As it turns out, the City of Chicago has a fire prevention program and the firemen do this a lot--for schools, block parties, special events, etc. They also invited us to stop by the firehouse anytime for another tour or to hang out. I think that's a better way to go when you've got little kids who aren't the best at waiting in line. Especially if they are really into fire trucks and firemen. I think some parents/nannies made the mistake of hyping up the event and then their kids were devastated when the turnout was so great that the fire department ran out of plastic fireman's hats and we had to break into three sections to do the tours and wait our turn. It was chaotic to say the least.
As always, I'm thankful that Ada was able to wait patiently and didn't spaz out when it was time to leave. We are so lucky to have such a laid back and easy going little girl. As I write that, she is yelling for her father to attend to her in the other room in a tone of voice that is impatient, insistent, and bordering on urgent. It's lunchtime and he isn't moving fast enough. You win some, you lose some.
Moral of the story: You can't control what happens in life, especially at big public events. If you know your child is really set on doing something specific at the event, be sure to explain what could go wrong and how they can prepare for that reality before you go. We don't always get what we want in life and that's a tough pill to swallow.