Betsy and I have this theory that one of the reasons why Rian won’t sleep in his room is because he is afraid of the smoke detector. We think that he thinks it is a robot from outer space. We got the idea because at one time he told us that it hurt him. He said it gave him “owies.” We came up with the robot theory because one of Rian’s favorite movies is Chicken Little. If you are familiar with the movie then you probably remember the scene where the ships are “uncloaking” and the sky is covered with octagon-shaped ships. The smoke detector in Rian’s room just happened to be an octagon shape with a blinking light. Needless to say, we removed the smoke detector from his room. He still didn’t sleep in his room, and now he points to the hanging wires in his room and asks where it went. He probably thinks that the spaceship is “cloaked” again, or worse it is hiding somewhere in his room waiting to get him.
Today we were in the basement and he pointed to the smoke alarm and asked what it was. I decided to use this as a “parenting opportunity” and the conversation went something like this:
Rian: What’s that daddy?
Me: That is the fire alarm.
Rian: What is a fire alarm?
Me: It tells you when there is a fire.
Me: So that if there is a fire you can get away.
Me: Because you don’t want the fire to hurt you.
Thinking: uh-oh! Shouldn’t have said that…
Rian: Is it a big fire?
Thinking: Shoot, he heard me.
Me: No there isn’t a fire, just smoke.
Rian: Is it big smoke?
Me: If you hear the fire alarm beeping, you go tell mom, ok?
I wish I could have recorded the whole conversation, but I did grab the microphone in time to catch Rian’s summary. Here is an mp3: Rian explaining smoke detectors
If you don’t speak Rianese, here is the translation:
“You will hurt yourself in the big fire. And there is big smoke. Tell momma it is going to hurt you. And now, you have to put the fire out.”
Let me just say that parenting is hard. If you aren’t careful, you can turn a fear of smoke detector robots into a fear of smoke detector robots and big fires with smoke. Way to go dad! Sometimes I think I learn more by being a parent than he does…