With her fresh knowledge of fire hazards and fire safety skills, the poor girl was primed for visions of death and disaster. No kidding- she said from the back of the minivan at the first sign of the wire fire, "Mom, I'm just so scared someone is gonna die!"
"Who do you think is going to die?" I asked.
"The people in that house!"
I attempted to explain that the fire didn't involve a house but was (how do you explain a transformer to a freaking out four year old?) only affecting a...telephone-pole-sort-of-thing. My explanation was sorely inadequate it seemed because while trying to get ready for bed, Kate asked no fewer than 15 times if the people in the house were ok. Each time she asked, we explained that no people were in danger, no house was on fire, it was a telephone pole, it was... not helping. I thought about checking the papers that have come home from Safety Town daily with Kate for an "emergency number" so to speak, that I could call and get help explaining this particular emergency. Things seemed to calm for a bit and we were so close to getting our Safety Girl into bed when, during the bedtime story, the electric began to surge, brightening the lights and dimming them, speeding the window fan and slowing it. Poor kid, she went right to sleep anyway and mercifully missed the moment, about 4 minutes later, when her room was bathed in total darkness as our power went out.
I decided to sleep on the couch so that, sans baby monitor, I could hear if anyone upstairs woke up in the blackness. Now, we've got a super sleeping couch and I was drifting off into a comfy sleep just as Kate was beginning to stir and realize that there was no night light, no hall light, and no bathroom light. Not one to suffer in silence, she screamed and yelled and successfully alerted Molly to the situation so that Molly, too, could join her in the screaming and the yelling.
I must've been more asleep than I realized because for the next 5 minutes, I, ipod flashlight in hand, wandered between the two girls' bedrooms trying to figure out what to do. Finally, a voice from below said, "Send Kate down here."
"Great," I thought, "which one is Kate?"
After sending the correct contestant to her father, I rocked Molly in the darkness. Many times I thought she was asleep, but when I made eye contact with her she would point to her window where I had pulled up the blinds to watch the "telephone pole" action. She was a bit undone by the whole situation, so I laid down on the floor beside of the crib and after a bit, child #4 was asleep.
We all woke after fitfull sleep to restored electricity, and little more was said about the whole ordeal...until we pulled up to Safety Town this morning and I asked Kate please not to report that a house on our street was on fire last night. I reminded her that it was just a telephone pole and that everything was all better now. "I know that Mom, but I've just got it in my head that a house was on fire...." In other words, no promises Mom! Which is why each morning when she gets out of the van, I think to myself, "Look out Safety Town!"