We live in New England, not the Midwest, so it is very unusual for us to ever have tornado warnings.
But on the rare occasions that we do, like yesterday, Weston springs into action mode.
The local programming is interrupted by the undeniable sound of the emergency alert.
I do not know how they developed this God-awful sound but it is solely responsible for inducing more panic attacks in my children than Freddy Krueger.
Next comes the calm but urgent pleadings of the Man.
"The National Radar Service in Taunton, Massachusetts has issued a severe weather alert......."
I don't know where they found this "guy with the voice" but Big Bird himself could not be more effective at getting my children to move. I swear if I knew where he lived, I would hire him on the spot, just to help me get my kids to bed.
Anyway, as you know, the Man continues his description of exactly where the storm is located and what cities and towns are in its potentially destructive path.
"It is moving at 25 mph and is headed toward the following locations..."
It does not take much more than that to get Weston, the worried wiggler to spring into action.
In a flurry of screams and flailing arms and legs, he gathers his brother, some blankets and the bewildered dog and cat and heads immediately to the basement. Gone is the typical arguing or negotiating. There is no..."Awww Mom do I have to?"
There is no sulking or sarcasm.
Yes, ask this boy just once to head to the basement and all you will see is the flaming trail he left on his way to the lowest level of the house.
"MOM, HURRY UP," he will shout, certain that our house is about to collapse.
Nicholas and our confused critters obediently follow the crazed crier to the cozy confines of our chilly cellar.
They fly down the basement stairs barely touching a step. Weston nearly trips on the blanket and sends Muffy somersaulting to the bottom. Nick slips on the last step and twists his foot.
"Ouch! Weston!!!" Nicholas hollers.
The frightened foursome set up "crisis camp" and wait in total silence as Muffy the Beagle, unaware of the pending danger, searches the interesting new space for any sign of something good to eat.
I do appreciate that my children are well-versed in emergency protocol.
I guess I just need to provide a little more training on getting there safely.