Last night we were making dinner at home. The oven was set to some crazy high temperature, which was causing a good deal of smoke to form from whatever was burning off inside the oven. I quickly peeked in the oven, and I knew almost instantly that the smoke that escaped would set off our incredibly loud smoke detector. Sure enough, it did. DH was playing with Toddler in the small eating area off of our kitchen (directly below the offensive smoke detector), and he practically jumped into DH’s arms. Infant was in the same general area, and while she didn’t look happy she wasn’t really phased (though she too was scooped up into DH’s arms very quickly). I quickly rushed over to help, and Toddler leapt into my arms. He then asked if we could please go to the living room. If I recall correctly the smoke detector stopped sounding shortly after we made our way into the living room, but Toddler was still scared. I used my usually effective calming method of turning on a Toy Story DVD, but Toddler was still shaking. He asked me if we could go hide in the bathroom, which I found very odd. We didn’t go to the bathroom, and he eventually calmed down, but he kept talking about the incident for the rest of the night.
This wasn’t the first time the smoke detector had scared him. When we first moved into our house (a year ago already!), it went off along with the other buzzers that were connected to the then functioning (but not monitored) Brinks security system. At that point he was very frightened, and didn’t have anywhere near the verbal skills to express that to us (aside from by crying). He was so frightened back then that he would refuse to walk under any smoke detector in the house. I think that fear lasted for at least a couple of weeks, and made life difficult as we have smoke detectors scattered everywhere in the house.
At daycare drop-off this morning, Toddler started in about the fire in the oven and the smoke “protector” so I relayed the incident to our DCP. Thankfully she provided some clarification about the hide in the bathroom comment. Apparently when the Tornado warning sirens go off on the first Wednesday of every month, she takes the kids to hide in the bathroom until it is safe to come out again (when the sirens go off). It essentially becomes a Tornado warning drill once a month. Anyway, that conversation had Toddler stuck in a loop about going outside when there is fire in the oven, and hiding in the bathroom when there is too much wind. Sometimes my little guy reminds me of Rain Man (you know the Dustin Hoffman character) when he gets stuck in these loops, but I suppose they help him process the information. The thought of him worrying over these things just makes me sad. I so wish, that he could just rest assured that we will take care of him, but I know it is important for him to make these discoveries in life. I just wish I didn’t have to see that terrified expression on his face.