Posted by: Hannah | 11/09/2011

the roof is on fire!

Ron & Arthur go to preschool together two mornings a week. I drive them there and back. Packing everyone into and out of the minivan for a 4km. round trip is getting to be a huge pain… and the weather hasn’t really gotten cold yet. I can only imagine what a giant nuisance it’s going to be when everyone needs puffy winter coats, hats, mittens, and boots.

But anyway, it’s good for the boys to go to preschool. They love it and I don’t begrudge the inconvenience (much). Certainly in Ron’s case it’s made a huge difference – tantrums are fewer, he’s much better at sharing and helping out, and he can draw faces now instead of page after page of blobs.

Today the kids went on a field trip to the local fire station. Parents were asked to bring the kids, hang around for an hour or so while they went through some age-appropriate activities, and then take them straight home. So, with no school on Friday because of Remembrance Day, this was one of those weeks where I paid for six hours of fun & merriment and only got one. That I had to participate in.

But! The teachers there are delightful, and they knew I’d have a hard time getting the boys to any kind of a field trip without having extra kids along. So they welcomed Marie and the Monkey, as well.

The very nice firefighters explained about when to call 911, how to ‘stop, drop and roll’, and about setting a meeting place outside of your house in case of fire. Ron piped up and said his meeting place would be at his Nanny’s house. The firefighter said “oh, does your Nanny live next door?” to which Ron replied indignantly “no, she lives a long far drive away”. There then followed a discussion about meeting places needing to be close by.

Then one of the firefighters dressed in full gear, a piece at a time, with reminders at each step that “it’s still me, Kyle!” Apparently there is a major problem with rescuing young children from fires; they see a huge, masked man breathing like Darth Vader crawling towards them yelling, and they panic and run away. Sometimes they hide. The hope is that this little presentation will help them not to be so frightened if they are ever in that situation.

I never really thought about it before – who ever does? – but as Kyle added piece after piece of equipment, more and more kids started backing away from him. In the end he got all of them to at least offer him a high-five, but it took a while.

After the demonstration each kid got to sit in the driver’s seat of the fire truck. They all came away with a plastic fire hat, a tattoo with the department logo, and a booklet of information “for mom & dad” (I’ve got four of those tucked in my purse.)

They had a great time. And thank goodness for it. The time change on the weekend plus the full moon tomorrow night is making my little flock of turkeys really, REALLY cranky. And slow. And is bringing out their usual personality quirks times a million. So Marie’s bossiness has hit new heights, Monkey has been crying and screaming over everything, Arthur hasn’t said a complete sentence that wasn’t in a squeaky baby-whatever-the-fuck-animal voice, and Ron keeps sidling up behind me and rubbing his face over the back of my hand like I’m a moving comfort object.

Suffice it to say the distraction of the field trip couldn’t have been timed better. And they have homework! They have to practice ‘stop, drop and roll!’ So after nap, we’re all going outside to run some fire drills and roll around on the grass.

All because I want them to be safe, ya’ll. And that’s the only reason. 😉



  1. My kids had similar trips when they were in preschool, and I had never thought before how scary a firefighter might look to a child. I thought it was very worthwhile. BUT – there is another important reason to go to the firehall. The firefighters. RAWR. Just wait, I have to find a link. Here it is:

  2. I remember a family friend’s son who got the 911 talk at school and they told him to call 911 if he was ever in trouble.

    Well, he ended up waking up one night when his parents had gone out, and called 911 because he had been left alone in the house.

    Slight problem – his big sister, age 17, was doing homework in her room the whole time.

    Much embarassment ensued.

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