Dude needed a basketball. Well, Dude needs help with his hand-eye coordination / ball game playing ability and a basketball seemed the least likely to cause him much physical harm. I'm not ready to place a baseball bat in his hands - arming Dude is dangerous. And while soccer is pretty harmless, we're talking about a boy that trips over his own feet. Putting a ball in front of those feet will not help matters. So I decided - basketball it is!
We went to Sports Authority last week and found a basketball for Dude. Oddly, there was a junior archery set hanging on the pen holding the basketballs. (Can anyone explain to me the connection between these two seemingly unrelated sports items or the reason for their close proximity?) The archery set immediately grabbed Dude's attention. He has seen Dad play a video game with archers in it and he decided that archery is what he really wants. Hubs was willing to give it to him.
Considering I was 20 minutes away from driving Hubs to the airport to leave on business for the week and in no position to handle an armed child alone, Hubs agreed this purchase could wait until he returned. We left the store with the basketball and a promise to purchase the junior archery set as soon as Dad returned.
Dude and I have been playing with the basketball and having fun, but every single day Dude reminded me that Dad promised to buy him an archery set when he came home. Remember I mentioned I didn't think it was safe for Dude to hold a baseball bat? I definitely fall into the "anti-archery set for my kid" category. But Dad was coming home soon and a promise is a promise (especially to a 5 year old).
Then opportunity presented itself - Dude refused to clean his bedroom. This was my out! I laid down the law. Dude could NOT have an archery set until his room was clean! This was met with yelling, frustration, and crying along with loud declarations from Dude that he is NEVER going to clean his room. Bullseye! Hubs came home and (thankfully!) backed me up on the "no archery set until your room is clean" edict. Friday passed, Hubs was home, and we didn't own an archery set. All was good.
Saturday came and Dude was sick. Poor guy had a fever. How could he possibly clean his room? And even if he did clean his room, he was definitely not in shape to go out in public and buy an archery set. Nor was he well enough to play with this set in the backyard. I was sure I had won another day without an archery set.
Alas, Dude pulled it together and got his bedroom clean. I held firm to the fact that he was not well enough to go to the store to buy his set. Hubs decided I was right, but that he would go buy it for him. Then he looked at Dude and asked "Do you want the set we saw at the store or would you rather have a Nerf one?" I watched as the word "Nerf" danced in Dude's eyes overpowering images of the more authentic (dangerous) set he had his eye on in the store. Thankfully, Nerf won. Saturday afternoon saw Hubs fulfilling his promise of an archery set for Dude.
This archery set is an indoor toy. Dude spent Saturday afternoon and Sunday playing with it and is surprisingly good with it. It's mostly harmless and I'm quite happy with the compromise that's been reached. Dude even let the girls take a few turns with his bow and arrow. His sisters also think the set is cool. Then, Sunday night before dinner, Dude let us know that we are going to have to buy that junior archery set from Sports Authority after all - for Ball.