"Mommy, you should call 911!" That's a phrase no one ever wants to hear. I didn't even know my son was aware of 911. As far as teaching him safety, we have taught him his full name, his address and the name of his neighborhood. We have also taught him if he ever gets separated from his parents or family members, to look for a police officer. If he can't find a police officer, look for a mommy with kids to ask for help (because most of the time mommy's with kids are fairly responsible and not crazy people). Also, most moms with kids are unlikely to want to pick up another random kid to add to their brood.
Well, apparently fire safety week at his childcare left a lasting impression on him. He was calling out, "Mommy call 911!" because he saw a fire/flames in our oven. That's not a good thing, but in this circumstance, it was because the oven was in cleaning mode and was burning off the grease and pizza dough and who knows what else that was on the bottom of the oven. Normally I'm a pretty good cook and baker. I make homemade bread and cinnamon rolls that people ask for the recipes for (see previous posts). I'm working on pizza dough. The day in question I somehow got distracted with birthday preparations and didn't realize I let the pizza dough overcook. I then went on to make his birthday cupcakes and some of the drippings fell down. My husband smelled the smoke and burning when he got home and I told him, "don't worry, it's a cold, rainy day, it will feel good to have the oven self-clean this evening." I don't know that I've ever really stood in front of the oven as it self-cleans. I normally try to do it when I'm in another room so I don't get overheated. My son did see some pretty large flames and I did immediately locate the fire extinguisher... just in case.
I tried to explain to my son that the oven door was locked and that was so we couldn't "feed" the fire with oxygen. I told him if we were somehow able to open the door, it would be bad and the fire would spread, but that's why oven doors lock while you have it in self cleaning. My son was fascinated. He was possibly more fascinated by watching the oven and the flames than he would be watching a video on TV. He had a visual and he liked to go up and feel the heat of the oven, I discouraged him from that. I had checked to make sure the lock was firm on the oven, but didn't want to take any chances.
He danced around the house talking about 911 and fire and how if mommy opened the oven the firetrucks were going to come. It was amusing and yet a little scary at the same time. I'm not sure about his full level of understanding of fire safety, but at least I know he knows what numbers to dial. I think I was thinking about how now when he grows up, he's not going to share with others what a great baker his mommy is, but about that time when he almost needed to call 911...