The fire drill

Over the past year or so, we have come to realize that The Big Sis is prone to anxiety and worrying about everything whether it relates to her or not, and even (especially?) if it’s something pretty minor. She latches onto her worry, obsessing about it and unable to shake thinking about it.

One of The Big Sis’s major worries over the summer was about The Little Sis starting kindergarten this year. Mind you, The Little Sis wasn’t worried herself, but The Big Sis was worried for her, times 10. I tried to talk to her about it to see if we could pinpoint exactly what it was that she was worried about so I could allay her fears (at least somewhat). She finally revealed that she was worried there would be a fire drill and The Little Sis would be in the bathroom at the time and wouldn’t know what to do and would be scared.

I tried explaining to both of them what The Little Sis should do if that happened: Leave the bathroom, try to find her teacher (who’d already know to look for her), but if she couldn’t find her teacher/class then she should go outside with everyone else and find another teacher and tell them whose class she’s in, and that person would help get her back to her teacher. I also explained that her teacher has a list of all the kids in the class that she grabs when the fire alarm goes off and so she knows to look for the kids who aren’t there. However, The Big Sis continued to focus on this worry big time, despite me pointing out that the likelihood of that exact scenario happening was very low. She still never really seemed settled about it, but she moved on from obsessing about it (outwardly, at least).

Their school had their first fire drill yesterday. And THE LITTLE SIS WAS IN THE BATHROOM WHEN THE ALARM WENT OFF!!!! Of all the unlikely scenarios…then it came true! Thankfully The Little Sis reports that she didn’t freak out — she said she pulled up her skirt, decided to skip washing her hands, and by then her teacher had come to the bathroom (really close to their classroom) to collect the kids who were there. I’m a little afraid that The Big Sis is going to use this turn of events to justify her constant worrying, but part of me is a little glad this had come up beforehand and helped The Little Sis know what to do.

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