25 September 2008

The worst possible time?

Both children had rattly coughs. I had bathed them and tucked them into their camp beds hours ago, and snuggled into my own bed while the wind screamed at the windows and the trees roared in the gale outside. It sounded miserable out there.

I had dropped off to sleep when I became vaguely aware that a panicky sound was repeating in my ears. I woke up and realised it was a fire alarm.

My first thought was that it was certainly us who had set it off. But as I woke up fully I realised that it most certainly wasn't our fault, it most probably was a false alarm, and it most annoyingly meant I had to wake both my deeply-sleeping children and take them out into the blustery night to the evacuation meeting point which was a long walk through the whole campsite and down to the cold, cold oval below.

Which I did. I hate waking my children up under any circumstances, and this really hurt. I considered just ignoring the whole fiasco and sit tight until all the poor cold campers on the oval were told it was (of course) a false alarm and invited to return to their rooms. But in the end it comes down to the fact that my kids are too precious to take a chance with, so I picked up Smoochy, thankfully able to leave Sonny's dead-weight to Mr de Elba who had come straight to our rooms.

We cuddled them and their rattly chests close as we hurried through the wind to the oval. I had no contact lenses in so I was practically blind. Mr de Elba and I got separated. I chatted to another leader who said they had just got all the highschoolers to sleep in their dorms and finally, everything was quiet for the night when the alarm went off.

As I cuddled Smoochy close, I felt very thankful for the prompting to dress her warmly in long clothes, a woollen jumper and socks before I put her to bed. (Thankyou, God!) She nestled in closely to me and watched everything with big beady eyes.

Then we got word that it was a false alarm (duh) caused by the other camp using the site (grrr) using a smoke machine (unbelievable) during an extremely late-night party (furious!) Mr and I found each other and walked the children back to our rooms.

And here are three amazing things:

1. Sonny Ma-Jiminy slept on Mr de Elba's shoulder the whole time and didn't wake up.
2. Smoochy Girl was dazed by the whole experience and was only too happy to snuggle down into her porta-cot and go straight back to sleep.
3. The highschoolers were all back in bed asleep in record time.



Crazy Sister said...

That's incredible! Hope you got back to sleep quickly yourself.

Givinya De Elba said...

Took a while. I went and hung out with other leaders for a while.

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

Oh I'm glad that at least a quarter of you were able to stay asleep!!!

Essie is terrified of fire alarms, so I'm sure we would have been up the rest of the night!!!

Jen said...

I am sorry that that happened and what stupid people but it did make for a funny tail.

I am SO glad that you are back!