The Petersen Herd

The Petersen Herd

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

How to Raise Pyro's

I've always wanted my kids to be creative, ingenious, self-motivated, and curious. I've always wanted to them to learn through exploration and observation, to really immerse themselves in their world and find some hands-on education. Today we learned about fire.
I remember as a child having Smokey Bear drilled into me, "stop drop and roll" and NEVER play with matches. Until today I thought that I had passed those important lessons on to my children. I was wrong.
The kids are outside playing, I hear screaming, of the actual emergency variety (not to be confused with the "my sister just took the stick I wanted" variety). I look out the back window and see smoke, LOTS of smoke. As I tear out the back door I hear the phone ring. This is no coincidence, I'm sure it's one of our very observant neighbors. I hope they didn't call 911 before they called me.

I hit the backyard and realize the smoke is coming from the dead leaves that have gathered in the flower bed next to the house! I grab the hose and water it down well while my two oldest children are shrieking in fear and regret.

What followed is sure to go down in the annals of bad parenting - the lecture the likes of which I have only given twice before (once regarding a knife and the other regarding playing toss with the baby). As soon as I started into my rant I saw Kabe's eyes glaze over - like a neon sign on his forehead read "I'm in trouble so I'll stop listening". Ksenya on the other hand began the moaning that signals her hyperactive worrying, "what-if-ing", and self guilt-tripping.

The afternoon was full of chores and solitary time. The consequences aren't over yet. The end of the house (thank heavens it's brick) is well scorched. The trumpet vine is mostly burnt. The plastic arbor is melted significantly.

And yet, the world still turns. Lesson learned?


Amber said...

I am so thankful that everyone is safe and no more damage was done! It is a scary feeling, we have had 2 house fires not being on our part at all so I can understand.

One of our kids is a pyro and we had to tell them that if they wouldn't stop playing with matches inside we would have to burn their finger(just enough to feel the heat of course) and it worked... we never had to do it, just the thought.....

Nat said...

Yikes!! I'm glad everything turned out okay!

Oveson's said...

oh no!!! That is so scary...Made me really think about teaching the kiddos too. Thanks for sharing it is amazing what things you figure out that you still need to teach them. I am so sorry!!