DAVID CAMP­BELL was anti-toy guns… un­til his son got a water pis­tol.

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - David co-hosts To­day Ex­tra, 9am week­days, on the Nine Net­work.

Let me start with a con­fes­sion that may not sur­prise you... I don’t like guns. I’ve never fired a gun. Never held a weapon for fun. Well, that’s not ex­actly true. I still re­mem­ber one of my favouri­terite Christ­mas presents as a child when n I got a bike and an of­fi­cial Star tar Wars Han Solo blaster, just like the one Har­risonn wielded in The Em­pire Strikes Back – the great­est movie vie in the se­ries and that is a fact I will not de­bate here.

So, when I be­came a par­ent to Leo, I re­ally dou­bled down wn on this, to the point where­here we did not want him m to have any toy guns. ns. No water pistols. No sticks ticks shaped as guns. Noth­ing. thing.

I had ba­si­cal­ly­i­cally be­come Michael J. Fox’s ox’s dad in Fam­ily Ties. A sen­si­tive new-age dad. d. A SNAD. Ugh, that sound­sounds aw­ful. Snaddy daddy. dy. Ugh, that sounds worse se – but I di­gress.

Over the sum­mer we took the fam­ily too Malaysia to see some of my wife’s fam­ily, who hap­pen to bee Amer­i­can. They are su­per-fun and nd have a son who is about two years ears older than Leo. We’ve had many an ad­ven­ture to­gether.ogether. Yet when we all trun­dled down to the pool, to my sur­prise, out came the water pistols. Leo’s eyes lit up. It’s Christ­mas. What, was I go­ing to be the gun Grinch? So I asked my level-headed Amer­i­can cousin-in-law for ad ad­vice. “Have you shot a gun?” I as asked. “Of course, I used to hunt deer.” (H (He was ba­si­cally chew­ing tobacco in a sin­glet at this point.) I stam­mered, in my slip­pers, “So, you have no p prob­lem with them us­ing toy g guns?” He stared at me as if he were look­ing at me t through the sights of a high-pow­ered­high­deer gun and I had antlers. “Dude, it’s a toy.” He got me. RightRigh in my hypocrisy. My fa­cade crum­bled and I hea heard the faint sound of John­nyJohnn Mathis and De­niece Wil­liam Wil­liams singing “Sha la la la” for the la last time. I turned and marched­march to the pool where the boys werewe fill­ing up the pistols. Mari­achi trum­pets sounded in my head in the hot Kuala Lumpur sun. I grabbedgr the two spare plas­tic pis­tol pistols, looked down the bar­rel of the cam­era (in my mind) and huski­ly­husk whis­pered, “Let’s do th this.” I slow-mo leapt into the pool while shoot­ing at those two un­sus­pect­ing boy boys. They scat­tered, howl­ing wit with laugh­ter, try­ing to cat catch me, but I had a stark re­al­i­sa­tion: they hadn’t seen what I’d seen. They knew noth­ing about the fight at Die Hard’s Nakatomi Plaza and how to de­feat Hans Gru­ber. Yippee ki-yay, pre-tweens… pew pew. I have paused the video over and over again in Rambo II and knew ex­actly how to use the water to di­vide and con­quer these two no-hop­ers. In my head, I was all my he­roes rolled into one. Arnie, Sly, Bruce – I’d stud­ied the moves. Learnt the movies. I re­cited the lines like I made them up and belly laughed so much, water filled my mouth and lungs, but I no longer cared. Then it hap­pened.

Vic­tory. They didn’t see their de­feat com­ing. Nor did they care. By the end we had so much fun. So much that Leo still talks about that af­ter­noon and asks, “Can’t we do it again?” The truth is I want to. I want to over­turn the rules I set up. To stop lit­er­ally be­ing the fun po­lice and just have fun.

Then it hit me. Where we can have Leo’s birth­day party this year? Laser Tag! I will crush his friends at Laser Tag.

had be­come sen­si­tive new-age dad. A SNAD. Ugh, that sounds aw­ful”

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