Thursday, 20 October 2011

Addendum: Fireman Sam and Fireman Paddy on a mission

It never fails to amaze me what a young, impressionable mind can take in.   Having been either pregnant or breastfeeding for the best part of four years now, I have found that the existence of "baby brain" is not only conjecture, but is a provable fact.  I have become one of those moms who sits like a blob in front of the box (on those very rare occasions when I want to watch something) and falls instantly asleep.  

Little minds are not like that.  They are full of questions (in Autumn - "Why are the trees naked?"), comments ("You have a fat tummy, mama.  Mine is thin."), astute observations ("If I eat chicken, it goes straight to my muscles and I can be strong like a superhero") and nothing seems to escape them.  In all situations, this is great, though I can't help but wonder at the wisdom of partnering sleep-deprived mothers plagued by baby brain with inquiring young minds like these.

In all situations an inquiring mind is great: save possibly this one:  My two sat transfixed watching how the firemen pumped water to spray on the fires on the Fireman Sam video (forget the fact that not much makes sense in Fireman Sam, kids take it as gospel anyway.  Like why, when someone falls off the dock, wearing a full belt of tools, do they call the fire-station to come and rescue him instead of throwing him the life preserver clearly pictured on the dock not 10 feet away? But I digress.).  
After my two watched the fire being put out, action around the home for the next few days consisted of putting out imaginary fires all over the place. One or the other would suddenly, and without warning, screech "There's a fire in the playroom!" and true to form, they would both run to find their helmets, get on the bed with the brass headboard in order to slide down the "pole", and make their way to the fire singing the lyrics of the Fireman Sam song.  In most instances, this resulted in a harmless bit of fantasy play and lots of shushing noises as the fire was quelled.

However, that was before they discovered the pump.  On a camping trip, we used a person-operated pump (like a large bicycle pump with a long hose) to blow up the air mattresses for the tent, and the boys' eyes gleamed at this heretofore undiscovered piece of "fire-fighting equipment".  I should have taken more note of those gleaming little eyes.  The very next opportunity, the firemen sought out this valuable commodity, digging it out of the cupboard in the garage with ease and stealth.  But where to find a ready source of water to pump?  They were both too short to reach the basins or sinks.  One source sprang easily to mind.  With great ingenuity, they inserted the long hose of the pump down the bowl of the toilet and into the subterranean depths of the inner workings of the loo.  Then they stepped back, and proceeded to pump with great determination, dedication and energy....

It does not take much intellect to imagine what happened after that.  It would have been fine, apart from the fact that, having three kiddies, I always make sure that there is a nicely-coloured loo block in the cistern for those non-flush emergencies.  This block turns the water bright (and I mean bright) blue.  Which is fine as long as the water remains in the loo. When it is splashed over the walls, floor, miscellaneous bath mats, and parts of the ceiling, as well as over two not-so-thrilled and yelling firemen, it is not as attractive. An innocent firefighting maneuver resulted in about two hours of post-operation cleanup.

I totally forgot to mention the incident to the Sweetpea until relatively recently.  He looked at me with horror on his face. "Do you know how many times I have had the end of that pump in my mouth?" he exclaimed.  Turns out that since that toilet operation, the pump has been a bit faulty and has required the use of teeth (namely those of the Sweetpea) to hold the end on.  Oh well... what doesn't kill us, etc., etc.

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