Little Cavemen

Posted by on June 19, 2007

On many occasions both before my son was born and when he was a baby, I mused aloud about how twisted it is that we give children, frequently boys, toy guns and other toys weapons to PLAY with.

And of course, other mothers have consistently assured me that even when you shield your little boys from violence and guns etc. they will still find a way to turn normally benign items into weapons.

It’s just in their nature, they would say.

I would politely nod my head but on the inside, I was rolling my eyes at the stereotype.

Well, today I’m here to say that my son P, who just had his second birthday on Sunday, may be living up to said stereotype.

See, when on numerous occasions he has taken long stick-like objects like a toy broom or a roll of wrapping paper and gone around the house whacking everything in sight, I pshawed and continued to scoff at those moms.

When he took the padded Wacky Stick and bonked the cat, I scolded him appropriately and took it away, chalking it up to his age.

But when he playfully pointed a can of hair mousse at me this morning like it was some kind of ray gun and went “Psssssssssshhhhh! Psssssssshhhhhh!” I had to humbly concede.

Does he actually intend us harm? Of course not. Is he a mean child? Not at all. To the contrary, he’s actually a very sweet and affectionate little guy (who happens to like bonking and whacking stuff and firing mousse can ray guns.)

I can only conclude that he’s acting on his baser instincts, which apparently haven’t been tamed by evolution.

So, to all the moms I eyerolled, I apologize. You were right.

Here are some photos of my little caveman from his birthday party on Saturday. They just grow up so damn fast *sigh*

Blowing out his candles!

Tasting the cake!


Want some?

Feeding Daddy!


  • shelly says:

    I want your baby’s hair! Lucky.

  • Happy birthday to such a little cutie.

    If it helps, I thought the same as you, talked to moms of boys who thought the same, and slowly our opinion came around to a big ?? with an oy and a I guess so. LOL

  • mayberry says:

    Look. at. those. CURLS! Happy birthday P!

  • Good grief that child is gorgeous!

    You’re right though. I found that out the hard way with my own boys. It’s hard to put evolutionary hardwiring in time out.

  • Dawn says:

    It is brain hormones. They have to do it. Did you read my Boys will be Boys post at gimlet?

    As long as they can get it out in a safe way, they can learn the things they need to learn with out turning into homicidal maniacs. I promise.

  • canape says:

    So maybe he likes to thwack things. Still – offering the cake? In his cute little hand? I’m melting. That is so sweet.

    Those are some fine boys you got there!

  • I’m thinking that one day soon, your very curly-topped son will razz his dad about pater’s lack of locks – great photo!

    I once felt as you do, and while I still do not buy my son “weapons” per se, I concede that it is just the way males are wired. It’s genetic, and there is nothing we can do to overcome that.

  • tori says:

    What a beautiful baby/big boy. My son is the same with making weapons out of innocent things. I have no idea why. We aren’t violent people, he’s never seen a gun or a sword or anything he is making. Who knows why they do it. I thought the same as you and am now shocked that my guy does it too.

  • Mary-LUE says:

    I know someone who’s son crafted a gun out of bread at the the dinner table and “shot” the gun. I do believe a love of weaponry is hard-wired in, and it isn’t just boys. I’ve known girls who’ll do it, too. But I agree that it doesn’t mean you have to buy toy guns for your son. (We went back and forth on the toy gun thing. It’s funny how I didn’t like a toy gun but I didn’t mind a toy light saber. Hmmm…)

    Oh, and your son is pretty adorable!

  • sam says:

    OMG! So handsome! I LOVE the hair!

    Happy Birthday P.

    I too have thought about the stereotype and wondered if Carter would “succumb” to it. Luckily he hasn’t yet.. but I’m counting the days.

  • Hey, I recently wrote a bit about that very same subject.


    P.S. HAPPY BIRTHDAY P. What a cutie. Love the curls.

  • Starshine says:

    What fabulous birthday pictures. Your little guy does have amazing hair! To you, I’ll wish him a happy birthday, but tell him I say, “Pshttt, bang, POP!…You’re TWO!”

  • He’s just beautiful!

    And yeah, my boys fashioned guns out of all manner of household detritus…

    And they’re really nonviolent in general.

  • LawyerMama says:

    I love those curls! My 2 year old son does the same thing. Everything seems to be a gun these days. I was one of those disbelievers too once. Sigh.

  • Christina says:

    His hair is awesome!

    Cordy takes everything and turns it into a musical instrument instead of a weapon. Girl instinct, maybe?

  • He is amazingly adorable!!

  • Lena says:

    Just wait until he finds out where you hide the GOOD booze. ;)

    He is beautiful! A little Matthew McConaughey!

  • julia says:

    He’s adorable! Those curls….

    My daughter, 2.5 years old, took apart my ancient Electrolux the other day and pointed part of the wand/hose thing at me and said “Bang, bang.” So I don’t know that it’s just a boy thing.

  • Jodi says:

    Way too pretty to be a cavebaby. Angelbaby, perhaps.

    Welcome to the club that should be called “Women who were sure they knew better before they became moms, but now concede defeat and bow to the wisdom of other moms.” We are legion.

    (hands her son a noise-making plastic gun and tells him that yes, it is fine to shoot the cat)

  • TB says:

    He got so BIG. Although, amazingly it’s been almost a year since we met for coffee before Blogher, so I suppose it’s no surprise :o)

    As for the weapon/toys… I’m with you, still in the eye rolling phase though. I guess I’ll have to see for myself.

  • RWA says:

    Those are great pictures. My nephew likes to go around and whack people with things too. I think it must be some sort of male “instinct.”

  • Oooh those curls!
    And yeah..we were so conscious of non violent or gender specific toys and it was all for naught…he is mr. hotwheels/transformers/dinosaurs

    And Caity is Miss all things pink/babies/houses etc

  • Oh, The Joys says:

    I know! The Mayor talks about killing. WTF?? He didn’t hear that word here. And he shoots guns. (His words.) The best is if you ask him to tell you what “killing” or “guns” mean. Then he becomes a lunatic speaking in tongues.

  • Jennifer says:

    Happy birthday to quite a cutie!

    Dontcha hate being wrong!

  • kittenpie says:

    Haha! When I worked at daycare, I witnessed one little guy bite his piece of wholesome whole wheat bread into the shape of a gun and start pointing it at the other kids. Seriously.

    Love the b-day pics! Give your little guy a squeeze, ‘kay?

  • Mary says:

    Oh, it’s not just the little cave guys it the little cave girls too. My girls love to whack each other with stuff, and my oldest is always making up new uses for everyday items, like whacking, LOL!

  • Mom101 says:

    Happy birthday little gun-wielder – and wow does he look like you. Only blonder. And older.

  • Mal says:

    Your son is SO cute! I know what you mean though. My little caveman is about 2 seconds away from turning 10. Maybe he’s not so little after all!

  • Jess says:

    Adorable. Great photos. Happy birthday.

  • bitsy parker says:

    Stop with that cuteness! That’s the cutest boy ever! Don’t him no gun!!

    P.S. I have the same little boy. He’s always shooting something and everything is a car.

  • what a cutie… Happy Birthday to P! you know I have a 9 year old daughter and she’s always wielding her pirates sword or her squirt gun. Maybe its just ones primal instinct to protect ones self.

  • Wow, he’s a cutie!! He’ll get away with anything as long a he flashing that sweet smile at you!

  • How adorable! Looks like he had a great birthday :)

  • Happy birthday to your little dude. He is so cute! Love the hair.

    My little guy is turning two next week – they’re almost the exact same age!

  • Come visit me. I have something for you.

    The Ice Box

  • Lotta says:

    Happy Bday to your guy. Guns. Ugh. We told son that we sent all his guns to the army. But relatives keep giving him weapons! Tonight he greeted the pizza boy with two plastic guns in his hand.

  • Oh holy cow, is he CUTE?! Happy birthday, P!!

    I swear, those boys will make anything into a gun. I think it’s a penis thing.

  • Nicole says:

    What a cutie! I cannot figure my take on guns. My mom assumed we’d ban them cuz she thinks we’re wacked out California hippies (she lives here too :) but we’ve had oodles of water guns and the boys make everything into guns and swords. I just nixed a requested purchase of a whole cowboy kit complete with rifle and revolver, but upon thinking about it I have no idea if my husband would care, and I’d probaby let it go if it was gift. I compromised with a set of army men with tiny guns. The kid’s only shoot imaginary bad guys.

  • Jamie says:

    Awww…Happy Belated TWO! What a cutie! I love the feeding daddy cake pic. :)

    p.s. when I dropped off my 5-year-old at daycare this morning all the boys in her room were crowded in a corner and practicing their karate moves on each other…when no toy guns are around they move on to the next weapon!

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