Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Two Posts in One

Field trips are getting easier these days. I've found myself actually enjoying myself at the last couple I went on.

Today Jack's class went to the fire station (which I think I've been to four times since my kids have been in preschool, and will go to three more) and he, Quinn, and I all had a lovely time.

Jack loves fire fighters and even stood directly in front of the nearest one, tugged on his zipper, and said, "I want to be a fire fighter."

When another classmate was selected to demonstrate "Stop, Drop, and Roll," Jack didn't let that stop him; he tossed himself down on the ground and happily rolled back and forth.

For the rest of the day, he spouted various nuggets of wisdom from the video they were shown, including his favorite, "Don't hide, get outside."

The biggest downside was that this video, starring Little Richard, a talking fire hydrant, and the sound effects guy from Police Academy, also featured a smoke detector voiced by Gilbert Gottfried. Jack and Quinn both covered their eyes when he came on screen. And frankly I don't blame them.

Following are the obligatory "driving the fire truck" photographs:

Jack tried to seatbelt himself in and asked the firefighter to close the door. He was ready to go.

As interesting as all this is (it is, right?), I forgot all about it when I got back to the school. My kids and two others were walking up the preschool stairs when we heard a huge crash. The other mom and I did a double take until we realized that the sound hadn't come from our children falling down the stairs, but rather from the second flight of stairs that lead to the room where our music and motion class is taught once a week.

The other mom said something to the effect of, "Well, I don't hear anything else. I guess that means everything's okay."

"Funny," I thought to myself. "I think exactly the opposite." I shoved my kids toward Jack's class and sprinted up the stairs to find the mom who was substitute teaching the music class that week sitting on the stairs crying and shaking. Everything she had been holding was spread in front of her and her twin sons were standing there, clearly not knowing what to do.

I managed to get her kids to a classroom and get the school director up there to help her, because she was completely uncommunicative when I showed up. She turned out to be okay. Well, as okay as you can be after you bounce down stairs on your tailbone.

When you do that, you're not okay for several months. You get better. But you're not okay for a long time.

I know this, because when I was pregnant with Quinn I fell down the stairs at my house. I also immediately burst into tears. I remember how the action of sitting down and standing up hurt so much—for a long time. I remember that standing and sitting were better, but still not good—for even longer.

I remember a couple days after I fell when some friends we hadn't seen for a while came by with their new baby and all I could think about was how much my ass hurt. And how no one can see that, because to other people, pain is largely invisible.

I hope when I see this mom tomorrow that's she's not limping as bad as I think she's going to be.

Well, talk about starting a post one place and ending up somewhere else. That's largely indicative of my day. Thank all of you for your lovely wishes that I recover from my self-inflicted food poisoning. I'm almost entirely better And thank you, WhyMommy, for the delicious dinner you brought by. I can't thank you enough!


  1. I love the saying, which applies: One is cuter than the other.

  2. As cool as it can sometimes be to drive a police car, I have always wanted to drive the fire truck!

    Glad that you are recovering. Food poisoning sucks.


  3. Oh the firestation! We go regularly. We just show up and sometimes we get a happy firefighter, sometimes not. We also frequent community fairs in warm weather (end of this post: I know more about firetrucks than I care to. Do you know the name of the video they watched? Our firemen go on and on about the firetruck and equipment, but I have never seen anything about firesafety. I'm planning a safety night for our support group here, and any info would be great (I think it was last year that an older child with autism died in a local fire because he hid in the bathtub instead of coming out.)

  4. It's amazing how just reading the words "Don't hide, get outside" make me want to clutch my children a bit closer.

  5. Glad a good time was had at the fire station, but I sure didn't like hearing about those tailbone injuries. I had the same thing happen to me, and the effects are pretty long-lasting. Mine occurred in 9th grade--a LONG time ago, and involved hurtling down a mountain on the back of a toboggan, only my butt wasn't quite on the toboggan, it was bouncing along on the icy mountainside. Needless to say, my tailbone took quite a beating, and afterward it was very hard to go from sitting to standing and vice versa for quite a while without severe stabs of pain. And this was at an age where one can actually heal! Good for you, Stimey, for investigating the noise and for seeking assistance/providing comfort for the injured party. Bad memories for me just thinking about such an injury, which isn't really treatable.

  6. Ange, not only can I find the name of the video, but in this amazing digital world of ours, I can actually give you a link to the YouTube version of it:

    It seems that they made a sequel, although I didn't watch it. The first one was weird enough.

    There's also an Elmo visits the firehouse DVD ( that we loved until Sam snapped it in half.

    Your story about the child hiding in the bathtub breaks my heart. I can't even imagine.

  7. Zoomer, that sounds really horrible. The poor woman today said similar things about it not being treatable. Her husband wanted to take her to the ER, but she thought there was not a point because even if her tailbone was broken, all they would do is hand her a donut pillow and a bill.

  8. Lucky that woman wasn't my age because when she bounced down those stairs she definitely would have added peeing herself to her pain and humiliation. Sigh-h.

  9. I have fallen down stairs not once, not twice, but three times in my life.

    Can you say SPAZ?

    Meanwhile, your kids are totally adorable.

  10. Thanks! OMG, that video is hilarious. I guess I should feel REALLY guilty. Maybe I should retract my earlier post:

    Maybe I'll just add a link to the the video and call it even. ;)

  11. We also have eerily similar photos "driving" the fire truck... that poor mom falling on her butt. I can relate not only on the twin sons level, but also because I, too, recently fell down our basement stairs. Absolutely burst into tears! What's that about? (other than the pain, of course)

  12. How neat, what a cool sounding field trip


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