Everything I’m Afraid Might Happen If I Give My Five-Year-Old Son a Bubble Gun

My son will absorb outdated cultural expectations of what it means to be a “real man.” He’ll aim his bubble gun menacingly at anyone who disagrees with him or tells him, “no.”

He’ll bring his bubble gun to a playdate with a friend who is not allowed to play with toy guns, that kid’s mom will tell all the other moms about my depraved parenting, I will be shunned from the PTA’s fundraising gala, and I’ll miss my chance to win tickets to Hamilton.

I will fail to order a Nerf N-Strike Stampede ECS on Amazon before it’s discontinued by the manufacturer, and our neighbors will win the toy arms race.

My son will want me to take photos of him posing shirtless on his bed with the many toy guns he’s somehow acquired, a pile of cash, and his Beanie Babies.

When I kiss my son goodnight and wish him sweet dreams, he’ll respond “Yippee-ki-yay, Motherfucker!”

He will throw a tantrum any time we pass a Dick’s Sporting Goods without going in “just to look.”

He will refuse to eat anything other than the meat he’s tracked, hunted, field dressed, butchered, and processed with his own two hands.

He will become bereft of wit, wonder, imagination, and any genuine reason for being. He’ll demand toy gunsticles.

He’ll brandish one of his toy guns on the subway, an incognito cyborg police officer will mistake it for a real gun, and the robot apocalypse will transpire.

He’ll have a playdate with a friend who is also allowed to play with toy guns. He will have a new best friend who isn’t me.

I’ll pretend to give the new best friends space, but I won’t be able to resist spying on them, and they’ll develop a sophisticated code language that evades my surveillance for years. One day two FBI agents will barge into my bedroom and cuff me in my kimono, revealing that my son and his friend had been spearheading a counterintelligence case against my privacy breach from the beginning, and my son and his best friend who isn’t me will eventually pitch their story to the Travel Channel, and that will be super embarrassing for me.

He’ll outgrow toy guns, and he’ll demand violent video games, which I’ll allow after making him promise to stop yelling in my face about it, and the video game imagery will trigger my debilitating phobia of cyborg police officers walking undetected among us.

My son will explain to me that he never even wanted to play with toy guns in the first place; he was just “testing me,” and I failed.

He will become a goth, and that will be super embarrassing for me.

He’ll become obsessed with yo-yo’s.