Monday, April 12, 2010

I'm pretty sure they will not make it out of the house....

One of the houses we lived in growing up was this ancient farm house. It seemed like every time my parents left me in charge while they went somewhere a huge storm would come through and the house would shake so badly it would just freak me out. I remember many times going over in my head, "If there is a tornado just have all the kids run to the bathtub." I remember one storm in particular was so bad (a funnel touched down in the neighboring town my parents were visiting) I made everyone kneel in the living room and we all went around the room and prayed that our house wouldn't get blown away. I just pictured a scene right out of The Wizard of Oz.

My parents were also worried about how old the house was because they made us do fire drills in case the house caught fire. Though, they also made us do fire drills in California in a house that was much newer so maybe it wasn't because the house was so old....(maybe they were just being responsible, prepared parents?)

Now that I have children my childhood anxiety has gotten better in some ways and much worse in others. I sometimes find myself lying in bed at night worrying that something terrible will happen like our house catching fire and all my babies burning up.

A little coo-coo? Yes, just a little.

I decided we needed to have a fire drill with the boys. It was a pretty interesting experience and I'm not sure if it alleviated my fears at all. In fact, I'm pretty sure that if there is a fire there will be three little crispy bodies (and a crispy doggy).

We sat the boys down in the living room and explained that we were going to make the fire alarm go off and that we had placed construction paper flames in various places in the house that would let them know where the fire was. Then we explained what they should do if there was a fire--crawl, feel the door, all that kind of stuff.

Diamond had one of his separation anxiety spills a few months ago and tore up the screen to the boy's window so it made it easier for them to climb out the window. We showed them where to meet if there was a fire in the front of the house and where to meet if there was a fire in the back of the house and told them if there was a fire in the hallway they needed to climb out of the window and help each other out.

We practiced a few times and a few times they would just run right by the flames and other times they would run to the flame and try and put them out (resulting in me and Mike yelling at them that they were now on fire and burning to death....nice way to scare them right?). Mostly though, Eli was a problem because he couldn't get out of the window. Hopefully, if there is a fire, it won't be left up to the boys to get themselves out.

I'm glad we did it and I hope we don't ever have a fire. Since then we've caught the boys climbing out the window a few times and had to explain that we only ever climb out of windows in the house is on fire.


Jess and Jen said...

The escape plan that causes me anxiety is how to get all the girls out of the house if there is an intruder while Jess is out of town. I have a great plan in my head...I hope I never have to use it! -Jen

The Duke said...

Hey, I like Rice Krispies!
Hope you don't have to use the plan, either. Did it scare the boys to death or did they like the drill?

Jason said...

I think the only reason we did fire drills in CA is because that is one of the requirements for Firemanship merit badge and I think maybe the Emergency Preparedness merit badge also. My boys loved doing fire drills when they were young. Any excuse to climb through a window.

Jess and Jason said...

I just really like the picture of Mike and Diamond crawling behind the boys.

My HUGE (irrational?) fear is the kids being stolen/molested in a public bathroom. Austin is 8 now and can no longer go into the bathroom with me in a public freaks me out every single time.

Kristi, Liezl, Quincy, and Josh said...

this is such a good idea! you guys have the BEST fhe.

Jess and Jen said...

Way to go. You just taught them how to sneak out of the house at midnight.

I can see it now: Will sneaks into Isaac's room and says, "Hey Ike, there's a 'fire' in the house. We've gotta get out." Off to the ladies they go.

Rachael said...

We did that for a FHE lesson a couple weeks ago. And since then, they've tried climbing out the windows a couple times. I told them only during emergencies, or with our permission they could do that.
Just today, Hyrum climbed through the window and I caught Angela following right after him...had to sit him on time out and remind him of the rules.

And, by the way, I don't think you're coo-coo at all. I think you're probably pretty normal among Mom's. And I definitely don't think you're lame parents. None of our birthday parties or gifts have been much more than what you've pulled off. Some parents just know what's really important. And I don't think a one or two year old knows the difference anyway. I think some kids' expectations get off the charts at a young age because of over indulgence. I love keeping life simple and mostly trying to teach my kids gratitude and what true happiness is made of. You guys are awesome parents!

Jed and Kera said...

I can't tell you that you aren't coo coo, ... but I think all mom's are. :O) I am awake right now at 1 am because I don't feel comfortable in out new house yet so I'm "standing guard" haha