Friday, July 01, 2005

With All the Bells and Whistles

"I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a firefighter The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we who know the work which the firefighter has to do believe that his is a noble calling."

Yes, it was one of those days. NO, thank God, the house did not burn down. BUT, we had an emergency call to the fire department today. The 8-year-old girl got stuck in a baby swing at the park. Her leg began to swell up and she couldn't get out. Two other moms and myself tried to pull her out... no luck. I used my key to cut her pants apart to try to see if getting the fabric cut away from the swing made a difference... NOPESTER. Meanwhile, the leg began to swell up, and she began to panic. "MOM, MY LEG'S TURNING PURPLE... THEY'RE GOING TO CUT OFF MY LEG..."

What else was there to do but call the Fire Department? Actually all the moms at the park agreed. We had tried so hard to ease her out in any way possible and had no luck whatsoever. And, that is what The Fire Department are there for. To fight fires, get kittens out of trees, and get children out of baby swings.

So I called 911 on my cellphone and got put through to... THE HIGHWAY PATROL. And got put... ON HOLD. For five minutes. With a bawling child whose hair I was running my fingers through, trying to keep (her and me!) calm.

I wasn't waiting any longer. I called Information and got the local police Non-emergency number, and told them to transfer me to the Fire Deparment emergency number. They got there in under five minutes and the chief and two firefighters showed up along with a policeman in a patrol car. I was pretty sure they were going to have to use a saw to cut this swing off of her, BUT, because I had been able to chop the pants off her to her thigh, they got a container of soap (they keep these things in the firetruck, if you didn't know, for just this kind of emergency) and slicked up her leg and the baby swing and then I ran into the restroom to get water! (Then at that point I felt kinda dumb, like, shit, shouldn't I have figured out to do that... but then there's never any soap in those restrooms anyway and it wasn't like I was going to tell one of the other mmoms, whom I didn't know and with whom I only spoke because of the emergency, to drive to their homes to get soap IN CASE it might work... that'd be dumb, who knows where they lived and what if it hadn't worked and etc etc etc and plus I'm a bad crappy mother for not watching her well enough and plus plus plus, but then I can't tell you how many times I've been at the park and seen big kids playing on the baby swings and their moms sitting right there, so I didn't feel like such a dork or at least I convinced myself I wasn't!). Anyway, after the soap and water trick then two firefighters pulled her out of the swing and we were all OK, happy and a little embarrassed.

At home she wondered if she was going to get in trouble. I said, "no, you've been in enough trouble... as long as you learned something."

"I did."

"What did you learn?"

"Never to go to the park again because the park is cursed."

We had a little conversation after that and I think we're all on the same page. I'm just a TAD emotionally exhausted though. It's not every day the Fire Department rescues your child from a baby swing.