Okay, with less than two weeks left to make plans, it’s time to talk kids. I’m assuming you don’t want the zombies to see your children as tasty afternoon snacks, so half of your planning should involve keeping them safe. The other half of your plans will be centered around keeping them entertained. Anyone who has kids can testify that even on non-zombie invading days there are moments you might consider tossing that screaming toddler out the window, if it meant just a few moments of peace and quiet. Let’s not get to that point in the middle of an invasion.
First, some safety ideas. GeekMom Sarah suggests this:
“Any child young enough to need to be carried should be wrapped in Bubble Wrap, leaving an opening for the face, through which the child can breathe. This will enable you to drop the child suddenly should you need to kill something, and will confuse any Zombie who happens upon the child long enough for you to defend it.”
Another good tip, from GeekMom Corrina:
“If they are younger kids, teach them to cut off zombies at the knees so they fall and then their head is at the right level.”
Helpful reminder: The only way to truly kill a zombie is to cut off his head. And don’t forget to teach your children the art of double tapping.
From the In Case of Survival website, here’s a good reminder that the carefree days of youth are over once the apocalypse happens. Kids will go back to having to pull their weight and all of those hours of running a wooden train around a track on their bedroom floor will come to an end.
On the same website I found this very interesting trailer for a movie that’s yet to be made. Its working title is Heart Land and the theme is peeking into the world of children, from their point of view, as they live in a zombie-infested society.
Because you might become confused or delirious at some point, here’s a handy chart, created by Andy at howtobeadad.com. It shows in excellent detail how similar babies are to zombies (random motor skills, drooling, lurching walk) so you don’t make the mistake of tying the bib around the zombie’s neck while chopping the head off of your six month old.
For older kids, like the age when they can somewhat successfully shoot a Nerf gun, it might be smart to create a zombie survival kit of their own. Start with an old lunch box or similar carrying case. Throw in some fun band-aids. The kinds with super heroes on them might make any zombie fight-related scrapes a bit less scary. Stickers are a fun addition, that don’t take up much space but can provide quiet entertainment when needed. Add some detailed coloring books with markers, to keep them occupied when the power goes out and there is no longer a thing called television or the internet. It will take them a long time to finish coloring each picture and you can hang them on the walls of your house to cover up any random blood splatters.
Feel free to add some granola bars and juice boxes, although if your kids are anything like mine, those items will be consumed before you even finish making the kit. If you want to have them around after the apocalypse hits, hide them somewhere in the house. My underwear drawer has been a good choice for me, since none of my kids would even consider opening that horrific drawer, even to search for stashed chocolate.
If you want the kids to feel truly useful, make up some bulls eye targets. They can practice accuracy with their Nerf guns, then slowly move up to BB guns, and finally on to real zombie killing weapons. Just like toddler Johnny likes to walk behind dad while he’s cutting the grass, pretending that his plastic mower shooting out bubbles is actually doing something useful, a preschooler will want to follow mom and dad’s examples when it comes to zombie attacks. They can quickly graduate from pretend play that involves their Little Tykes kitchen to target practice that will actually turn into a useful skill.
If you have a baby under the age of 18 months who still drinks formula, you might consider doing anything you can to start breastfeeding. It is possible, I’ve heard, to get that milk flowing again and you won’t have to stress about running out of formula. Or better yet, go ahead and teach that one-year-old to drink from a cup, so he can drink the water you’ve stored for the rest of the family. Consider buying some of the drink mixes that contain vitamins, like Carnation Instant Breakfast and even Slim Fast and its knock offs. Getting vitamins into growing kids while you’re working to maintain their survival will be a top priority. And it’s time to stop worrying about the amount of sugar those mixes contain. As long as they’re brushing their teeth often, to keep the cavities away, sugar will become a natural fuel to assist them in keeping up in the survival game.
Stay tuned tomorrow for the second half of this post, including books and movies your kids might want to watch. Once they realize zombies are real, and we are smarter than their brain-eating, uncoordinated bodies, they might just find some comfort.