I had "the talk" with the girls tonight. The super intense, scare the cr*p out of them, make them cry talk. You know the one, where you furrow your brow a lot and remind them that this isn't funny and you are serious. No, we didn't have THAT talk, where we'd one day have to use phrases like "front-tushie" and "yes, one day you will want to touch that..." No, our dinner conversation was far worse.
We talked about Stranger Danger.
My girls apparently live in la-la land where they think everyone is great and they don't need to worry about anyone or anything. They meander away from me in the stores. They chit chat with everyone they encounter, especially if they have a dog. They don't even bother to look both ways when they cross a street ... for they'd never get hit. The girls just don't understand that there are a different set of rules for them now that we live in the States.
Rules like ...
... We must always wear a seat belt ...even though we'd often smush as many kids into a car as possible, regardless of whether or not we had enough car seats to go around. Or any for that matter.
... The girls must always stay by my side when we go into stores ... ignoring that in all three countries we've lived we could leave the kids in the car or let the kids play in one store while we went into another ... or another ... or another. Because while I may not be able to see them, the shop keeper, or other shoppers could. And, yes, that was normal.
... Don't talk to strangers. If I don't know them, they're a stranger. Yes, even if you know the dog and I don't know the owner, they're a stranger. Yes, even if they tell you that they know me, if I tell you I don't know them, they're a stranger. And yes, even if someone approaches you and tells you that they know me, don't believe them, because if you haven't seen me talking to them, chances are, I don't know them, and they're strangers. Yes Riley, they ARE strangers, even if I nod my head to them as we walk by them at the park or on a bike ride. Yes Sheridan, they ARE strangers even if they come to the door and ask to pet Libby while I'm taking a shower. WT?? Yes Sheridan, they ARE strangers. Will you stop asking me #$#!@#$%&*# questions.
... Knowing our address and phone number is key.... even though all the girls needed to do was tell someone, anyone they were with the US Embassy or Consulate and they'd all know who they were. Or where they lived. Even if the girls themselves didn't know.
Surprisingly, the girls do know my cell number. And our address. Whew! Two fewer things I need to worry about right now. Because not only do I worry about the crazies out there, I also worry that the girls wouldn't know what to do or who to call in case of an emergency.
So we ran through scenarios and talked about what to do if something (goodness forbid) ever happened to me while we were all home alone. We talked about whose house to go to, what neighbors to bother, and how to scream for help.
I even, dare I say it, showed both of them how to open up my iPhone, and how to dial 911. Just in case.
Though now I don't just worry about strangers. I worry about Sheridan prank calling 911.