Thursday, February 28, 2008


So....just wondering....when do you teach your kids to dial 9-1-1 in case of an emergency?

I was asking myself this question the other day while I was going to the bathroom enjoying some peace and quiet. OK - seriously - where else would I find peace and quiet at my house? AND usually it's not for that long because Catherine comes upstairs and sits on the step stool and wants to converse with me.

In the few moments before I was joined by one of the girls I got to wondering what would happen if I passed out or fell and was unconscious and I was home alone with the girls. I know, pretty deep thoughts for toilet time - you don't even want to know what I think about before I fall asleep! I just pictured them crying and yelling for me but not knowing what to do.

This in line with the thoughts that I believe most of us have when we're home alone for the night or we've just heard a story about some type of tragedy averted by a quick thinking parent/adult. Who else has developed a plan in the chance that there's an intruder in your home? Is it usually a pretty ridiculous one? Because mine alternate between getting both children out of their rooms and into mine (if not mine, then Ella's, b/c Catherine doesn't have a real door - see I have thought this through) and somehow pushing a dresser against the door since we don't have locks (I'm counting on having alot of adrenaline!) OR waiting until the intruder is at the top of the stairs and beat him (or her, I'm an equal opportunist here) so he (or she) falls down the stairs. Not sure what I would use to accomplish that though...a lamp is the first thing that comes to mind but all we have are sconces. Darn. Or, I could follow the advice of some informative email I've received once or twice and have my car keys with me so I could set off the panic button and scare them away. That seems much more reasonable.

At our gourmet dinner club this weekend somehow we started talking about house fires and smoke alarms and fun stimulating things like that. My plan in case of a fire was to take both girls out onto the little roof outside Catherine's window and then somehow survive the one & 1/2 story jump to the pavement below - but hey, it's better than the two story option, right? I said
was because I recently amended my plan to go out the bathroom window because then we would be on the porch roof and have a one story jump, grass and hopefully neighbors coming to catch us. Plan B involves getting soaking wet and wrapping wet towels around our heads and mouths and running straight down the stairs as fast as possible through the smoke and flames because our door is right at the bottom. Of course I would use a wet towel to open the door so my hand wouldn't melt off because of the heat.

Are you impressed with how much I have thought this through? Anyone else out there care to share their plans because I know I'm not alone in this?!! Perhaps you might not have as detailed of a plan but I guarantee once you start typing, those details will flow.

So anyway - back to my initial question - when should kids learn to call 9-1-1? I just taught Ella this week, but it's tough because I don't want her to accidentally dial it or do it when it's not an emergency. Also, there's a very real chance that Ella would not be able to find one of the three portable phones that are never on their chargers. We're lucky because we have an EMS station down the street from us so perhaps I'll have to teach Ella a plan B - to run down to the EMS station and get help that way. I know, I know, I'm so practical!


Cindy said...

Mego- somehow it doesn't surprise me that you have this all planned out. I think its good to have a plan of action ready ahead of time because when you are in the moment if you aren't ready anything can happen. When I actually had to call 9-1-1 when my father-in-law's barn was on fire I didn'tknow know the barns addresss so had to give my own. Its weird you think you know what you are going to do if soemthing like a fire or an intruder happens but the heat of the moment is scary. Therefore I think your planning ahead is great. Maybe you should go get a baseball bat since all you have is sconces, or one of your lacrosse sticks shoud work just as well also.

Anonymous said...

I, too have thought this through....I have yet to inform the whole family of these plans.....I always find that living in ignorance is way more cozy! Like, a fire would never happen, or no one is coming into our house!

Anywho....I'm in the market for an emergency ladder. It rolls up to store easily and in case of fire, it hooks onto your window ledge and unravels all the way to the ground. Unfortunately, they can be rather expensive! That sucks!

My niece dialed 911 accidentally when she was one. The police showed up at the house and questioned the mom and dad idividually and DID NOT think the false alarm was funny or cute at all! So, I have yet to cross that bridge!


Crafty P said...

great question, Megan. I just started teaching Gabriel his telephone number and house number. So, I suppose talking about 911 emergencies are next.
Glad to hear you've given potty training a halt. Seems best since little Catherine is totally not that into it.
Caleb is a doll baby. seriously beautiful little boy. Makes me want another baby... eventually. Still enjoying my TWO babies!
Loved the wrestling video- so funny!
thanks for your thoughts and prayers! we're doing tremendously better!

Suzy said...

i have thought about what to do if there was a fire. i haven't taught my kids 911 yet, mainly because they are just learning their numbers. maybe i'll do it this summer...or next fall...or...

Teri said...

I teach my preschoolers about 911 & we take a lot of time discussing what constitutes an "emergency" and what does not...

renee said...

I thought our conversation around the gourmet club table was so funny! wait, not funny.... good, but kind of funny... just how we were all talking about it (you know what I mean) :)

I too have thought both intruder and fire scenario out in my head while lying awake at night. Believe it or not, I still have my mase that my dad bought me when I attended NYU :) It's under my nightstand next to my bed. Do those things expire? That's one Plan of mine - use that and grab the kids and run down the stairs! My other plans agree with yours of jumping out the window and running down the stairs through the fire :)

Rhea said...

Both my boys (as toddlers) accidently dialed 911. Amazing, huh?! Embarrassing as well!

Cute post. We mothers always imagine the worst and have to prepare for it as well!

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