My Kid Pulled The Fire Alarm In A Major Department Store #TrueStory

I should have known I was screwed when the kid blasted through the doors of the department store squealing and running 50 feet in front of me. 

In my best yell, but not really yelling voice, I said, "Oliver, get back here". He continued to charge towards the man playing the piano in the center of the store.

I should've just left. I know better. He's three and nuts!

In fact, on the way to the store we had a talk about him being a good boy so mommy can run errands. He promised, he would be very very good.

Mistake number one: Believing a toddler.

Mistake number two: Taking the toddler to the department store.

I had to pick up a few things and since I was there, I wanted to pay the bill, so once I caught up to him, I grabbed his hand,reminded him that he promised to be a good boy, then headed to the escalator, which he absolutely loves. He jumped on the escalator and up to the second floor we went. 

When we got off the escalator, we turned left to go to the customer service desk. Again, he's running 50 feet in front of me, squealing and having the best time. Immediately, he beelines for a clothes rack to hide in the middle.

Why I hadn't left yet is a testament to how crazy I am. I dug him out of the clothes rack, and headed for the customer service desk to pay the credit card bill.

Just as I finish paying the bill, he comes to me, looks up and says, "Mommy, I don't have to poop."

Great. He has to poop.

Me: OK, buddy. But let's got to the potty anyway.

Him: OK, but I don't have to poop

He pooped.

After washing his hands, we walked out into the lingerie department. Being that I'm a sucker for sale, I see a clearance rack of bras, and walk right over. He climbs into the middle of the rack, which is OK because I can keep my eye on him and still keep shopping.

The next thing I know, the fire alarm is going off. The emergency lights are flashing, an alarm is blaring, confused people are looking for exits... 

My heart sank. Please, Lord, don't let my kid be behind this...

Sure enough, there's my child, basically swinging from the fire alarm.

I run right over (which is about three feet), take his hands off the fire alarm, and start trying to push it down and back into place.

Me: **While trying to jam the fire alarm pull-thing back into place** 
No! No. No no no no. NOOOOOOOOO!!! Ollie, what have you done!

I realize I can't fix it. The fire alarm is going off, and nothing I can do will stop it.

I dropped to the ground in front of my very scared child, hugged him explained what he had done and why it was incredibly naughty. Then, I buried my face in my hands, wishing the floor would open up and suck me in.

 I can't believe this is really happening.

Because of my kid, the fire alarm is going off in a major department store and I have no doubt the fire trucks are blaring down the street towards us and any second the sprinklers are going to turn on.

Speechless. I just sit there and wait. Surely, they are coming for us.

Once the army of employees arrived, I start apologizing like a crazy person. Think: As many times as I can say the word 'sorry' in one minute.

Then over the loudspeaker comes, "Attention customers, please excuse the fire alarm. It's a false alarm."

Needless to say, I want to die. 

Thankfully, everybody is very nice and tell me not to worry, and that it's OK, he's a child and completely understandable.


I have never been so embarrassed.

Once the crowd disperses, I'm still in complete shock and at a loss for what to do next. Do we leave the store immediately? Do I buy something?

I take a bra over to the register. I feel like I should at least buy something for the trouble.

OK, I don't even know what I was thinking. I was still totally freaking out! 

I thanked and apologized to the clerk, then left the store as fast as we could, without actually running. Most likely, never to return again. It's a mutual decision. 

On the way out, I counted five firefighters and two firetrucks. 

I just hope, one day, I can laugh and make jokes about it like everyone I tell, because right now, I'm still waiting for the news to turn up for an interview and a huge false-alarm fine to come in the mail. 

Have children they said. It will be awesome they said...

April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit