I was very excited to hear it was fire station open day from a friend. V1 loves all big machines so given we were expecting hideous amount of rain, it was a perfect outing.
My better half was working so I took a few deep breaths, packed the bags and readied myself for what would no doubt be a rewarding, yet tiring and potentially anxiety inducing experience.
I was pretty nearly right on all counts. After listening to V1 call the man beeping at us while we were trying to park a ‘silly person’ (thankfully I remember to be G rated for roadrage!) and then listening to the advice of the random stranger walking down the footpath tell me ‘you can’t fit in there, love’, I did a painfully slow left turn, U turn and right turn to a new park, saying a silent prayer it wouldn’t be gone by the time we got there. We came. We saw. We parked.
We were regrettably a little ways away from the Station but V1 very considerately held my hand the whole walk (thereby assisting to curb a little of the anxiety about him darting onto the very busy road we were walking next to). I couldn’t shake the feeling that he was peaking too soon and was saving something special for the station.
Instincts are usually right in motherhood, even though it takes me a lot of convincing to listen to them on occasion, but thankfully I only had to pay in the form of lining up to get inside the truck, twice. One 15 minute wait saw V1 suddenly develop a fear of trucks (Seriously – this from the kid who has no less than 30 trucks at home; who loves nothing more than truck spotting on road trips; and who has his own personal version of ABCD but it’s ABCD trucks).
Sure enough, when it came time to leave after he inhaled his sausage sandwich, he decided he was, in fact, the big brave boy we have been telling him he is and he wanted to go inside the truck before we left.
20 minutes later we were at the front of the line once more, and in he climbed. And got stuck between the steering wheel and driver seat (not really stuck in the literal sense, but rather stuck in the toddler sense of being no longer able to move forward or back or from side to side and ears no longer work to listen to basic instruction). So V2 was promptly handed over to a random stranger in the line behind me who was so lovely to offer to take the photos and hold V2 !
So lovely in fact that when V1 again found himself ‘stuck’ in the passenger section of the truck he promptly yelled ‘give her to [V2]’ – he doesn’t know his subjects and objects yet but the messaging was clear – he wanted V2 back in the arms of the kind stranger.
Logic ultimately prevailed when I convinced him:
– if he climbed up the stairs he could climb down them;
– that the other child’s feet who were near his, did not mean he couldn’t move his;
– and ultimately that as I could carry both he and his sister at home and the shops I could do it here too.
They were both carried out happy, and we provided a little entertainment for the firies.
Our outing was all the more successful due to the kindness of a fellow toddler mum (she left her 18mth old at home – wise lady!), the kindness of the firies, the reminder about the open day from a friend, and the kindness of the dad’s in line who continually picked up everything that V2 dropped while we waited in line. It does take a village! Dad can hopefully join us next time which will make it definitely easier, more enjoyable, and would mean I wouldn’t have to face the challenge of reverse parallel parking !