Last night the fire alarm went off for about a minute. We had talked about what to do in the event this happened, but nothing went as planned.
For starters, Kerri went into sheer panic mode. She ran to her room to grab her teddy bears, was underfoot and then just shut down and stood there (blocking the stairs) crying hysterically, yelling "I don't want to die!".
My husband panicked also. First he was running around trying to figure out which alarm on which floor had gone off. Then he was running around wasting time looking for a flashlight, and a ladder (to turn the alarm off and check the attic for smoke). He was also yelling nervously at Kerri to get out of the way (she was following him around crying).
And to add to the chaos, Pookie was barking constantly, running around underfoot as well.
And me? I was trying to calm Kerri, trying to calm hubby, trying to calm Pookie. And looking for a flashlight...instead of doing what I had planned to do in the event of a fire. None of us left the house. None of us grabbed the phone or valuables just in case. None of us followed our pre-discussed emergency exit routine.
We had talked about what to do. We did none of it. Had this been a real fire, we wasted precious time and may have endangered ourselves.
So the lesson here is: once you have a plan for what to do in the event of a fire, surprise your family one day by (not telling them) setting off the alarm and see what happens. Your family may just learn a valuable lesson.
We are going to be having a(nother) talk this weekend.
Life with Kerri learned a lesson.