Marcus, my five-year-old son, loves everything about firemen - the uniforms, the trucks, the equipment, everything. So, I celebrated his fifth birthday with a Fireman themed party.
I arranged for Marcus and six of his friends to have a tour of the local fire station which I thought would be fun as well as educational. My husband Tony and few other parents volunteered to come along and help with supervising.
I rented a small minibus to take six children and a few parents to the fire station just after midday on the following Saturday. I grabbed my camera and off we went.
The Station Commander was called Andrew and he met us at the front of the station. All the boys got to wear fireman hats. He put rubber boots, a jacket and a yellow slicker on Marcus and I took a picture of him posing with an unconnected hose. I put a framed copy on my desk at work. We took lots of pictures of the boys climbing on one of the fire engines and pretending to be firefighters. The tour was excellent and we got to see everything--the trucks, the equipment and the uniforms. Andrew explained the various parts of the fire truck and its purpose and the importance of the protective equipment such as axes, torches and breathing gear. Marcus loved it.
Phoebe, the fire station dog, was a beautiful Dalmatian. She wagged her tail and let the boys pet her. She seemed used to looking after kids. In fact, one of the boys started to crawl under one of the trucks when everyone was busy learning how to coil up a fire hose. Phoebe barked and whined to get Commander Andrew's attention and he stopped the boy before he got into trouble.
Commander Andrew took us up to the second floor and introduced the boys to the other firemen. They were playing cards, but put their hands aside to answer the boy's questions and let them slide down the pole. Just as Marcus was taking his turn the alarm rang. We stood out of the way while three of the firemen took off in one of the fire engines. Marcus was very impressed.
One of the firemen brought out the birthday cake I had left in their refrigerator the day before. It was, of course, in the shape of a beautiful red fire engine. Marcus blew out the candles in one go and we all sang Happy Birthday, including the remaining firemen. We served the cake on fire engine themed paper plates. While we ate the cake Marcus opened his presents. He was really thrilled with the toy fire engine we gave him. It was so cute with flashing lights and a siren. He was in heaven.
After that, and since they had work to do in the fire station, we said goodbye and left. They boys didn't want to leave of course, but when we told them we were stopping for pizza on the way home they all ran to the van. Back at our house the boys played firemen until their parents arrived. As the kids left, Marcus handed each of his friends a party bag filled with fire engine stickers, mini fire vehicles and other sweets and goodies.
He insisted on taking his fire engine to bed with him. I think he will remember this birthday for many years to come.