammunition.  

You are completely unphased by your own bloodthirsty tendencies.  

I just turn up Fitzy and Wippa and go to my happy place. 

After a while, pretending to shoot or blow up anything that moves starts to lose it's excitement, so you then start lying through your teeth to your mates about how many M rated movies you've seen and how many M rated games you've played.  

According to them, they've played and seen them all.  Knowing at least one of them as I do, and the others even a tiny bit, I call bullshit.  

NB: He has watched the Lord of the Rings and two Hobbits.  Everything else is PG.  Except for the time at our friends place when he watched The Dark Knight Rises (they had older kids) without my knowledge.  

I have learnt that Grown Ups 2 is M and has nudity.  The idea of which is gross and caused a lot of vomit noises from the back seat.  No one had actually watched Grown Ups 2, they'd just heard about it.  None of them are EVER planning to watch a movie with nudity.  

Once this subject is exhausted it's time to start shooting again.  Countless defenceless commuters and pedestrians (but not cyclists) lose their imaginary lives in the final sweep through the back of Neutral Bay.  

And finally, they emerge from the car, small boys again, ready for another day.  Looking neat and innocent in their uniforms, with ties and hat on, shoes still shiny because it's only the second week.  Anyone passing would never realise the carnage they caused on the way to school.  Even only in their heads.

Now some might say I should stop them from playing this.  It's wrong and violent and Maybe I should.  I doubt that I could actually stop them, they would just go undercover, making a gun with thumb and forefinger like they have done for years and shooting on regardless.  Josh has been picking up sticks and aiming them since he was 4, maybe even 3.  

I could try to engage them in conversation, or attempt to start an alphabet game but honestly?  

I think I'll let this one go and hope they tire of it really really soon.