Thursday, 14 June 2012

Fire Fire!

Yesterday at Tummies and Tinies (the mommy group that I go to on Wednesday mornings) they had a Fire Safety Officer (FSO) there to talk to us about... well... fire safety.  I think we would have all preferred to be left to our own devices and had a nice chat while we played with our kids, but we dutifully listened to the woman's presentation.

Babies Everywhere!
(A different day at Tummies and Tinies)

She went over basic fire safety topics and told us about the top fire hazards in the home.  I can't say that I learned anything earth-shattering, but it's nice to have a refresher on safety issues from time to time- especially now that there's a baby in the house, we want to be on top of things!  

At one point in her talk, the woman told us about a woman who's young daughter's nightgown caught on fire.  She said that the woman had picked up her daughter and run with her to the bathroom, put her in the tub and run the water over her to put the fire out.  The daughter ended up with burns on over 50% of her body.  The FSO asked what the mother should have done instead.  There was a brief pause in the room.  You know the kind.  When a room full of only semi-interested adults are waiting to see if someone else will call out the answer.  

I proudly called out "Stop, drop, and roll!"  The FSO looked at me with vague surprise in her eyes and said "Yes.  That's right."  The other mothers turned to look at me with interest on their faces.  I queried, "Do they not teach that here?"  The FSO explained that they teach the concept of smothering the fire, but not the key phase of "Stop, drop, and roll" that is so ubiquitous in childhood safety education in The States.  One of my friends said that she'd forgotten that was what you should do, but confirmed that she had been taught it in the past.  She was impressed with my little catch phrase and softly repeated it to herself saying "I'm going to use that!"  I thought it was so funny that something so ingrained in me was totally novel to this room full of people!  

It reminds me, yet again, of all those tiny little differences between cultures.  The sayings that aren't common to both societies.  Like in America it's "Buckle up for safety", whilst in the UK it's "Clunk, click, every trip".  It still happens every once in a while that Ross or I will say something and the other will be baffled as to what they mean.  It keeps things fresh. ;)

As a fire related sidenote:  At the music group that we go to on Tuesdays we sing different nursery rhyme songs.  Most of them are familiar to me, but the first week one came along that I'd never heard before.  It goes:

London's burning.  London's burning.
Fetch the engines.  Fetch the engines.
Fire, fire!  Fire, fire!
Pour on water.  Pour on water.

The group's leader could tell that I didn't know the song by the look on my face and said that I'd have to bring in an "American" nursery rhyme to teach the group.  I still haven't been able to think of any that don't have UK roots.  Isn't it funny that nursery rhymes are all so old and no new ones have really caught on?

What catch phrases do you know that don't occur in both cultures?
Do you know any "American" nursery rhymes?

1 comment:

  1. The only one that springs to mind is ring around the roses...the last line for us are "ashes ashes we all fall down" whereas Darren always learned it "a tissue a tissue we all fall down". If I find anymore I'll pass them along.