Bethie broke her glasses. She snapped on of the arms right off. I returned them to the store (I had been there the week before because Katie had tied her glasses up into the shape of a pretzel. Dan "untied" the glasses, but I needed the store to fix the casing for one of the lenses). They didn't ask many questions because the glasses were under warranty and they belong to a three year old! I was told to return two days later, and to bring Bethie so the glasses could be properly fitted.
Bethie, Katie, Big Sarah, and I went to pick up Bethie's new glasses. She was a wee bit disappointed because she thought the "new" glasses would be completely different from her original glasses (and, preferably, yellow). She bounced back quickly from that emotional trauma, and we left. I led the way. Katie was close on my heels, bouncing about, and talking a mile a minute. Big Sarah was behind Katie trying to "encourage" Bethie to hurry up (we spend most of our days trying to get that slow poke to keep up, but Bethie will not be rushed...ever)!
The fire alarm goes off. Great. We had parked right in front of the building. The fire trucks would block us in and I was already late getting these kids home for dinner. I thought to myself, "MOVE!". Thankfully, Big Sarah was on the same page. I immediately try to usher Katie out of the building while dodging all the employees of the office building that are being forced to evacuate and insist on standing directly outside the front doors. Katie is standing frozen, covering her ears because the fire alarm is too loud. She was going on about something but I ignore her and push her towards the exit.
Sarah is doing exactly the same thing with Bethie. However, instead of ignoring the child, she pays attention to what Bethie is saying (I long ago gave up on being Mother of the Year, Sarah figures that she'll give it a shot). Sarah then begins to yell for me. Apparently, Bethie was the one to set the fire alarm off. Not only that, she's saying over and over and over again "Mummy! I pushed the button and made the fire alarm go off".
Crap! Crap! Crap!
I have two options:
- I can hang around and explain to the fire department that I failed (through negligence) to prevent my three year old from setting off the alarm. I would then have to cross my fingers that I wouldn't be fined.
- I can grab the kids and run.
What option do you think I would choose? Is there really any question? The grab and run. Sarah grabbed Katie and I grabbed Bethie, and we practically flew to the car. Since Bethie was announcing to everyone that she set off the alarm, I was forcefully advising her to "Be quiet! Bethie, stop saying that! BETHIE! NO MORE TALKING!!!!".
We got the twins in the car and buckled up. Panic set in because I could hear the sirens approaching. I peeled out of the parking lot much to the surprise of the office on-lookers, and moved the vehicle to another location where the twins could see the fire trucks coming. Then I threatened to send the girls back to apologise to those angry fire fighters. The girls didn't like that too much. I explained to both of them that they are never, ever, ever allowed to set the fire alarms off again.
My babies looked at me with genuine sorrow in their eyes. Bethie felt badly for what she had done. Katie felt badly for Bethie. With earnestness and sincerity they both promised never to set off the fire alarms again. I thought to myself, "Big deal. They lie".