Tonight I led my Tiger Cub Den in a meeting and we worked on our "Keeping Myself Healthy and Safe" badge, or bead, or activity... or whatever it is called.
I had home fire escape plan grids printed out so each parent and tiger cub could work on their plan.
Here is how my discussion with Ethan went:
Me: Okay. So we need to make sure that there are two ways to get out of each room.
Ethan twirls his pencil and stares at the kid next to me.
Me: Ethan? Ethan?
Me: Ethan. Let's start with your bedroom. What are two ways out of your bedroom?
Ethan: The door and the window.
Whew. Okay. This is good.
Me: Right! Good! Okay. So... let's say you had to go out the window. That would be kinda hard wouldn't it?
Me: Why no?
Ethan: We would just open the window and go out.
Me: But the window is really high up hon. You can't just jump out.
Ethan: Yes I can.
Okay - this isn't going so well.
Me: No. What would happen if you jumped out of the window?
Me: Well - no. You would break your leg if you jumped out of the window. You shouldn't jump out of the window. Okay? Ethan? Ethan? Look at me. Look at me!
Me: Do NOT jump out the window. Understand?
He stares at me blankly.
Me: Ethan, what would be a good thing to have if you need to get out of the house through the window safely?
Ethan: A band-aid.
Me: A band-aid.
Me: Why would you need a band-aid?
Ethan: 'Cause I jumped out the window and broke my leg.
Me: No. A band-aid isn't going to help you. Listen Ethan. What would help you get out of the window? Can you think of something that would be helpful? A safe way to get down from that high up?
Ethan: Hmmmm... he puts his pointy finger on his lips. I know! A pillow!
Me: No - not a pillow. And not a band-aid.
I'm now listening to the other tiger cubs around me. They seem to be getting this. The twin boys next to us came up with "rope ladder" on their own. I obviously need to help Ethan more.
Me: How about a ladder!?
Ethan: No. No. A ladder won't work.
Me: What? Why not?
Ethan: Because the ladder is in the garage.
Me: Not that kind of ladder Ethan. There is something called a rope ladder.
Ethan: No. It won't work.
Me: Yes it will work Ethan. A rope ladder is what we need to help you get out of your room through the window.
Ethan: Mom. A ladder is too big to fit in my room. And ladders are dangerous.
Ladders are dangerous to climb, but pillows are safe to land on.