Fireman’s Hall.

I can already tell that we’re in for a fun summer. We’re adventuring all over the place and it’s not even mid-May yet. (Although, I don’t know if the weather got that memo; today it’s a blazing 90 degrees. May the fourth be with you indeed.)

Since The Who is really into trains lately, we took the train from our little suburb into the Big, Big City and took a tour of Fireman’s Hall, which is a very cool museum for what it is, but I do wish (and I think The Who wished also) that it was more interactive. More things to climb on, touch, play with. There were some fun exhibits like an old rotary telephone set up on a wooden desk, presumably to simulate where the dispatcher took fire calls. The Who desperately wanted to sit in the big swivel chair and pretend to triage emergencies, but it was cordoned off with big brass chains, upon which hung a sign: “Do Not Touch The Brass.” (I did let him sneak under there once or twice at the end, though.) There were also awesome old horse-drawn fire wagons, including an early coal-powered engine with coal to shovel. Of course, “Do Not Touch The Coal” was posted. (And of course I let him touch it a little.)

Here’s a big fire engine. You may touch the bumper only.

You also weren’t allowed to climb on any of the old wagons and I understand why — preservation and everything — but I think if you’re catering to children (which, to an extent, they are, as evidenced by the big display of fire-related-toys for sale in their gift shop) then you need to have more for them to climb on and explore. To their credit, they did have big fire boots and jackets to try on, which The Who found hilarious.

Here, our young hero is completely collapsed in a fit of giggles, unable to stand up. His ever-so-empathetic mother took a photo before helping him up from under 17 pounds of gear.

It was a very educational trip, when all was said and done. Our walk to Fireman’s Hall from the train station took us past both Benjamin Franklin’s burial spot and the Betsy Ross house. I explained both the best I could to a 3-year-old. He seemed to understand the concept of “the body of a very old and important man, for whom your cousins’ hometown is named after, is under the ground here so people can visit this spot and remember how much he did for our country” and “the woman who sewed our very first flag lived here in this little house.” I suppose the history lessons will get a little more complex as he gets older. I didn’t even attempt to explain the Liberty Bell. The onslaught of questions would have done me in. (“Why is it broken, Mama? Why is it in this building, Mama? Why can’t people touch it, Mama? Why do so many people want to see it, Mama?”)

“F-R-A-N-K-L-I-N”

The day was long and fun. I do my fair share of complaining, but the kid is really a dreamboat when it comes to outings and compliance and listening and tolerance. I can’t wait to see what other wacky adventures we can dream up in the next few months.

Despite no nap and a very long day of listening and obeying, The Who never let even the tips of his toes touch the yellow line.

****PS: As an unrelated follow-up to my last post, we’ve had three dry nights in a row without waking him up to pee! We’ve stopped the dinnertime water (allowing a sip if he asks for it) and stopped the routine drinks at bathtime (again, allowing a sip if he asks for it.) Fingers (and legs!) crossed…

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