Sunday, February 12, 2006

BOOM! SMOKE! FIRETRUCK!

Luke, I am your father!
-Darth Vader, a big man in a scary mask.

Hug me, I'm a banana!
-Firefighter, also a man in a scary mask.

banana

Some advise for parents: take your child on a tour of a firestation.

Now, Miniwether has had a fair amount of interaction with, uh, fire control experts. One of her earliest phrases was "Boom! Smoke! Firetruck!" She likes the pretty flashing lights and all the attention from the dashing men in uniform. For many kids though, their first experience with a fireman is as this masked monster tries to pull them out of their closet while the house burns around them. The child is already terrified and this creature is pulling them into the fire? The kid usually just hides even better. Not a good thing!

Miniwether and Misseswether got a chance to visit a firestation last week under non-emergency conditions. One of the first things the firemen did was show how they gear up. Starting from the normal uniform, one fireman put on his protective clothing, breathing pack and mask while talking about it all. That way the kids could see that it was just a man under all that scary stuff. Once he had all his gear one another fireman pointed out that they looked like giant bananas. They childern were told that if they ever see a fireman dressed like this in their home they should run to him and give him a big hug rather than hide. Then the kids practiced "hugging the banana" a few times. This way if they are ever in a fire they won't be afraid of their rescuer!

feedthebeast

After that the kids got a chance to climb around on the firetrucks. They really liked that. But the best was when they got to try out a real firehose. I had visions of Miniwether flying around at the end of an out-of-control hose, but the firemen were also holding it. The children got to adjust the spray and aim it somewhat. They loved it.

hosed3

So parents, take your child to a firestation. It may save their life (or at least give them an afternoon of free entertainment and a cool toy fireman's hat!). Now Miniwether knows not to hide if the house is on fire but rather she should hug the fireman. Most of the people I know agree that this information will serve her well.

Probably several times...

Adventure! Excitment! FIRE!

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