Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Safety. At what point do you stop and say this isn't right?

With the temperature at work the other day a whopping 14, we had a discussion about safe practices.  We told each other of horror stories about people using their GPS's and taking roads that weren't open during winter and then getting stuck.  We heard about close calls and also deaths.  At what point, while you are driving down a mountain road following someone elses tracks, when their tracks end do you keep going?  How long are you going to drive before you ask yourself, "should I turn around"?

Where is the little voice in your brain that says something isn't right.  Stop.  Think.  Retreat.

I am still in Los Angeles at a training for my new job.  I go home tomorrow.  At the training class today one of the topics was safety.  They were trying to pound in to our heads that nothing we do for work, or for play, should be done in such a manner that we are not safe.  Is it worth killing or harming yourself by your actions?  Wouldn't your family rather have you home in one piece rather than you do something unsafe and get hurt?  Again we had discussions about people doing stupid things. 

I read today about how some people in Russia were riding down a hill in a zorb and went off the track, rolled a mile futher than it was supposed to go and flew into a ravine.  One died, the other is badly injured.  I also read about someone riding a snowmobile pulling a sled wwith a bunch of people on it.  The snowmobile went over the side of a hill and six of the people on the sled being pulled were killed.  At what point should someone say stop.  This isn't going like I planned.  This is too dangerous.  I need to step back and think. 

I called home tonight to see how everything is going.  Girl has been following directions this week.  She's called right before she and Boy leave for school.  She calls and texts when they get home.  I missed her calls today because of the training, so right before dinner time I called home. 

They were eating dinner but she answered anyway.  Our house rule is we don't answer the phone during dinner, or if we do we say we are eating, is it an emergency?  If it's not an emergency we will return their call after we eat.  No over the phone conversation is worth missing out on at the table conversation.  I said that I was glad she and her brother were being good.  She asked if I wanted to talk to oldest grandson, the 18 year old who is watching them while I'm out of town.  "No, I don't need to talk to him.  It's dinner, go back to eating."  "But he wants to talk to you."

Oldest grandson got on the phone and said he needed to tell me something.  The story went like this:

I was trying to start a fire in the wood stove... I'm thinking he smoked up the house and the alarm company sent out the fire department.  No, wait, the alarm company didn't call me.  Back to his call...

I was trying to start a fire.  It wouldn't start.  So I got the lighter fluid out.  I was starting the fire and the lighter fluid blew up.  It caught the wood floor on fire... Is the house OK?  

It caught my fingers on fire... Are YOU OK?  

Sure, it's all fine.  I cleaned it all up....What about the kids?

They are fine.  They watched it happen....And you are OK?

Yes.  It's all cleaned up.  You wouldn't even know anything happened I think...

After the shock of what he did wore off I asked why he would ever think about starting a fire that way.  Have YOU ever seen ME start a fire that way?  No?  Then why would you think this was safe?  You saw your uncle do it that way before?  Well, my son is an idiot!  Why didn't you just turn on the heaters?  The house has two perfectly good propane heaters that are vented into every single room in that house.  Why didn't you just turn on the heater?...I don't know. 

I know.  He wanted to play with the fire and it shut down his sense of right and wrong.  There were so many different times in this situation that he could have, should have, said to himself what he was doing wasn't safe.  He is fortunate he didn't get hurt.  He won't ever do it again and hopefully Boy and Girl got frightened enough that they won't ever try that stupid stunt.    

When I get home tomorrow night we will be having our own household discussion on safety.  I'm sure Boy and Girl knew it wasn't a good idea but were too excited to watch the fire flame from the lighter fluid that they didn't tell their cousin that they didn't think it was safe.  We've had safety conversations before but obviously we need it again. 


1 comment:

  1. Isn't parenthood fun? No, oldest grandson will not do that again and probably younger ones won't either. But that doesn't mean they won't do something equally stupid. They all must have a guardian angel working overtime. Otherwise we would never get them to adulthood. Remind them how precious they are and what pain they would bring to others if they do foolish things.