Tuesday, April 20, 2010

don't try this at home

Bryan has been working a different kind of schedule lately. He has been gone for a week at a time, leaving me to be a single mom to our two youngsters. It is tiring. So last night, I collapsed into bed and noticed that I was feeling a little light-headed (probably from some serious chemical deficiency like potassium or chocolate). I thought, “Great, I’ll probably pass out in my sleep and Wesley won’t be able to wake me up in the morning.” And then I started thinking about what would happen if Wesley really couldn’t wake me up for some reason. I tried to imagine exactly what would happen and my little vision ended with Wesley wandering in the street until some neighbor found him…

Well, that whole experience made me realize that we have never discussed what to do if Mommy trips on a toy car, breaking all her limbs, and passes out from the pain. It’s not like the old days when we were taught to “dial 911.” It isn’t that easy anymore. I mean, I can’t even find my own stinking cell phone half the time – how would I expect my three year old to find it in an emergency?

I started the lesson by asking Wesley what he would do if Mommy couldn’t walk or talk and needed help. He just stared at me blankly – I could see that there were some ideas in his mind – ideas like climb up on the forbidden top bunk and play with the blender…so I tried to steer him in the right direction. I told him that he would need to call the police. Then I got my cell phone and gave him a lesson in how to dial 911 and hit “send.” It was complicated by the facts that he doesn’t know the number “9” yet and that he doesn’t really know which button is “send.” And that you can’t actually practice it or you call the police for real. Hmmmm.

I also tried to impress upon him the importance of NOT dialing this unless there is really an emergency. I told him if he called the number and there wasn’t an emergency, the police would come to our house. Telling him this was a bad idea. Three year old boys WANT the police to come to their house – the only thing better than the police at your house is a pet elephant that can tap dance. Which led to this conversation:

Wes: I need to use your phone a minute.
Me: Why?
Wes: I am going to call the police.
Me: Wes, remember, we don’t call them unless there is a real emergency.
Wes: I am going to tell them some bad news. That once a house was on fire somewhere. And that Wyatt hit me this morning with a block. It’s an emergency, Mommy.

Three and a half might have been too young for this lesson. Suddenly the vision of Wesley wandering in the street and a neighbor finding him doesn’t seem so bad.

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