Thursday, April 30, 2009
I have been on the road speaking at conferences while my husband runs the "Heads Up" booth. While packing up at the end of a convention recently, I came across a small, toy gun. It reminded me of the toy revolvers that were around when I was little and kids played at being cowboys or good guys and needed to be armed. This gun was much smaller, though, and I saw it in our booth and asked Scott about it. He practically yelled, "Don't touch that!" and quickly explained that it would give me a shock. Aha! So it was a trick gun, and being the loving father that he was he planned to take it home to our young adult son. Knowing that Josh has sensory issues, I intended to warn him and let him decide whether or not he wanted to experience the shock. Well, we got home late on a Saturday night, and on our way to church the next morning I told Josh that his Dad had picked something up for him and it was in my plastic file case amidst various business cards and papers needing to be sorted out. I heard Josh rummaging around, but he didn't make any comment to indicate that he'd found it. The next thing I heard was, "Ouch! It shocked my hand!" As Josh shook his hand a bit I told him that I was going to warn him but he'd pulled the trigger before I'd even realized he'd found the gun. No sooner was this said than Josh once again said, "Ouch!" because he'd once again pulled the trigger, this time knowing what would happen. (This is what occurs when impulsivity is strong!) A minute later Josh said, "Huh. It says right on the gun 'Shocking Gun' and there are lightening bolts painted on the barrel. I guess if I'd looked at it first I would have figured out something was going to happen." But before he looked at it closely he had already shocked himself again to see if it would keep happening with every trigger pull. He and I have often joked that his approach is "Ready...FIRE!...Aim?...Oops!...um, sorry..." After a brief examination of his new shocking gun, Josh turned to his sister, Beckie, and urged her to try it out as if the shock would come as a complete surprise to her. Keep in mind that Beckie had been sitting next to Josh this whole time, and although she is inattentive at times she wasn't oblivious to what had just happened to Josh. Gee, thanks big brother, but no thanks! Josh didn't give up entirely on sharing the fun, though. A few hours later he saw his other sister, Beth, and greeted her by handing her the shocking gun and urging her to try it. Beth, who is not impulsive, was immediately suspicious. "Is this going to explode?" she asked. Josh assured her that the gun would not explode, and again pressed her to try it out and pull the trigger. Beth also didn't notice the "Shocking Gun" and lightening bolts printed on the toy, and pulled the trigger. Ow! I guess this is one of those gifts that keeps on giving...shocks!