Grandpa and RG Visit the Zoo. Chapter 8: RG Abuses Her Authority as a Fire Chief.

December 16, 2008

We were driving on a surface street and approaching a stop light. For some reason, traffic was heavy; at least 30 cars were ahead of us on the street. RG was thinking about a snack, and the traffic irritated her.

“Get out of our way, cars,” she exclaimed in some exasperation. As is frequently the case, my troublesome imagination seized control of my mouth. “Do you want me to take out my cell phone and ask the cars to move?” I asked.

“Yes!” exclaimed RG, delighted by this practical approach to eliminating a frustration from her life.

Too late, obvious drawbacks flooded my mind. “I don’t have the numbers for the phones in the other cars,” I cautioned her.

However, the idea had seized control of RG’s mind and she was running with it. Her mind has moved way beyond concern with practical difficulties.

“We’ll call them and tell them we are on the way to put out a fire!” she exclaimed. “They will have to get out of our way. ‘Get out of the way! Get out of the way! We have to put the fire out!'” she exclaimed with great enthusiasm, warming to the drama in her mind.

I tried to throw cold water on the fire chief. “It would not be true, though. You are not really on the way to put out a fire. You are just trying to get home so you can get a snack.

“Suppose somebody called you and said, ‘Get out of the way; I am going to put out a fire,’ but they were just telling you a story so they could get somewhere.”

RG was not very interested in my hypothetical story. I think four years old is a bit young for contemplation of the Golden Rule. However, perhaps impelled to travel down side streets by the force of RG’s will, the cars scattered out of our way and we soon arrived at RG’s home.


4 Responses to “Grandpa and RG Visit the Zoo. Chapter 8: RG Abuses Her Authority as a Fire Chief.”

  1. pandemonic Says:

    Oh, I hate to say this, but RG sounds like my daughter at that age. If left on her current path of back-seat-driving-road-rage, she may end up just like Ms. MiniD, who constantly yells at cars and drives like a maniac. She has the tickets to prove it.

    Back when my daughter was RG’s age, my husband used to drive her to the bus stop. This is because I was driving the other kid to a different school. My husband is also a car yeller, and taught the dubious meaning of the yellow light (when you see yellow, go FASTER!)

    I think RG would be well served to find a job with the Police or Fire department. That way she could turn on her siren and blow everyone else out of her way.


  2. modestypress Says:

    Pan, I don’t know how much RG is drawn to police work. I have known some police officers and even worked at night as a security guard while in college, though when they issued me a gun and put me in a location where it might be needed, I quickly quit. I admire and appreciate police officers for the work they do and the risks they take.

    However, I have often thought there is a very thin line that separates the decision to be a police officer and the decision to be a criminal. Perhaps a similar thin line separates the urge to be a fireman and the urge to be an arsonist.

    Until we are sure RG feels the proper calling to be on the right side of the force, I think we should be cautious about urging one of these careers on her. The person behind you with the siren screaming may be RG. I don’t know if we will be able to tell if she can handle the power and authority until she is five years old, at least.

  3. truce Says:

    I love how she seized on your suggestion to call the other cars on your cell phone. She has complete trust in a) her grandpa’s ability to solve all problems and b) the ability of technology to solve all problems her grandpa can’t solve on his own.

  4. modestypress Says:

    Truce, I am trying to let RG down easy on realizing the truth on both #1 and #2.

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