Our son Dexter is super paranoid about well, everything. To my recollection he was not traumatized by any disastrous event such as a fire, tornado, flood, tsunami or anything of the sort but he feels like one could occur at any second. I have no idea why (and no not from watching the News, started long before). We live in Canada…in the middle of Ontario….Yes, there have been tornado warnings near us (twice in the past 3 years) but the worst thing likely to happen to us is 3 feet of snow. Which around here is, well, called winter. You know how they have those ads on the radio about “change the batteries in your smoke detector!”? Yah, we don’t make it a month without testing those suckers out. I have a live in Quality Control inspector.
This past summer we had tried three different times to visit friends who camp at a local family campground. On this particular afternoon, they were calling for storms (what else is new, wolf cry #8 in a month), possibly tornado’s…..but it was beautiful out! So I decided, screw it, we’re going! So we packed the kids and all their gear in the van and headed off. We pulled into our friend’s seasonal site and started unloading items and discussing heading to the beach. Within 5 minutes the wind started to pick up and as we looked up we saw large black clouds rolling in. I’m not kidding; it was like something out of a movie. Scary? Yes. The moment to panic? No, well not for me at least. My husband’s reaction differed slightly….
My husband panicked. Remember, we have three small children aged 2-5, one particularly sensitive and paranoid. He began yelling at the kids to: Get in the van! GET IN THE VAN! He then proceeded to start throwing our bags and items into the van like a maniac. As I was trying to buckle one of our daughters in, I looked up to see my son frantically pulling at his seatbelt as he began screaming “I CAN’T GET MY BUCKLE! MYYYYY BUCKLE!!!!!!!”…..He was pulling so frantically at it, that it had locked and it wasn’t going to budge. I had to climb over the back and pry the seatbelt from his hands and proceeded to fasten it. The girls were stone faced, silent, yes, SILENT. Terrified at WHAT IN THE HELL IS GOING ON?!? I then climbed out, grabbed my husband by the arm and hauled his ass to the back of the van and said “STOP IT! YOU ARE SCARING THE KIDS!” And what was his reaction? He ripped his arm from my grip and yelled “WE GOTTA GET OUT OF HERE!!!!!”……OMJ. Hmmmmm, I wonder where my son gets it?
And I’m not going to deny it, it WAS scary. By the time we left the park (about 5 mins maybe) there were branches strewn all over. We also witnessed an entire tree and hydro lines come down across the road about 100 metres in front of us and had to turn around, go back and detour. It took us over an hour to get home (normally 20 mins). So yes, there was reason to panic but when you have kids, it’s not an option. Not unless you want to be dealing with screaming, terrified kids ON TOP of the disaster or emergency. The good news is we made it and no one was injured, maybe scarred for life but hey, that’s what your parents are for right?
p.s. I just checked the smoke alarms today. AGAIN. Yep, still workin.