Posts Tagged ‘fire engines’

Rescue Ladybird

May 6, 2012

The local emergency services were having an open day today.  We always try to get to these.  The children get to talk to firefighters, police officers, paramedics and even customs officers.  They can explore the insides of fire-engines, ambulances, police cars and the rescue helicopter, collect posters and cards from all the services, and play on bouncy castles, colour in pictures, get a balloon sculpture, or have a sausage from the sausage sizzle.

There is also a children’s dress-up competition.  You can dress up as your favourite rescue worker and maybe win a prize.  I suggested to Fainjin that he wear his firefighter costume, but he wasn’t keen.  He put on the helmet, but not the jacket or pants.

I asked Babess whether she would like to wear the jacket and pants instead.  She decided they would be too big for her, and anyway, she wanted to be a ladybird.  “But you’re meant to be a rescue worker!” we told her.  Unperturbed, she replied, “I will be a rescue ladybird.”

The Dad and I grinned at each other and agreed that she might not even be the only “rescue ladybird” at the event.  “There will probably be one or two rescue princesses as well,” observed The Dad.

“Rescue princesses?!” scoffed our ladybird.  “That’s so silly!”

© UpsideBackwards 2012.


Fainjin’s badges

January 27, 2012

Fainjin and Pearl went to a badge-making and sewing class today.  Here are Fainjin’s efforts.  I’m told the dinosaurs are a tyrannosaurus rex and a brachiosaurus, but I have to confess I’m not sure which is which.

The two fire-engines are incredibly cute, and the bee on the flower was made especially for Babess, who was delighted and honoured and insisted on wearing it for the rest of the day.

At the top of the picture you can just see the edge of the “glasses case” (drawstring bag) that he did in the sewing class in the afternoon.  He was a bit worried about the sewing – this morning he said to me, “But Mummy, my stitches are all too big…”.  However, he has done really well, and I don’t think his stitches are big at all!

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Birthday list

August 29, 2011

Fainjin really wanted Pearl’s electric Smiggle eraser (rubber) the other day.  She wasn’t all that keen on him having it.  He gave it back, but was upset about it.

He hasn’t really wanted anything until recently.  Just in the last couple of weeks he has started to covet Pearl’s scooter – his has three wheels and he obviously thinks it’s beneath his dignity.  And now her rubber.

To ease the pain of returning it, I sat him on my knee and “reminded” him that when he’s a big boy heading to school in just a few months, we will get him a “School Box” with his very own paper and pens and rubbers.  His eyes went wide.  “I want one like Pearl’s but I want a green one!”

“Well, let’s put it on your birthday list then,” I said.  He’s never had a birthday list before, either – we’ve had to decide what he would like, since he didn’t have any “wants”.  I got the big diary out and made a page just for him.  I wrote down “scooter” and “green Smiggle”.  He caught on fast, and “farm Lego” and “BIG box of fire-engine Lego” were soon added.

The girls joined in the game, and pages for them were added.  This will be handy, come Christmas.  I started pages for myself and The Dad as well!

That night, as I put him to bed, he told me he had another thing for his list.  “I think I’d like… a book,” he said with his sweetest smile, and my heart warmed, another book-lover, “…called… Dinosaur Poems.”

The next lesson might have to be that you don’t necessarily get everything on the list!

Disclosure: This post has not been sponsored in any way.

© UpsideBackwards 2011.


February 18, 2011

On the bus with Fainjin and Babess the other day, chatting away about fire-engines and other vehicles with flashing lights, and rating our favourites by colour and function, I asked Fainjin, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

He looked at me.  “What do you want to do when you’re all grown up?” I asked again.  “Ummm,” he pondered, “go to the toilet!”  Poor little man, the stress of toilet-training and being “a big boy” is taking its toll!

I explained what I meant, and as expected he said he wants to be a fireman.

one with ladders

He wants to drive the fire-engine with the ladder on top, and spent a bit of time telling me about the different sorts of fire-engine.  Ladders and hoses and skylifts, oh my!

“Babess, what about you?” I asked.  She didn’t hesitate.  She gazed adoringly at her big brother.  “I be a fireman too!” she said.

“Yeah!  You can drive the fire-engine with no ladder on top,” he offered.

© UpsideBackwards 2011.

Village life

February 12, 2011

Each summer, our village has a festival.  We kick off with a parade, followed by bands and bouncy castles at the park beside the beach.  Next day is market day, with a “big dig” and various cultural events.  There are photography competitions, art exhibitions, go-cart races, and organised walks.

Today Pearl and I rode on a float in the parade, waving and calling to lots of friends.  There were more people in the parade than watching it, I think, a triumph of community involvement that reminded me of the Lobster Festival in Hofn, Iceland.  The Dad, two-year-old Pearl and I were the only spectators that day as (apparently) the whole town marched in front of us!

The Dad, Fainjin and Babess waited near the end of the parade route, waving little flags and cheering.  Seeing their big sister wasn’t really the highlight for them though, because bringing up the rear of the event were two fire engines, with lights flashing and firemen handing out balloons and stickers!  Hard to compete with that.

Afterwards, we listened to the bands for a bit, the kids bounced on the castle, and we inspected the carnival games but resisted the temptations of open-mouthed clowns and dart boards.

Tomorrow there will be lots of excitement I’m sure… check back then for more!

© UpsideBackwards 2011.

A fire-engine birthday

January 3, 2011

Fainjin is four.  My lament that his days of threedom and going fourward are over was matched only for groan-worthiness by Uncle G’s asking whether he got any new four-engines…

Of course he did.  His gifts fell into three broad categories: Lego, crocodiles, and (wait for it) fire-engines.

LOTS of lego!

crocodile hat and bionic claw

Unintentionally hilarious instructions

Quote of the day is from The Dad, on seeing the Bionic Claw: “Great!  I’ve always wanted one of these!”

Fainjin got not one, but two fire-engine bubble machines.  They move around and sound their sirens incessantly and blow bubbles from their water cannon.  They are both the same brand, but different fire engines, so that worked out well (although noisily).  In addition to the “bubbles liquid infusion sketch map” telling you to “remove the fim”, the bubble mix has this:

Infunde a full minor lattice every time

And even better than the noisy fire-engines, the fabulous Auntie B made this:

Isn't she amazing?!

It was the hit of the day!

We had a family morning tea, with Nana and Poppa and Auntie B and cousins, then a “real party” in the afternoon.  Only one of his friends from daycare could come,  but even that worked out quite nicely, keeping things low-key for his first play-date/party.  The kids played with Lego and ate party food, while the adults ate slightly different party food (chilli roast beef and spinach sandwiches, nut pies) and chatted.

After the party, the kids watched a DVD while I “helped” Fainjin put together the huge Lego crane.  That is, I had a great time playing with his Lego while he watched the DVD and occasionally came over to see what I was doing.

I think we all had a good day.

© UpsideBackwards 2011.

With a fire-engine cake, of course

December 13, 2010

Fainjin has never really had friends over here to play.  He does spend all day all week with them, so I don’t think he’s missing out!  But he’s also only ever had “family” birthday parties – and this year he didn’t get one at all, because we were sick.

So we thought that this coming birthday, perhaps he could have a “real” party.  With friends.  I’ll make a cake (I usually do, he just missed out last year), and we’ll have party food and the kids can run around outside together for an hour or so.

Rather than ask him whom to invite, we asked his teachers who his friends were, and quickly had a list of five invitees.  We had thought four, for his 4th birthday, but it’s not that big a deal.  Also, there’s a high chance some people will still be away on holiday, so it’s good to have some wiggle-room on numbers.  I wrote out the invitations last night, and had them ready for day-care this morning.

Then I remembered that we hadn’t told Fainjin what we were planning.  It might be a bit odd if other kids started saying “I’m coming to your party!” only to have him say “What party?”…

“Fainjin!” I said, “We thought it might be nice to invite some of your friends over to play here on your birthday, and we can have a little party!”

“No!” he scowled.  “I don’t want to!”


“Why not?  Wouldn’t you like a party for your birthday?  And have your friends come here to play with you?”

“No!  ‘Cos it’s my birthday and not their birthday!”

Ah.  I can see his point.  We had a chat about it, and I think he’s come around to the idea.  I’m pretty sure he’ll enjoy showing off his fire-engine collection.

Oh yes, he also wants a fire-engine to come here for his birthday… Hmmm…

© UpsideBackwards 2010.

Christmas windows

November 20, 2010

Our local department store unveiled its Christmas windows today.  Yes, I know!  It’s only mid-November.  But they’ve had their Christmas shop in full swing for a month or more already anyway.

Much is made of the great reveal.  There is a street party, a charity fundraiser, with entertainers, rides, balloons and face-painting.  We went down to have a look, and found the line for rides in the fire-engine only had one family in it.  We quickly signed up – Pearl offered to accompany Fainjin so I could stay back with Babess.  They rode around the block, then came back again.  Fainjin was holding the driver’s fire helmet – he’d been given it to “look after” because he had started crying.  I think he thought I’d sold him or something and he was being taken away.  He looked relieved when they arrived back, and even managed a grin.

Then we collected some balloons, and checked out the merry-go-round.  Pearl was desperately disappointed to see a sign saying “Children aged under 8 only”, even though she agreed with me that her feet would be dragging on the ground if she tried to sit on one of the horses.

To ease some of that pain, we went to the bouncy castle.  All three children shed shoes and socks, and Pearl and Fainjin leapt gleefully to join the kids already playing.  Babess looked up, assessed the situation, and climbed back into her stroller.  I replaced her shoes and socks, and we watched the older two bounce and bounce and bounce and bounce and bounce.  They had a ball.

Unfortunately, the castle was right behind the stage area, and we had arrived just as a band started up.  I have no idea what sort of music they were playing, but it wasn’t Christmas carols or children’s songs, and it was extremely loud.  I put my hands over Babess’ ears, afraid for her hearing, and felt my own eardrums rattle along with the drums.  I persuaded the children away after what felt like an eternity, and  tonight I still have sore ears.  It was a great shame, because the rest of the event looked very good.

We went around the corner to escape the noise, and found lots of other families “sheltering” there too.  We saw one or two windows revealed, but were all too tired from bouncing and the aural attack to hang around for the rest or even see Father Christmas arrive.  He’ll be in his grotto until Christmas Eve, we’ll probably pop in to say hi another day.

I think next year we might just give the party a miss.

© UpsideBackwards 2010.


October 30, 2010

This morning was a wonderful series of happy accidents.

As has become our habit, Fainjin, Babess and I wandered through the markets and along the waterfront.  The kids wanted to look at the boats, but it was chilly, so I suggested we visit the Christmas section of a large department store first.  They were more than happy to, and it was great fun – lots of beautiful Christmas trees in many different colour schemes and themes, several Christmas trains and other moving things to look at, and NZ-themed decorations I might later buy and send around the world.

As we walked in, though, I saw a friend I haven’t seen in months.  After a brief catch-up, she invited us to spend the afternoon with her family tomorrow, with a promise of a backyard for the kids to run around in, “refreshing beverages” for the grown-ups, and pizza for tea.  Sounds fabulous!

Then we headed for the waterfront.  There was a trade show in one of the buildings, and I thought we might go in for a wander, but Fainjin wanted to see the water first, which was lucky, because when we got there we found (you’ll never guess!) a fire-engine!  And an ambulance, and police cars – the emergency services seem to having a few display-days at the moment.  Fainjin climbed up into the cab of the fire-engine and beamed.  Babess didn’t want to climb up, but graciously accepted the stickers bestowed upon her.

After some time spent admiring flashing lights and other attractions, we went back to the trade show.  It wasn’t all that interesting, but plenty of stalls were handing out lollies, so that kept the kids happy.  And then we met a fairy.  Not just any fairy – this one was making balloon animals for kids in the trade show!  She made Fainjin a beautiful yellow lion with an orange mane, and a pink pony for Babess.  Their eyes were like saucers as the animals appeared in her hands.  I’m happy to report that both animals made it home intact, too, despite the brisk wind threatening to rip them away from us.

© UpsideBackwards 2010.

Words I thought I’d never hear

October 23, 2010

At the supermarket last week, emergency services personnel gathered for a fundraising event.  They were supporting Canteen, a charity for teenagers with cancer.  A local radio station was there too, playing music and providing commentary.

There was no fire-engine, sadly, but there were firefighters, who gladly showed a wide-eyed Fainjin their helmets and jackets and admired his fireman-yellow raincoat.

Fainjin watched them for a little while, then turned to me and said “Mama, I don’t want to be a firefighter.”

I smothered a chuckle.  I had wondered whether the event would prompt him to reconsider his career ambitions.  The firefighters (and police, and ambulance crew) were being very brave, and chatting and smiling, which impressed me.  It must be quite difficult to keep a smile on your face while having your legs waxed, in public…

© UpsideBackwards 2010.

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