Here's the deal. A few weeks back, when we first moved into our new place in Colorado, everything was blissful. Everyone was happy. Birds chirped, rainbows shined, sun beamed, unicorns pranced etc.
And then I made chicken Parmesan with garlic cheesy toast.
Because of the new oven that I wasn't used to yet, I burnt the bread and set off a chain of events that changed the way we've been living ever since. Thick smoke hit the detector like an Acme anvil on Wile E Coyote. Loud, never ending waves of beeping torture hit my baby girl's ears and scared the ever loving center of her Tootsie Pop, never to be the same again. She refuses to go in the hallway, her room, my room or any other room where there is one of these beasts on the ceiling. She cowers in complete fear if left alone where one can be spotted. She was shaken to her core. It is literally all she talks about. It's been weeks. (Did you notice how much stuff we've been doing outside our house lately? It's not because of the gorgeous weather.) She even had a melt down at the grocery store after seeing they follow her wherever she may roam. They are everywhere she goes.
I can't take it anymore.
So this morning, I received a phone call from my dad telling me that my cousin Michael works at the fire department in Windsor (one town to our South) and that they were having an open house with all sorts of demonstrations, food, games, truck displays and so forth. So I jumped on the thought, packed up Kalynn, and away we went. I figured, if I can somehow make her understand that these noisy circular annoyances are not in fact the devil, that they are actually there to help us, maybe things can start to get back to normal around our house. Because it's pretty sad to see a little girl who is frozen in horror of her own play room. It really is.
She was a little sketched out at first. There were giant trucks and a million people and she had a hard time figuring out what was going on. But then she saw a cute puppy, her Papa Dan, her Grandma Dee Dee, and realized they had hot dogs and cookies. Things looked up quickly after that.
Once Kalynn saw that Michael also had a daughter, Callae, around her same age to pal around with, whatever small remaining fear she had left went straight out the window.
The Windsor Fire District is genius. I don't know if it was their idea or not, but at this point I don't care. They made a "smokehouse trailer"with room for kids to come sit inside, watch a video, and then they demonstrated the smoke detector. I was more nervous about them setting it off than Kalynn was, simply for the fact that I thought this may set her into a tailspin of downward spiraling self combustion. But I explained what was going to happen, and that she needed to watch the other kids, and plug her ears if she needed to. So they set it off, Kalynn froze for a second, plugged her ears, and looked at all the other older kids (who were laughing and beeping right along with it.)
Then she started to smile.
I'm telling you, I've never been so relieved in my life. She rocked back and forth to the beat of the beeps, she clapped her hands, she even pretended to fan imaginary smoke away.
After the demonstration was over, Kalynn and Callae got to check out the inside of a couple fire trucks.
and "crawl under the smoke" though a play tube
Kalynn had the option of wearing a fire hat, but she wasn't too sold on the idea.
She also got to chit chat with paramedics, get her pulse taken, and walked away with a new coloring book and keychain!
This nice fireman showed her how to open and shut the fire hose nozzle and how to spray a fire!
She even got to pet a real police doggie!
The main demonstration of the day was an extrication as well as distinguishing a burning car. Here is Callae's daddy putting on his gear and getting ready to go to work!
And as we were getting ready to leave, she snuck a couple of hugs in with the Windsor Fire Department Dalmatian and Smokey The Bear!
However, Smokey must have been distracted because while we were there, a handful of firemen had to rush off to brave a real forest fire just up the express way in the mountains!
So whatever the reason was for us stopping by today, I'm really glad we did. I think it's really important for Kalynn to know, in case something horrible ever did happen, that these men and women are not scary, they're here to help us. I'd venture to bet that Windsor isn't the only town that does open houses. You should call your closest station and see when their open house is. Go every year, make it a tradition. Nothing sets my mind more at ease than knowing these people truly care and knowing that my daughter gets that.