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Bad Mama

So yesterday afternoon, I started to smell something burning from the hallway of our building and opened the door to see some neighbors examing the stairwell. Maintenance men were downstairs trying to crack open an apartment where the smell was coming from. The Rabbit was already scared -- we had heard the banging sound of them trying to break the door from our place and she was clinging to me.

One of the maintenance guys poked their head out and I asked, nervously I admit, 'Is there a fire? Should we leave?" and he suggested we head downstairs. The Rabbit began to wail. Which she did for the entire 3 minutes as I collected our coats, shoes, my purse, passports, and the checkbook even as I tried desperately to calm her down. She was terrified screaming that she didn't want to go outside to the fire, really pleading with me not to open the door again.

A few minutes go by and a neighbor knocks to tell me a cat (I am not a cat person FYI) had walked across the stove and set it on, burning a pot. No fire. The Rabbit is by now in hysterics, and I am rocking her on the floor. I fiunally get her to calm down and she tells me she doesn't like fire. Doesn't like black. Smoke is black and that is bad.

Now here's the thing. We've NEVER had a fire in our place. I think the only fire's she's ever seen is the one on the top of the stove. But somehow she knows fire makes black smoke. and she's terrified. I actually had my apartment burn down in my 20s and was caught in a fire -- I got out just fine. But I get how dangerous a fire can be -- so now I think my even asking, and probably fearfully -- terrified my rabbit. And I feel about 2 millimeters tall. She's still talking about it this morning. Bad mama. Bad.


Woman with kids said…
Oh dear...
you did the right thing at the time, and also I suspect the right thing even in hindsight. don't beat yourself up over this, this, what? your daughter worried about fire? this is a good thing and also something you can control (in degrees of panic) as her mum; so it's ok, yes? yes.

how much worse would the alternative have been?

be kind to yourself. buy chocolate. also for the rabbit.
Manhattan Mama said…
Thank you Bec. Chocolate. Ice Cream. Cupcakes. All of these may be necessary......
Sugarmama said…
I was terrifed of earthquakes as a little child. And I lived way down in completely earthquake-free Miami, FL--go figure. But it IS true that kids pick up on their parents' fear easily and it completely freaks them out. I'm embarrassed to admit that I know this because when my daughter was much younger she witnessed my mortal fear of...cockroaches. And then SHE was terrified of cockroaches for a couple of years. Oy vey. Fortunately, she's over it now, and I'm sure rabbit will forget about fires, too.

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