I was reminded recently in a conversation elsewhere that I hadn’t shared this story here yet….
Context: walking with little A, who is a very hyper and cheerful mood and going on at great length about all kinds of weapons she apparently needs for some nefarious purpose or other.
Little A: “…And of course I’ll need a flamethrower…”
Me: “You are not getting a flamethrower. We have already discussed at length why children should not be equipped with knives, chainsaws, tanks or flamethrowers. Nothing has changed since then.”
Little A: “But I’m 9 now!”
Me: “And this changes things how? 9-year-olds. Do. Not. Get. Flamethrowers.”
Little A: “Can I get one when I’m 10?”
Me: “NO. No flamethrowers!”
Little A: “But what if zombies attack? What if we have an actual apocalypse?”
Me (stopping in my tracks): “OK, you know what? If the actual zombie apocalypse happens — by which I mean in real life, with actual zombies, not in a LARP, movie, make-believe game or anything like that — then, and only then, will I get you a flamethrower. Because we will all have even bigger problems on our hands than flamethrower-equipped 9-year-old maniacs.”
Little A: “Yay!” (dances around me in circles, then stops, looking at me with a crafty smirk and doing her trademark evil cackle)
M: “And what are you cackling about?”
Little A: “I get a flamethrower!”
Me: “If the zombie apocalypse actually happens in real life. You realize that’s very unlikely to actually happen, right?”
Little A: “Not if I start it, it isn’t!”
MY GODS. WHAT HAVE I DONE?