Saturday, June 4, 2011

Emergency...Kind Of.

When you live out in the country and have three small kids, you worry about things. In the winter, I worry about fire. When I was pregnant with Margot, I used to lie awake making escape plans...Violet, who was one at the time, would be strapped onto my back. Jude, age three, would hang onto my neck. I'd shimmy down sheets tied together. Forget the fact that I was 8 months pregnant at the time. In my imagination, I gained superhuman upper body strength, and catlike agility.

When my husband is away for a night or two, I make sure all the windows are locked, double check the doors, and often dial my neighbour's number, then hit "end", just so I can hit "redial" if there's an emergency.

I'm not actually a paranoid person, generally. There's something about living way out of town, though, combined with exhaustion, that does things to my mind.

Last night, for some reason, my neighbour's number just didn't seem like enough. So I thought I'd dial 911, then hit "end". Because dialling "redial" is SO much quicker than dialing 911.

Did you know that 911 connects automatically, even if you hit "end"? I didn't.

Almost immediately, I got a call from OPP dispatch. They were going to send a car out, in spite of my assurances that all was well (aside from the fact that my husband left his three children in the care of a slightly delusional woman who calls herself "mom").

While this may seem like overkill, I find it reassuring that the police check in, even if the caller has confirmed that the call was accidental. Imagine a woman in a situation of domestic abuse, being threatened by her partner to tell the dispatcher that everything was fine.

Within 30 minutes, a cruiser pulled into our laneway (it was now about 11:30 at night). The floodlight scanned the farm (I'm sure the neighbours were wondering if I was being busted for late-night crafting), and the officer approached the house cautiously.

I came out on the porch in my shawl, and introduced myself. The officer is also a mother, and sympathised with the fact that I'm on my own with three kids for a few days. She took a look around the house, reassured me that yes, 911 does work, (and quickly, even if you don't speed dial it!), and told me she was nearby if I did really need her during the night.

I almost called at 5:30 a.m. when Jude woke up with a nosebleed.

And again at 6:15 a.m when my kids woke up for the day.

It may be time to store a baseball bat under my bed, to give me peace of mind when I'm here alone at night. If that doesn't suffice, I know that the OPP will be here if I ever need them.


  1. Blogger just ate my comment, but that's okay because it was just me and my maddening thoughts taking over your comment section! *lol*

    Suffice to say, I keep our machete on the top shelf of our bedroom closet when my husband goes away on business...

    'nuff said...

  2. P.S.: How did you get that photo of the police officer? Nice! All in the name of blogging..;o)

  3. I have also felt much safer out in the country than I ever did living in a city. Maybe having grown up on a farm is the reason maybe it's the 130 pound dog!
    My daughter, asleep on the couch rolled over on her cell phone one evening last December and it called 911. My hubby and I were off holiday shopping at the time but her 16 year old brother was home. When dispatch attempted to call back she didn't answer( like most teens she only texts!)Because it was a cell phone it has a locator GPS chip in it and they were able to send a cruiser out to our sticks location based on that alone! Embarassing yes, but it does give peace of mind that a real emergency would find help arriving with limited info very quickly.

  4. *OPP photos borrowed from Google Images! That is NOT the officer that responded to our call!

  5. I thought maybe you snuck the photos through your kitchen window as she was leaving - but then, I guess it was at 11:30 at night? I admit, this is something that I would try and do. He he...

  6. They even turn up when the phone calls 911 on it's own. I picked up our phone to call my mom and it was ringing. 911 operator says 'what's your emergency' I say 'nothing, I didn't call you'. We had a really nice visit from an OPP officer who came by.

    I don't worry about fire. Our house is small enough I figure I can leap the one step to Ella's room to scoop her up and head out. It's someone breaking in that I worry about. Before Ella I had plans of running out the front door (as they broke in the back door) and hiding out in the barn or the cow shed. Now my plans are barricading Ella and I in her bedroom. Her good heavy iron bed would do the job. Colin thinks I'm crazy, but certain times of the year we spend a lot of time home alone.


  7. I have a baseball bat behind my bedroom door....and I'll never move it.

  8. You had me laughing by the end of your post -- the bit about the children waking up for the day at 6:15 (emergency, indeed!)

    We, too, had a bleeding wake up call this morning. Baby woke up at around 6:30... I had him in bed and he immediately crawled over to the window. I lifted the blinds so he could look out and then his brother came in and joined us. Soon both boys were looking out at the rain and bumble-tumbling a bit. Well, baby fell and smacked his mouth on the window sill (I'll bet everyone saw that coming...) There was lots of blood and he has a big split on his lip where he gashed it with one of his top teeth. He looks like he's been brawling (again...)

    Thanks for the laugh... I hope you have a more peaceful night tonight...

  9. I was still giggling when I went to bed, thinking about you losing precious sleep waiting for the fuzz to show up!
    All's well that ends well!

  10. Hilarious! Thanks for giving me a good laugh...sorry it was at your expense! :)

  11. Good to know the OPP show whether you blow them off or not! I'm rather fortunate to have a neighbor on the force. When something untoward is going on in our neighborhood this police officer keeps an eye on us all. On the other hand, I've got an attentive watch dog. No one turns into our lane without him making such a fuss. We'd be on high alert long before anyone, friend or foe, comes near the door.
    Don't you love babies with their black eyes and fat lips. My grandkids have a fondness for funky looking casts.

  12. I HATE staying by myself with Madeleine in the house. I am very grateful to have my big dog with me, as she looks menacing enough and is very protective of her family.

  13. Oh, so much laughter! I could have used the OPP's help today, when I was attempting to get my 5 away from the beach. And again, when Youngest Son picked me a beautiful sprig of poison ivy along the pathway. 911! Maybe it's a good thing that I didn't have the cell phone.

  14. I too am a baseball bat fan...with army guy gone a lot of the time, there is always a baseball bat under the bed, its solid and wood, I'd figure I could come out swinging if need be :)

    oh, and the bat has a name..big bertha..

  15. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who is a complete scaredy-cat when the hubby is away for the night.

    A baseball bat is a nice idea, I think. Although I'd have to hide it, or my two boys would use it to beat each other...



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