Friday, September 19, 2008

This is only a drill

A couple of weeks ago, WCK's school had a fire drill. The teacher told me the drill made WCK a little bit nervous and that she cried (WCK cried, not the teacher. Although if I had to be in charge of 18 three-year-olds, I'd probably cry a lot. And drink.).

When I picked WCK up on Tuesday, the teacher told me that they had another drill, and that WCK cried again. This one was a "shelter in place" drill. I'd never heard of this before. Back in my day, we only had two kinds of drills: Fire drills (everyone went outside) and "disaster" drills (everyone went into the hallway). I think the disaster we were officially preparing for was a tornado, although I suppose a school hallway can protect from a wide range of disasters -- nuclear war, swarms of locusts, bear attacks -- so they didn't want to label it for just one particular disaster. I remember we always had to take our math books with us during disaster drills. The theory was that if debris started to rain down on us, we'd put the math books over our heads and be protected. This was either a really dumb plan or math books were made out of heavy-duty materials in the '80s. I'm not sure.

Anyway, WCK's teacher explained that a shelter in place drill is in case "someone gets into the school who is not supposed to be there, and we have to call 911." I'm guessing that "someone" = "gun-toting maniac". Later, I Googled "shelter in place" and found the same drill can be used in case of chemical attacks by terrorists. Nice. Either way, the kids all go into the bathroom together, close the door, turn off the lights, sit on the floor and "hide".

I can't say that I blame WCK for crying over this one. I mean, I'm glad --very glad -- that the school has a plan to protect my child, but knowing that that it's necessary for three-year-olds to have to prepare for these kinds of things makes me want to start crying myself. Maybe WCK wasn't crying out of fear: She was presenting a moving commentary on today's society. Cry away, WCK. Cry away!


My Profile said...

Love, Love, Love your blog. I am MM survivor 2.5 years, 45 with triplet 9 year old boys. Love WCK stories. Thanks for making me laugh.


acsgreatwest said...

My name is Kim and I am working with the American Cancer Society on a new project that will give newly diagnosed cancer patients access to ACS’s “Patient Navigators” online, through a chat window. It’s a free service and we’d like to expand the program if there is a good response. Considering your readership, I was hoping you would consider making a post to let readers know it exists? The landing page is at: if you want to check it out. My email address is if you would like to email me directly.
Thanks so much,

The Mama Monkey said...

I am crying with you, too! One little perk of being over here...less weirdos! Or at least it seems that way...but they must have them...where are they? OK, I am creeping myself out now...

Jen said...

OK, thank you. Glad I'm not the only one who was surprised by this type of drill. G just had one at his school. He was telling me all the rules and how they aren't suppose to look up and make any eye contact and all this stuff. Of course he didn't think it was scary. Cars crashing into classrooms aren't scary in my house. I had a similar reaction to you, though.

Elaine M. said...

I have followed your blog for a while now, and enjoy it immensely. Your post today made me want to put my head down and cry. It made me think of when I was a kid 45 years ago and they made you get under your desk during a "drill". I remember being scared out of my wits. And I was 5 when we did that. Poor WCK, she's still a baby... Oh, what a heartbreaking sign of the times.

Meaghan said...

Just stopping by to check out your blog, very cool! Congratulations on being such a strong fighter against the BIG C!!

If you get a minute stop by my blog if you would like to contribute a guest post I would be honored.

Hope all is well


Diane, Nick, and Maren said...

We watched Arthur the other day and DW had to do a fire drill at school. I cried, thinking of Maren being there without me if there was a disaster.

Kathryn said...

Could you please email me? I would love to speak with you about something!!

Thanks so much

grss 507@
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