My four-year-old son loves firefighters and fighting fires, especially with hoses. He waters the plants for us – and puts out fires for himself, his imagination afire with thoughts of fires here and there and seemingly everywhere. He races to put out the flames in the lavenders and then the rosemary bushes. Then the pines. And wait, over there! Quick! The fire’s spread to the furs. He races down with the hose to put it out. Now he’s off again. The azaleas are on fire. Quick! Hurry, hurry!
He’s our very own firefighter.
Then one morning while we were upstairs getting ready to go to the beach he discovered a fire downstairs in the kitchen. It began on the stove and spread rapidly to the microwave and then mummy’s tea box. Quick! He raced to put it out and followed the blaze as it jumped to the bathroom mirror! Quick! Hurry, hurry!
We came downstairs to find him exhausted on the sofa. A morning of firefighting had left him tired out.
And it had left us out of a full canister of spray-on sunblock.
The imagination is a wonderful thing, we thought as we followed the path of the fire through the kitchen and to the bathroom with a stop at the dining-room sideboard – and as we thought what in blazing hell can we use to clean up the greasy aftermath because the vinegar just isn’t cutting it.