Monday, August 3, 2009

firefighter of the year

As soon as I found out I was pregnant I pulled myself off the trucks. It would be tough to waddle my way up a ladder or even try to wedge myself behind the steering wheel of the rig. One of the fellas I worked with is literally my favourite captain around. He got on the job the same year that I was born (1970!) and is one of the most charming, well-mannered and salt-of-the-earth kind of guys. Due to an illness a few years ago he came off the trucks and now works in equipment and stores division of the fire department which is where I was assigned for both of my pregnancies. His nickname, for whatever reason is Captain Underpants and we became fast friends. I adored him for bringing in ice cream, which for a pregnant woman, is as necessary as breathing air. Ben and Jerry's Cherries Jubilee was the flavour of choice.

Two weeks before my due date I was still working. I knew I was cutting it close but Jacob was over his due date so I figured I had some time. Plus I loved going in to work. And we were working on a big order for new uniforms for everyone and I wanted to get it done before I went off on mat leave. Captain Underpants and I were assigned to do all the deliveries and so we did.... we sorted, stacked and delivered close to 700 uniforms to all the stations and divisions. Captain U/P would drive slowly over bumps an potholes because he was always nervous about causing my water to break and I would laugh and scoff at his overcautiousness.

On my last day of work, we headed to the fire prevention dept. located at City Hall. It was our final delivery drop. To get to the offices you need to take the freight elevator via underground loading docks. And those freight elevators, I am sad to say, are creaky and not always the most reliable. And I kid you not, they were under repair that day. As we loaded and stepped in and the freight elevator doors shut behind us, I jokingly said to Captain U/P... "so.... how would you like to win firefighter of the year award... you might have to deliver this baby"..... He paled. I apologized. And a day later I had Maiya. At home... two weeks before her due date. My husband literally had to pull down the shower curtain to use as a drop sheet because she was born so quickly and thankfully easily into my husbands hands. So I guess in the end the joke was on me. I am happy Captain Underpants didn't need to see mine. I don't know who would have been more mortified... me or him.

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