Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Lucky Day for Connor

A couple of years ago, Connor wasn't having a great time at life in general. He definitely felt very oppressed by all the authorities in his life, probably most of all me. I'm cool with that. I know my job isn't to be Connor's best friend, it's to parent him. And because I have more political capital than anyone else, I tend to be the one that brings the hammer, so to speak.

On this particular day, we were on a ski trip. Connor had opted to spend the day with my parents and Helen rather than hit the slopes, and as grandparents and grandchildren often do, they went to a toy store. Neither of my children like to waste opportunities like this, and Connor wasn't about to let something good slip away.

So he asked for a Nerf gun.

My parents were backed into a corner, and the choice seemed to be to buy a toy I wasn't going to love and watch Connor experience the thrill of his life to that point, or tell a kid who wasn't particularly happy anyway, no. I imagine they were paralyzed for a few minutes, and then they got the bright idea to call me.

I answered that call, and I decided the kid needed a win. I authorized the purchase.

Connor was so happy. He went around the vacation house with his 5 Nerf darts and bright orange gun in complete glee - watching those foam darts shoot out and stick to various surfaces. It was all glee, until I said "don't shoot at that window, because it's very high and we won't be able to unstick the dart" and of course, the dart was stuck to the window in about a minute. Because moms? They don't know anything.

Connor didn't realize we could go to the store and buy a thousand more darts and losing the dart seemed pretty awful. He was back to feeling that nothing could go right.

We had quite an adventure tossing things at that dart at such an angle as to dislodge the dart but not get anything else stuck on a nearby ledge. The dart was freed - and that was the end of shooting towards surfaces where the dart couldn't be easily reclaimed.

For his 7th birthday, he received another couple of Nerf guns from friends, and he enjoyed quite a bit of fun last year building makeshift barriers in the basement and having shoot-outs with our babysitter.

Although Connor turned 8 back in August, and he's already had two birthday parties (one with each set of grandparents) and was celebrated at Hamleys, he still thinks he needs a "friend party". Although I swore after last year's party - when a tornado interrupted the outside play - that I was farming the job of party coordinator out this year, Connor decided he wanted a sleep-over party, and I capitulated. (As it turns out, even though I'm the toughest adult in his life, I'm extremely soft.)

Connor's idea is that they will fight over the xBox all night. My idea is that they need at least something else to do. And so Connor came up with the idea to ask his friends to bring their Nerf guns and set up a game in the backyard.

Invitations were issued.

Unrelated to all of this, I was invited to check out the new toys Hasbro is coming out with this fall. Prior to my arrival, I didn't put it together that Hasbro is Nerf (and a lot more). Hasbro is also 8 year old boy heaven. Two of the toys being demonstrated were a crossbow - the Blazin Bow - and a gun that shoots little foam discs - the Vortex.

I mentioned that we were doing a Nerf gun party and look what arrived in the mail a couple of days ago?

Connor's friend demonstrates the Nerf Vortex Revonix360 Blaster.
Connor demonstrates the Nerf N-Strike Blazin' Bow Blaster
Yeah...Connor is in heaven. I'll let you know how the party turns out.

Thank you, Hasbro PR folks. You made my son and his friend extremely happy.


Disclosure: As disclosed in this post, I received a Blazin' Bow Blaster and Vortex from Hasbro. They did not ask me to write this post.

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