SO, we’re driving home from school and, as you do, I’m giving Billy some advice about why he shouldn’t do something or other, because he could end up hurt, or worse, dead.
It’s a fairly typical parenting technique intended to deter an eight-year-old’s curiosity, hopefully triggering some kind of safety reminder before they stick their fingers in a plug socket or eat 12 packs of Monster Munch in one go.
Then three-year-old Bonnie pipes up: “If you die, you just come back as a zombie anyway.”
Trying not to slam on the brakes, I tell her that zombies are not real, only pretend, and if you die, well, you die. (Not terribly tactful, admittedly).
“Well then, I’d just come back as alive again,” she counters.
“No darling, in real life you don’t come back if you die . . .” I started to argue, before realising it was not the time to throw more “No, dead is definitely dead” arguments at my toddler. I changed the subject to something less complicated, like particle physics.
But where has she got this idea of Zombies and ‘coming back to life’ from?
Obviously she’s been paying more attention to her brothers playing computer games at the weekends than we (bad parents) had realised.
Even more reasons to marshal their viewing habits and keep TVs and video games out of bedrooms. It’s not only those playing who get affected.