I like to think of myself as good in a crisis and with a family the size of mine, there have been a lot of crises to date. If you need someone to rock up at hospital, drive across town at the last minute, talk to medical professionals, convince kids their injuries aren’t as bad as they look, whilst answering the paramedic’s questions in the ambulance, I’m your girl.
Last Saturday we discovered that when it comes to fire, I am very definitely not your girl. We’re on the aforementioned camping trip, the kids are in the playground and thankfully, my partner is the other side of the tent, sorting out the swimming stuff. I’m cooking dinner on the gas stove and the canister runs out. Thinking I know everything there is to know about camping equipment I grab a new canister, load it into the gas stove and ignite it, as normal. Literally a second later, the gas cooker and canister have huge flames everywhere oh and I’m cooking in the porch of the tent so it looks like that’s about to go up in flames too.
After the event my partner told me he’d never seen someone run away so fast from a fire they had started themselves. I maintain that I was running towards him, to get help. I’m not so sure I was but let’s let that go down in history as what happened.
Without batting an eyelid, my partner grabs a damp towel off the washing line, covers the entire stove, flames and all, picks it all up, moves it outside the tent and pats out any other flames. Then he calmly reloads the gas canister, shows me how to line it up (it’s at this moment I have a flash back of him showing me this on our last camping trip), and calmly reignites the stove (no fire this time) and continues cooking. At no point does he criticise me for not having done this, or for not doing anything to put out the fire.
Once everything’s calmed down, I start to remember other times where he’s been great in high stress situations; his calm text saying he’s taking his daughter to hospital because she had broken her finger. The ‘don’t worry but I’ve just given your son medicine because his (horrendous) allergies are playing up’, all with a sense of calm and control.
So there it is, if you’re looking for someone to keep you company in hospital, drive across town when you need them etc, I’m your girl. If it involves flames or highly stressful situations where you have to think on your feet, he’s the man for the job.
*photo of my partner and the kids later that night with a fire he built, on purpose, and had complete control of the whole time.