By Heather Sadlemire
A sucker for any type of post-apocalyptic cinema, I often find myself weighing my own odds of survival when that inevitable plague destroys the world as we know it once and for all. Considering that the majority of the exercise my hot mom bod sees is my leisurely lunchtime strolls around Target, I know that I certainly will not be able to rely on physical endurance to get me through (at least not in the early days.) Nope. It will be a combination of my good sense, intelligence … and all of the crap I’m always going to clean out of my Jeep “someday.”
Because I know I’ll need other mamas around in order to form alliances, let me share with you the items you can scavenge for survival kits right from your own driveway!
We’ll start with the easiest one – Food. I’ll guess that the average mom has a month’s worth of rations here; probably two if we start removing carseats. Because, the thing is, the food we toss at our kids in the car never.goes.bad.
On the drive to preschool yesterday morning, I looked in the mirror and saw my daughter going to town on a Ziploc of M&Ms. Where did she procure said candy? From under her car seat, Tommy Pickles-style. Don’t ask me when they entered the car. Couldn’t tell you if my life depended on it. It wasn’t in the last week, that’s for sure. But because it was 8am, I confiscated them from her and to make sure she wasn’t going to die, I had a handful myself. They tasted fine.
So, here, we’re looking for rogue candy, goldfish, those cups of Cheez-Its that grandparents like to buy, etc. To stay healthy, keep your eyes peeled for stray applesauce pouches and fruit snacks. Anything from Trader Joes immediately falls in the Healthy Category.
Kindling – Lucky for us, the apocalypse is always going to start when we have a bag full of library books that are four days overdue. That backpack full of “artwork” that never makes its way inside the house? Goodbye scribble-scraps, hello warmth! Gather all of the crayons your child has insisted on bringing home after every restaurant visit, only to have let them fall between the seats of the car. These will double as candles. That People Magazine Prince Tribute Edition that you’ve kept tucked above the passenger visor since May 2016? Don’t be alone in a world that’s too cold. (See what I did there? Prince? Get it?) Set that sucker on fire!
First Aid & Medicine – As we’ve previously mentioned Trader Joe’s, you’re going to want to look under the seats for a roll of stickers your kids have been given the last time you went shopping there. Although the adhesive isn’t great, these can sub as Band-Aids in a pinch. Also, I’m not a chemist, but I bet whatever is growing inside my kid’s Little Mermaid thermos in the back could possibly be penicillin? Not sure. Although, I’m positive it was juice at one time, so, at the very least, it’s likely fermented now and if I’m in real pain, I’ll just skim the growths off the top and throw the rest back like a champ. At least that will take the edge off.
Keep your eyes on the lookout for glue sticks, the three containers of sunscreen you’ll inevitably find and that bottle of children’s Tylenol that your husband SWORE he bought that one time. (Come to find out, he did. Hmm. Oh well.)
Weapons – This includes everything that you never thought could be dangerous until you’re driving 65mph down a highway and see a preschooler wielding it in the backseat. This may include ice scrapers, plastic sticks from popped balloons, Hot Wheels when thrown at someone’s head with fierce velocity – your options here are endless.
My daughter, for instance, loves to collect sticks and rocks. The reasons are unknown, and also, mildly irritating. That is, until the one day I am able to use them to form some sort of caveman spear to provide for and protect my family.
So, when the time comes and the world starts falling apart, don’t get trampled over at the nearest gun supply store. Don’t get lost in a swarm of people at the grocery store. You have everything you need, right in your own car!
Also, the next time you get into that sticky, disgusting mess that you drive in every day and silently shame yourself for letting it get that bad, just as I do every, single day, remind yourself that, really, it’s all for the good of your family. After all, if you throw away those stray French fries, what sort of treat are you going to have for your son when you have to celebrate his birthday in a world with no McDonalds?
About the Author
Heather is a marketing director and NY native (of the Upstate variety) who has to cover the last few pages of a good book with her hands so that she doesn’t skim ahead and ruin the ending. In between scouring the clearance racks at Target and stalking Anna Kendrick’s Twitter feed, she performs Disney numbers for her daughter (a preschooler who doesn’t object) and husband (who knew what he was getting into when he put a ring on it.) She has been featured on Scary Mommy and Sammiches and Psych Meds. Follow her on Twitter.