#Microblog Mondays 11: Play Dead.


(Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.)


A few weeks ago, we got an email from Owen’s school principal: The school would have their first lockdown drill of the school year, and they really want parents to follow up with the children. They want parents to reassure their children that it’s really rare to need a lockdown drill, but that it’s important to practice… just in case.

O comes home that day and tells me, happily, I found the BEST hiding place, Mom! No one could see me! He describes where it is, and then tells me that a couple of his classmates were scared because they were afraid their hiding places weren’t good enough.

But mine was PERFECT, he said.

In hide and seek, I have to say… my kid is a really bad hider. He’ll find a place where no one can see him, but then practically vibrate with excitement, unable to contain his enthusiasm for how perfect his hiding place is. Too often he pops out and says, I’M HERE!  He just can’t keep a secret, no matter what.

So I ask him, neutrally, what he’d do if a stranger came into his classroom during lockdown – not a teacher, not a fireman, not a police officer.

I think, he says, I’d whisper to him.

He has no idea what could happen.

But I do.

And so I tell him, as neutrally and age appropriate as I possibly can make my words, that if there’s a stranger in his classroom when there’s a lockdown, he needs to stay hidden, put his hands over his mouth to remind himself he shouldn’t whisper or talk. It’s important to stay in your hiding place, I tell him. And that if something happens where he is scared or needs to shout or isn’t sure what to do, he should close his eyes and lie down and…

And I pause, because what I’m thinking is:

Play dead.

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8 Responses to #Microblog Mondays 11: Play Dead.

  1. Turia says:

    E. is a really bad hider too, for mostly the same reason.

    I wonder if there is a way you can detach the lockdown hiding from the game of hide ‘n seek? Maybe that would help him understand that it’s not a game?

    But I hope he never, ever, ever needs to use his hiding abilities. And I’m so sorry you’re having to go through that.

  2. Mel says:

    Well this broke my heart. I remember when the kids first came home and talked about that drill. And how the ChickieNob got to hide in this tiny cupboard because she was the smallest in the class and able to crawl inside. I couldn’t breathe as she told me about it.

  3. Justine says:

    Oh, Lord. Our kids’ schools do this, too. When they’re younger, they say it’s a practice for a loose wild animal. I. now understands, sort of. But do they really ever know? I don’t think so.

    A friend of our was subbing at N’s school the other day when they had a drill, and she found herself sobbing in the closet as all of the children did exactly what you describe here.

  4. noemi says:

    This post really struck me. Actually, I cried reading this. I cried for our kids that they have to learn to hide like this in their own schools and I cried for us as parents that we have to have these conversations with them. It’s not right. It’s really f*cking f*cked up.

  5. D says:

    Ugh it totally sucks that this is what our kids (and us) have to worry about now. When I was little the only drills we had were fire and tornado.

  6. Barelysane says:

    Ouch. I have never thought of it that way. I know MG understands the basics of it now and we actually had a code yellow last year but we were never told what the issue was, which, in our area COULD actually be for an animal. I pray I never have to find out what my daughter would do in an actual code red. I pray none of us ever do.

  7. LAM says:

    This left me with a lump in my throat. I’ve struggled with lockdown drills with my youngest and having to explain school shootings to my teen. I hate that this is their reality, and these are the things kids even have to wonder about. I’m glad my youngest doesn’t understand beyond “if a bad person came to the school” but I’m sad she even has to consider that at all. We owe kids so much more.

  8. Bronwyn Joy says:

    This is just chilling.

    Just, I’m not sure what to say, but it chills me.

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