We were old pros when it came to following the procedure for a fire drill. Our timing was as good as Ricky, Fred and Ethel's when they had a dry run preceding the birth of Little Ricky on I Love Lucy. It went like clockwork - stop talking and listen for directions, get in line, exit the building and go to our assigned location. Piece of cake.
A hard lockdown is another story. My co-teacher Michelle chose a good day to stay home. I had to delicately finesse my way through the murky waters alone (upstream, without a paddle, at night...). This is scary stuff and I didn't want to frighten the little kindergarten children so I tried to find the proper tone, a mix of seriousness and adventure.
There were a few nervous giggles as we stood there hiding before I announced, "The lockdown has been lifted" and we went back to the rug.
Once we were on the rug the questions started...
"Does that mean someone has a gun and wants to hurt us?"
"What happens if he gets in?"
"What if there is a fire in our safe place during the lockdown" (I thought, "what a wonderfully thought out, outrageous question!" and was fumbling for an answer when the little boy said, "Well, that'll never happen").
And then the tears..
"If they get us that means we'll never see our mommy's or daddy's again." (She started to cry, I started to cry.)
And finally the comic relief...
"Next time we practice a lockdown can we do it when I'm not here?"
You and me both kid, you and me both!