Waldorf In The Home

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Blink with Joy

After last Saturday's events of evacuating our home I could no longer allow myself to react in a frenzied, terrified motion of panic and disorder. My little ones saw my fear and this scared them - as it is only natural for children to look at their parent's face and access the situation. I need to change how I respond to these alarms - so I gathered a plan. First I needed a bag, I don't have any extras of anything here in my home and I found a really cool hand-made bag at my favorite cafe - now I had an excuse to buy it. I love this cafe - it is within walking distance from our house and offers healthy, delicious meals that make it impossible not to go there a few times a week. So, I packed the bag with a spare set of keys (couldn't find my keys on the first evacuation) sweaters and socks for the girls, and their lovies (spare sets that they don't know about.) I have to keep the bag light in case I have to carry both girls weighing together 76 pounds! I also bought two pairs of these. The sound of the alarm is what terrorizes the little ones the most - fire to them is just an abstract thought at this age. They loved the new pink earmuffs and insisted on wearing them while they played this afternoon. Their voices grew so loud - like they do when they are lying in the bathtub, ears under the water, I tried to tell them to be quiet but they couldn't hear me. Oh what fun! 

I also had their pediatrician talk to them about their experiences of having to evacuate our home. Ella seemed to be getting depressed, angry and nervous and both were jumpy of every noise they heard. Dr. Mundell was a huge help and I was glad that I made the appointment. 

We had our family's first silent fire drill - we set up a meeting place and we discussed that this was the best place to meet when they heard the fire alarm. Then we explained to the girls that they cannot hide when the alarm sounds. Vivy hid from us on the second evacuation and this really scared me causing me many sleepless nights - nightmares of trying to find Vivian. I then showed the girls what I had packed in my emergency bag and explained that they didn't need to worry about finding Elephant, Caillou,or Deedee (Vivy's blanket.)
 I could see their hearts blink with joy that I would not forget to bring these lovies. Since we already tested the earmuffs, we set off to go outside to safety. We were back in control. 

I don't want to explain too much and make them worry more. I want them to know that I can handle the situation without fear. I want them to know that they have to help and do their part and we will all get out safely. Of course even if they don't do their part we will get out - this happened on our third evacuation when Geir wasn't home and we all panicked - we were without a plan. 

I have not prepared for a fire - I have prepared for a more peaceful evacuation. 


  1. Is this something they do regularly at your place? I always see your posts that you have these fire drills...smart I guess, but I can understand why the girls would be so scared!
    Good thinking with packing the spare lovies and keys...in the event of "just in case", it would be a nice comfort to your girls to have those familiar treasures.

  2. Traci, they are not fire drills - they are the real deal. There have been three evacuations since late November and at least twenty quick testing of the alarm system - so the alarm goes off without warning then turns off within seconds. Just horrible. I fought with them on informing us when they plan to test and they finally obliged.
    There are 230 units and only 40% filled so I worry how often the alarm will go off when it fills up. Biggest downside to condo living.

  3. Wow...I can't believe that!
    Well good for you for making the best of it and going the extra mile to keep you and your girls calm and prepared.


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