Kids Will Be Kids

By Audrey W.


Roy backed the squad into the apparatus bay as he and Johnny returned from a run. The older paramedic quickly scrambled out of the truck after parking it and left his partner behind as he hurried into the dayroom.


It was Father’s Day and since A-shift was on duty, Joanne DeSoto was bringing the children over to see their dad.


“Hey, what’s the big hurry?” Johnny asked as he came into the room after Roy. When he saw Joanne, Chris and Jenny he smiled.  “Oh yeah. . .I forgot you were coming over. Hi, Jo!”


“Hi, Johnny.” She got up from the table and came over to give their friend a quick hug. “And how are you?” she asked as she pulled back.


“Good. I’m good.”


Two-year-old Jennifer toddled over, her arms outstretched. “Ohnny!”


“Well, hey there, sweetheart!” The dark-haired paramedic picked her up, giving her a hug.


Sitting at the table and ignoring the other three in the room, four-year-old Christopher was enjoying his time with his dad.


“Hi, buddy!” Johnny said as he stepped over near the table, Jennifer still in his arms. When he didn’t get a reply, he turned toward Joanne with a puzzled expression on his face. Roy was a bit surprised at his son's behavior, and gave him a stern look. But not wanting to put a damper on the holiday, he quickly went back to their conversation, figuring on talking to Chris about it later.


Joanne smiled at Gage. “He’s determined to have his daddy all to himself as much as he can today.” She started for the doorway and motioned with a finger for Johnny to follow.





When they got out to the back lot, Joanne pointed to a sign taped on the rear window of her station wagon. There were large uneven letters printed in black crayon on white construction paper, spelling out the words GRIL FER SAL.


“Don’t tell me Chris is trying to sell his sister,” Johnny said, a wide grin on his face.


Joanne nodded. “He was hoping he’d get a buyer before we got here.” 


Gage looked at the little girl in his arms. “Better watch out, squirt. I think someone’s trying to get all of the attention here. But it won’t work, will it?” he said as he tickled Jennifer, eliciting an infectious giggle from her. He turned his attention to Joanne. “So, you gonna show Roy?”


“Uh huh. When he comes out later. I’m going to see if he notices first.”


As they started back inside, Johnny snickered. “So, what’s his asking price?”


The answer he got was a playful punch on the shoulder.





After forty minutes of visiting, the paramedics got toned out on another call, this time to meet up with Engine 51 at a house fire. Being that it was likely they’d be out awhile, Joanne opted to take Chris and Jennifer home, forgetting about the sign in the window.





The following morning, Roy pulled into his driveway and parked. As he got out of the car, he saw Chris run out towards him; Jenny was way behind as she toddled across the grass, stopping to check out flowers and insects along the way.


Tousling Chris’s hair, Roy kidded, “Johnny says to let him know when Jennifer goes on clearance.”




Chris followed his dad’s gaze to the sign still in the rear window of the station wagon.


“Oh. You aren’t mad, are ya, Daddy?”


Roy shook his head as he squatted down near his son. “Nah. But I think you might want to rethink this idea of selling your sister.”


“How come?”


“Because sisters come in handy. They get things like Easy Bake Ovens and Snow Cone makers when they get older. And you know what that means, don’t you?”


“Huh uh.”


“Free desserts. Sisters love to make stuff and give it away to the rest of the family.”


“They do?”








“Can we take the sign down?”




“Whatabout Johnny?”


Roy smiled. “I think he’ll be okay with it. Maybe we’ll promise to give him some free cookies when Jen gets her first Easy Bake Oven.”


Chris sighed with relief.  “Sure am glad I have you, Dad.”


“I’m glad I’ve got you, too,” he said, giving his son a hug.


“Without you, I’da blew my chance to be rich!”


“But I thought you agreed we should keep Jennifer.”


“Bake sales, Dad! We can have bake sales.”


Roy sat back on his heels, as Joanne came over and patted him on the back. “Ah, the joys of fatherhood, huh?”


“Wouldn’t trade it for a minute.”


Roy took Chris by the hand and Joanne picked up Jennifer, who had finally made her way to the others. Together the family walked towards the house, happy to have one another.



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