Saturday, September 19, 2009

A pot of water does not whistle when it's hot..

But the fire alarms sure do ring if you let it boil out and burn the bottom of the pan!

That is precisely what I did last night while I was babysitting... I put the kiddos to bed, and I went to boil some water for a cup of tea (this family doesn't have a tea kettle, or a microwave, so you do it the old way... water in a pot on the stove). Well I stood there for a while, and you know what they say "A watched pot never boils," so after about 10 minutes, I decided to go check out some yarn online--and wouldn't you know I got so sucked into looking at the lovely fibers, that by the time I smelt something burning, I could also hear the hysterically loud fire alarm blaring. I say it is hysterically loud, because quite frankly, it scared the bejesus out of me, and made me slightly hysterical.

To make matters worse, it was in connection with their house alarm, and so sense I don't know the code, I couldn't shut it off. So I am fervently texting the dad, trying to explain the situation as much as I can in a text and get him to get me the code, but he kept asking me questions. Then the home phone rings, it's the alarm company, and I told them it was just something I forgot on the stove, everything was fine. Well they asked me for the password, which I don't know, and so I told them I was just the babysitter, and they took down my name and hung up.

Meanwhile the fire alarm is still blaring so, I called the Dad, and as he's about to give me the code to shut off the alarm, the alarm company beeps in on his other line and he puts me on hold! Now while he is talking to them, the house phone rings again..this time, it is the town's fire department. I tell them the same thing, "I'm sorry, I forgot something on the stove, everything is fine." With which they reply, "We will be out in a minute to check things out for you." And hang up. So the dad switches back to me, and finally gives me the code to turn off the blaring. I tell them I will see them when they get home and re-assure them that everything is fine.

Then wouldn't you know it, a minute later three cars come speeding down the road and turn into the driveway... This is a small town filled with volunteer firefighters, and they are re-doing the stations which most likely means I pulled them away from their families... So I go out and meet them in the driveway, and one guy hops out of the big chief's car (ya know the suburban looking thing that's painted red and says chief's car or something), and tells me he is from the fire department. I again tell them that I just forgot about something on the stove and that everything is fine. So after asking if I was okay, and if I got the alarm shut off alright, they went there way.. and that was that.

Now in the meantime of all this happening, picture this, I had given the kids a bath before bed so I ran and grabbed their towels, opened all the doors (they have like 6), dumped the burning pan in the sink and ran around the house whirling towels above my head to try and clear the smoke out...
And then I felt obligated to clean everything up in the kitchen, so I unloaded and re loaded the dishwasher, stopped to scrub the pan a little, swept the floor, stopped to scrub the pan a little, wiped down all the counters and table top, then they came home.

SO then after I've been freaking out because today is a Jewish holiday that started last night, and the family I was babysitting for is Jewish and I was watching the kids to that they could go to temple, and I ruined it...They informed me that the mom burns water on the stove all the time, like once a week, she has just never set off the alarm before. Then the grandparents stayed with the kids over a 3 day period while they were out of town, and over that time, the alarm went off, and so many other things happened that the police were there 5 times! So I didn't feel so bad.

Anyway, I think I'm going to buy them a tea kettle and bring it with me next weekend when I babysit!


veedogknitter said...

my theory is that all the firefighters heard there was a cute girl babysitting, and so they ALL decided to take the call!
Just kidding, in case Chan is reading!! ;o)

Channon said...

Clearly, someone knows firefighters. ;) I remember the guys fussing when I was on the first due engine at UVA; *I* didn't appreciate all the co-eds in their jammies at 2am...

I'm glad they were able to reassure you that IT happens. Sure, a new kettle would be sweet, but look! They're having you back again in a week.