We woke up the other day to a house cold as the grave. My wife – handler of power tools and first responder to domestic crises of this nature – discovered that the furnace’s pilot light was out. Out and kaput, because no attempt at relighting it worked. (Even I tried.)
While this was an inconvenience, it was by no means a crisis. We threw on extra layers, made calls to two plumbers, and ate a French Toast breakfast. When the baby sitter arrived for her morning hours, we had our son Felix bundled up and ready to roll to the library, with an added incentive of stopping at a local bakery for a treat and some heat.
The problem? Throughout all of this, Felix, a stubborn toddler who clings to routine with an iron grip, was a huge pain. Whining, crying, screaming at shrill levels no adult eardrum could stand, and even throwing a few punches to get our attention. The more focused we were in discussing the heating situation, the louder he protested, doing whatever he could to bring us back to him. While I stayed home to wait for the plumber I heard him outside with his sitter, screaming and crying all the way down the block.
It was then that I realized: in the face of the Zombie Apocalypse, this kid wouldn’t stand a chance.
There are people who prepare for end times. Like, it’s their hobby. They even have their own reality show, National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers, in which contestants are judged on how well they’ve prepped, or, to be precise, how long they’d last. (Oh, National Geographic Society: it’s come to this?) Some stockpile for a government meltdown and civil war, others hoard medical supplies in case of plague.
Personally, when choosing my Armageddon, I’ve always been a zombie guy. My wife and I would make a good team, the way we split up duties and think fast – plus, we’re light on our feet. But if we had to keep inside and quiet during the day to avoid brain eating predators, our son’s screams would give us away. He’d quickly eat our food supplies. When on the run, he’d slow us down, complaining about his feet hurting and how he’s too tired to walk. Even a zombie could shuffle faster than him. My son’s only edge against the undead is his Hot Wheels skills. He cruises up and down the block like lightening, so maybe if we joined a biker gang, Mad Max style, we’d be ok. Otherwise? The tot’s a liability.
Though I’m kidding, kind of, I imagine most parents know what I’m talking about, having dealt with frustrating or annoying problems that their children’s presence only exacerbates. Kids can be so inflexible! And being adaptable, bending to the realities at hand, is necessary for coping with conundrums. I guess older children must be better at this, and some, because of temperament, must be better than others. From the start, our son’s demanded the spotlight, and he’s in a phase where that tendency comes on very strong. So on a scale of one to five, I’d rate him easy fodder for a brain eater.
How does your child hold up in trying times?