If this kid doesn't grow up to be a firefighter, I will be a monkey's uncle. (Whatever that actually means...)
It's funny to see how Nate can turn anything into a firefighter/fire truck/fire service reference.
For example, I could say "I really like blueberry muffins" and he'd say "You know who else really likes blueberry muffins? Firefighters!" Or I could say, "the sky sure looks grey today" and Nate would say "Smoke from a FIRE is grey, too!" Ok, so he probably wouldn't say that because I'm not sure he knows the color grey, but he often surprises me, so we'll pretend he does. Regardless, you get the point, no?
Anyway, Nathaniel soaks up all things fire fighting. He knows the equipment, the gear, the lingo. It's fabulous to watch, actually! He knows the difference between a pike pole and a pick axe. He can differentiate between an aerial platform truck and a pumper truck. He can even tell you under what circumstances a ladder truck would be used and when and why firefighters use SCBA (Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus) masks. He's turned safety goggles, a doctor's stethoscope, even a travel coffee mug into a breathing mask for many "emergencies"! He'll be the first to tell you that "Fire is very dangerous. That is why we must work together as a team to put the fire out and rescue people in trouble". He talks about fire trucks 24/7. Avery is "our fire dog". My car is "our fire car" that we take to emergencies. And he calls our house, "the fire station". He'll stand at the window and if he thinks someone comes too close to our house he'll yell "Hey, you! Get away from our fire house!". When people ask his name it's not uncommon to hear him say "I'm Firefighter Dave Smith".
He can sing the tunes to many fire fighter songs, makes the sound of a fire siren so believably that I've mistaken his antics for a real fire truck going by, and tells anyone and everyone who will listen that he's "a firefighter". With a peacock strut and proud grin, he tells everyone how he fights fires, saves people from burning buildings and rescues injured people at the scene of an accident.
He wears one of his two fire fighter uniforms wherever we go. Grocery store, mall, to see his beloved Brie, you name it...he wears his turn out gear (complete with a Nomex hood, helmet, and fire boots). He wears his Finding Nemo backpack as an air tank and drags around a variety of tools and equipment to help him fight fires wherever he is. This past winter, he surprised us by taking off his snow pants when he'd come inside and situating them with his boots like a firefighter does so all he had to do was step into his boots and pull his pants up to be ready to go. Genius, I tell you!
We spend hours watching fire truck videos on YouTube, viewing Lots and Lots of Firetrucks on DVD, and reading all about fire trucks, fire equipment, and fire fighting techniques. If it's possible for a 4-year-old to be passionate about something, this is it. He even meticulously hangs his fire gear up at night so it's ready for a fire whenever he should be called.
Considering my biggest fear, I find it ironic that of all the things he was exposed to as a baby, fire is the one thing he took to. Perhaps it's my own exposure therapy in play. Hmmm...now that sounds like a real kuh-mergency! Quick, someone call me a firefighter!