The Littlest Arms Dealer
Once upon a time there was a little princess arms dealer…
The day started like any other day in a house of five individuals living under one roof. Everyone waking up a different times. Hungry for breakfast at different times. Desirous of different outcomes for the same day. And the littlest who just wasn't having any of it.
The beginning and end of the day were down right explosive, but it was the creative play that taught us the most...
Mama (a.k.a. Jess) suggested on this rainy Labor Day morning that the kids accompany the adults to the garage where they could play whatever they wanted, while the big people tackled the looming 90 day-old remnants of moving in 24 hours before a wedding. The play started with the expected choices; roller skates, scooter riding, ride on toys, and the like. But pretty soon all three were engaged in a dynamic imaginative play version of "super hero house." At least that's what the big people thought was happening.
Before long we noticed a couple of things. A trailer was hitched to the ride on toys, and the boy in the house broke into a monologue about what it meant to "haul a load" to which he received rolled eyes and frustration from the littlest. Super heroes had quickly turned into robbers and bad guys. The oldest two were in cahoots. And like a train barreling down the tracks, suddenly the littlest had seized an opportunity to take control over the play by becoming the purveyor of "sharp discs", "balloon bombs" and other atomic things. Every innocent Frisbee was transformed into a weapon of destruction. No rubber ball or water balloon was safe. And Heaven help us all when she found the supply of water guns. She had eminence over all.
The play continued, and there was no fighting. So the play, while frightening to the big people on so many levels, was allowed to continue. Three kids, all with different motivations, different styles of play, and clearly different roles in whatever game this had become were playing well.
And the littlest was a darn good arms dealer. She filled the red wagon with any and all weapons she could dream up of. She hollered like a flee market salesman "get your sharp discs here, get your sharp discs here, we have the best sharp discs in town" and was appropriately pushy. But also polite. The most polite I dare say we've ever seen. She thanked her customers, welcomed them to come again, and when asked about her hours - responded that she was open 23 hours a day, because her customers were just that important. She took online orders, and orders via phone and text. When a bad guy suggested she also sell pizza, she politely declined. (Clearly no reason to deviate from a good business plan.)
And oh the backstory. When asked about the origins of the weapons, she was shady but concise. Her father was a former military commander. She had connections. No further questions asked.
And in this world of bad guys and black market deals, she was the queen. The big kids had to listen to her. The parents let it all go, because it was (mostly) harmless. She had the full attention of the house.
The play lasted for several hours, and then the afternoon crashed around us all. Tired big kids went to their own corners of the room and gave their attention over to electronics. A step-mom who busied herself with cleaning and a dad who had a made a promise to sort boxes, neither who were interested in continuing the imaginary game. And as though the balloon bomb was lit underneath her the littlest lost it. Everyone was declared "the worst" and the steps to her room could have collapsed from all the stomping. A nap was in order and helped slightly, but nothing soothed quite as much as the black market.
Who could really blame her? In a world where the game is changing and the players are always in pursuit of their own strategies to win, it's just best to be the arms dealer and have complete control over all of it.