Sunday, March 11, 2018


Thursday night last week, as we were heading up for bed, my daughter asked me if I was going to die.  I was a little surprised, but I said yes, eventually.  Everybody dies.  She wanted to know if she was going to die too, and I told her yes, eventually she would die too.  Then wanted to know when this was going to happen.  I said, it can happen any time, even tomorrow, but most likely it would not happen for many years. 

This obviously really bothered her.  She told me that she didn't want me to die.  That she would miss me, which I found touching. 

Then she started asking me about people getting shot.  I guess in her mind, people only got shot with arrows, so I clarified that actually usually they got shot with bullets.  Didn't she know that from all the lockdown drills they had at her school?  She... had not realized that was what the lockdown drills were for.  It seems they do the drills, but don't tell the children why?  Or maybe they did tell them why, and it didn't register because the vocabulary was foreign to her.  In any case, now she knows about guns and bullets and getting shot and why we have lockdown drills at our schools. 

She wanted to know whether a man was going to climb in my window and shoot me in the night.  I told her it wasn't impossible, but it was very unlikely. 

I was relieved when I woke up the next morning and she hadn't come to me in the night with a nightmare.  When I got home post-call the next day, feeling guilty about our conversation, I agreed to come to her school to talk to her class about anesthesia. 

Compared to this, the sex talk is going to be nothing. 


nicoleandmaggie said...

We had a similar conversation a couple of weeks ago after a particularly scary lock-down drill. :( DC2 kept telling me she wished I hadn't told her or answered her questions honestly. Then later, they had been going to do a dance involving shooting each other with finger guns for a kindergarten assembly, but that freaked out a bunch of the kids (including mine) so they changed it to something else (the word "gun" in the song got changed to "pride" so it no longer rhymes, and instead of shooting they punch their fists up in the air).

I hate this.

tatjana said...

Questions about death are very common are very common around the age of 5 (not sure about her age?) I would say it is a developmental drage almost.

Anonymous said...

Questions about death are common at this age. Questions about gunmen are only common in the US.

tatjana said...

I don't really know whether they are only common in the US; but the children cannot stay insulated from the world around us and that's ok, we as parents must talk to them and explain and bring the worries to a manageable level. My daughter (in New Zealand) worries about earthquakes and thats perfectly rational.

Nicoleandmaggie said...

In the UK, parents can answer that gun deaths are pretty rare and not to worry. I can’t do the same. With earthquakes I can explain that we’ve earthquake proofed buildings so even if there is one, most likely they’ll be ok. This is not the same—every other danger we’ve taken common sense prevention measures. Even with car crashes—cars are safer, etc. but not gun violence. We don’t even know how prevalent it is because we don’t collect the data, and the data that are collected are in pretty bad shape.