Taking Bets on the Fire Drill

Vivian in the garden

Fire drills. Schools have them, and businesses have them, so it stands to reason that day care centres and the preschools would have them. And, if you think about it, in places where there are a lot of children about under the age of four, it’s more important than ever to know what the emergency procedures are, and how to implement them.

Thinking along those lines, the initial annoyance parents’ had over the announcement that there would be a fire drill today gave way to grim acceptance. We knew that it was going to be disrupting our children’s routines, but it was for the best. So there was a fair amount of anticipation in the kitchen as we gathered around, sipping our coffee, waiting for the fire alarm to go off.

The emergency procedures are clear: the teachers and supervisors are responsible for getting the children out of the building, and while parents are allowed to pick up their children in the hallways, they’re not allowed to go into the classroom themselves since all of that going in and out would seriously complicate the supervisors’ jobs to ensure that (a) all children are accounted for and (b) that all children are brought out of the building as quickly as possible. Really, we were told, the parents should just hoof it, and wait outside for the teachers and supervisors to bring the kids to them.

I’m going to be optimistic and hope that this will be typical parent behaviour should a fire drill ever not be a drill.

So, it was something of an air of a carnival as the bell rang, and parents gathered their things (which had been neatly organized in anticipation of the bell) and walked out of the building in an orderly fashion. We gathered at the meeting point, and then took bets over which class would be out first.

The Early Years centres serve parents with children up to the age of six. The pre-school programs are divided into age group. We have the Infant Room (0-1), the Purple Room (1-2 — Vivian goes here), the Yellow Room (2-3), the Blue Room (3-3 years, 9 months) and the Orange Room (3 years, 10 months to 6).

First out, to nobody’s surprise: the Infant Room. We figured all the supervisors had to do was scoop up the babies like little squirming footballs, and carry them out, two to a supervisor. The Purple Room took a little longer. The toddlers still had to be carried out, two to a supervisor, but we figured that they had to run and catch the tykes first. The Blue and Orange Rooms came out soon after that, like kid caterpillers, with all the kids clinging to the long class rope, and dead last was the Yellow Room. Two year olds clinging to ropes. Think about that a moment. We figured the supervisors of that room probably earned danger pay.

Well, we lived. The building cleared in under three minutes. And Vivian was only mildly disrupted by this alteration of her routine. We didn’t even miss snack time.

A Surprisingly Busy Weekend

It’s been a while since I skipped two days in a row on my blog. I still enjoy blogging; it’s just that things have been busier than usual, lately.

I had a good time at the Waterloo-Wellington blogstravaganza on Saturday, as six of us gathered to welcome Idealistic Pragmatist who was visiting all the way from Alberta. Greg Staples as was Greg Bester and the Canadian Cynic as well as one fine blogging lady whose name I regret I did not catch and one blog reader, whose name I also did not catch, but he’s more than welcome to post to this blog.

Really, it was the blogosphere in microcosm; six bloggers spanning the political spectrum, and one blog reader. The political discussions did get a little fast and furious, but conservative bloggers will be glad to know that Greg Staples held his own.

I’ve also been working on a few projects, including preparing for the Toronto launch of Fathom Five and the accompanying blogstravaganza. Bob Tarantino will be there to promote the upcoming release of his book, Under Arrest. I’ve just ordered the snacks for the reading, so I’m looking forward to seeing you out there.

Other than these things, three other things are occupying my time. I’m still tinkering with the first draft of The Night Girl in advance of sending it off to the beta readers for their comments, and I’m also working on a promotional idea for Fathom Five in advance of the Great Harry Potter Weekend. I’m less sure if something will come of the latter, but stay tuned, as there have been some promising developments.

Finally, I have to admit that Erin and I have been spending a lot of our free time together watching Heroes. We have the first season on DVD and have been burning through the episodes. We’ve just finished Six Months Ago and are about halfway through the first season. What an amazing show! It demands so much of the audience; I’m frankly shocked that it made it through its first season. But the storytelling was wonderfully done, and it is quite an intelligent (and funny) thriller, and that’s something we could use a lot more of on television.

So, until next time, save the cheerleader, save the world.

And Just Because I Can

More Vivian pictures:


Vivian takes her slice of pizza…


Measures it up…


Goes for it!

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