Max received a fire safety and emergency coloring and activity book from his pre-school. He has been working very hard on coloring all of the pages and recently he asked me for my assistance with one of the word searches. I sat next to him at the table and we searched for words like "escape" and "hazard" and "fire engine". Once we finished the search Max turned the page and the next topic was calling 9-1-1.
You hear and read stories all the time about how some 3 year old saved his grandmother because he knew how to call 9-1-1. And you are impressed that a child knew to call 9-1-1 that you forget that it must have sucked for that child to actually had to have called 9-1-1 in the first place. I figured with the activity book in front of me it would be a good time to discuss the topic with Max. I mean I could always use the coloring book as a reference guide, except I would have to solve the puzzle first in order to get guidance. Maybe they should cover this topic of calling 9-1-1 on MommyCast.
I showed Max which button to push to turn on our phone, and how to listen for the dial tone before dialing. I explained that 9-1-1 is the phone number for the police, ambulance and the fire department all at one location and he is only ever to dial 9-1-1 if there is an emergency.
"What kind of emergency?" He asked.
I looked at the activity book. "If the house was fire."
"But I am supposed to get out of the house if it is on fire and wait for you and mommy at the end of the driveway."
"Yes. You are right. If the house is on fire you just get out. Right."
Stupid activity book.
I thought for a minute and said "Just say mommy was not home, and I fell off a ladder while I was painting crown molding for the baby and I hit my head so hard that I could not wake up, that is when you should call 9-1-1."
"Only if you fall off the ladder?"
"No, but if I got hurt in any other way and I could not use the phone then you call 9-1-1."
"But you won't get hurt Dad."
"But can you imagine if I did?"
"No. You won't get hurt."
"No I won't. But just picture in your mind that I was not home and something happened to mommy and she was not okay, you could call 9-1-1."
"Mommy won't get hurt."
"But if she does..."
Max cut me off, "I don't want to call 9-1-1."
I could tell I was scaring him and I decided on a different approach. I did not want him to have nightmares about Lauren or I getting hurt. Maybe I was throwing too much at him, asking to imagine his parents being hurt and all. But I also wanted him to be okay with calling 9-1-1. Again, the coloring book was offering no help.
I pointed to our neighbors shed. "Do you see that shed out there? If that shed was on fire, you should call 9-1-1."
"That shed?" Maxfield asked and pointed in the backyard.
"How would that shed catch fire?"
"That doesn't matter..."
Max cut me off. "Oh I know. If a dragon sneezes on that shed then, then I will call 9-1-1."
I hope and pray that we have no serious accidents at our house, but if we do, I hope they are caused by dragons.