I collected Georgia today, and she kept running off these questions that started off with “If you were kidnapped what would you do?”
I was not quite sure of where this was going, but eventually I realised she just wanted me to ask her “what would YOU do if you were kidnapped” and then she would tell me how she would kick the “kidnapper in his privates…”
This got me thinking that I had not played the “what would you do if the house was on fire” with my kids in a very long time.
Not as a fun game, But as an active exercise in wondering what they would do in the event of an emergency.
I like the idea of finding it out now, in a reasonably calm environment, rather than say when I am bleeding and almost dead and watching my kids run around in a panic.
I asked the question and wanted to see what they would do. I placed the “imaginary” fire in the kitchen, and as our house is in an L-shape it would block the exit to the front and the back door.
What concerned me is that both the kids were focused on how they would put the fire out. A little concerning as clearly fighting a large fire was not what I would suggest to them to do in this sort of a situation.
Fist bump for bravery. Forehead smack for an inability to live to see tomorrow.
Both came out with really creative ways to battle a raging fire – thanks National Geographic.
Clearly the wrong answer. The right answer is that they try to wake everyone in the house, or if that is not possible – say their door is blocked in some way -then they get out via a window and alert the neighbours.
Their job was to save themselves and get out. Repeat “your job is to save you” let the fire burn.
In further disturbing news I set a scene of an intruder and what they would do.
Again Georgia was quite focussed on kicking “him” in his privates. Play therapy starts on Monday.
Connor explained how there was a gun in the wooden trunk in the lounge that dad had showed him, and he would get the gun and aim it at the intruder and tell them to “LEAVE MY HOUSE!”
Right. After I shat in my pants, I asked him to please be so kind as to show me the gun. I tried to make it look like I was calm but really I was mouthing “WE HAVE A FUCKN GUN IN THE HOUSE THAT THE KIDS HAVE ACCESS TO???”
I tried to look mildly interested (and not so relieved my legs turned to jelly) as he unpacked things off the wooden chest to open it and get the gun.
He showed me a Daisy Gun that Kennith had since he was a child.
I had to explain that the gun, in the middle of the night would look surprisingly real, and aiming at a would-be intruder would result in one outcome. Him being shot dead.
Intruders were not known for their bravery, and more importantly liked very little in the way of dissent among those they were trying to relieve of their worldly possessions.
Again I had to explain the key “go to” plan – save yourself, hide and be quiet, or get out the house.
First prize get out the house, I explained which wall was the easiest to get over and how they should run to the neighbours screaming at the top of their lungs.
There was so much wrong with this conversation today.
1. That my kids felt that battling a fire was a great plan.
2. That Connor thought he knew where a real gun was.
3. That Connor thought he would be able to put off a would-be intruder with a Daisy gun.
4. That Georgia’s solution for everything was to kick him in the privates.
It is not a fun game to play – but I do suggest you jot it down and discuss this with your kids.
My next discussion is if I was the victim of a “car jacking” and they were in the car. Fuck, I hate that this is the kind of conversation I need to hold with my children.
I would rather speak to them now and hopefully they will hold it in their minds if something happens, than have them standing battling a fire with a plastic measuring jug!
Only play this “game” if you are feeling particularly buoyant about life, and have ready access to alcohol soon after.
Let me know how yours fare with this exercise.
Image source: http://www.zapiro.com/