Toy Soldiers

Actually Mrs. Daddy broke ranks on this particular parenting decision.

For a woman, Ms. Daddy exhibits many manly traits, and I mean that as a compliment (the Mrs. is a hot babe no one could ever mistake for anything but the very apotheosis of strong womanhood).

She will jump up with little ceremony, for example, post-coitally, and announce: “I’ve got to go to the hardware store.”

“Hey, I wanted to cuddle!” Mack will protest, but she’s gone. She’s proficient at dry-walling and drives her vehicle like a Formula One racer: strong, sure, decisive, aggressive, and with a Jimmy Choo of pure lead on the accelerator. I call her Pamio Andretti.

Moreover, it was she who suggested, and bought, a pet snake for our three young boys (though, truth be told, once she bought it she would not suffer it to be drawn near to her).

And yesterday, as a reward for patience and good behavior on a boring, errand-filled day, she bought them a bunch of toy soldiers.

I know it’s not probably politically correct.

Especially these days, Lord knows. Mack believes Iraq is a terrible quagmire (if you’re going to depose a country’s ruler, then that country becomes yours: you have annexed it, Mack believes, until it gets on its feet, like Britain and the French did with this country) and Mack can’t even remember why we’re in Afghanistan.

Senseless loss of young lives. And I hope none of my boys ever has to go to war. Partially for selfish reasons. Mack put in all that work, all those sleepless nights the career/financial sacrifices, only to have one of my kids taken from me by a suicide bomber at age 19 for reasons I barely understand?

Mack doesn’t think so.

I don’t want to encourage them to think war would be “fun,” or to glorify war. But it appears to be hardwired into their DNAs, people, into their Y chromosome, just as it was to stare at construction sights and big trucks and machines and to be somehow placated by watching “Mighty Machines” for the umptymillionth time.

Mack’s mom says boys are born with motors because almost from birth they’re going “brrm! brrrm!”

And you should have seen them take to the toy soldiers, instantly breaking off into fact-finding groups, reconnaissance kids, assigning roles, establishing positions, bunkers, etc. all over the first floor.

They played calmly, without a peep. And I’ve never seen them get along so well, be so co-operative, be so…ironically…peaceful. For hours!

Maybe peace, like charity, begins in the home, Mack mused. And maybe toy soldiers aren’t such a bad thing at all.

Maybe they should be called “toy domestic peacekeeping forces.”

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