Sunday, January 3, 2010

Mean Mommy Strikes at Midnight

First I must admit...I can be somewhat of an extremist (Ha Ha - somewhat) and I try not to drip too much of that in my parenting, except in this area. Whew...confession is good.

My mom survived a house fire when she was little and the story of the fire always impacted me. When I was a Social Worker several years ago, I had a client family that had a huge house fire. Their children's bodies were found under the bed and in the closet. Again, huge impact.

I make my kids practice fire drills in the house. We talk about the importance of getting out and not hiding. They learned that they should not leave anything in their path, should feel the door for heat before opening, and how to open their windows if the door is not available. Sometimes I make them practice while wearing backward hoodies (with the hood tied) to simulate the heat, difficulty breathing and darkness. Most drills are after they go to bed. They HATE it! HATE HATE HATE it! But my hope is that they will automatically drop to the floor and crawl out as we practice.

We had a rough summer and had not practiced in a while. Tonight was the night. So at midnight, I sat at the end of the hallway and held the tester button. Lets just say...they did not make good time tonight and there were a few strewn items on their floors that kinda got in the way and boy did I get some *stink eye* looks (and I cannot wait to see what our respite care kid tells her therapist about this one), but they did all get out and....

I heard people putting their shoes and other toys away on their way back to bed. Ha Ha!


Laura said...

Wow! I do in home daycare and we do fire drills once a month. But I don't know that it ever occured to me to do one like you do! I'm sure yours is much more life saving, although something is better than nothing! lol

Happy New Year!

MOM #1 said...

Awesome! Extreme or not, I LOVE the idea and I intend to start implementing it immediately.

I too was a Social Worker in my former life and isn't it funny what things stick with you . . . forever.

Toni said...

So sorry about your mom and your own personal experience with fire related loss. That would be tough to process. :(

You know, I'm guilty of letting the ball drop on this one. It's going to be my belated resolution. Family fire drills. Thanks for the important reminder.
Btw, do you reward yours for a job well done? Might make it a bit more motivating or, dare I say, fun (I know, I know. Fire drills aren't meant to be "fun".) ;)

Life Adapted said...

:)De, you are awesome! I know the kids hate it, but they know on some level that you love them enough to make them hate you sometimes. This is a great reason why the kids need to keep their floors clean in their bedrooms.

Be blessed dear one.