Since our furnace up and died two months ago, we’ve had a steady stream of Furnace Men coming to our house. They’ve come to measure, estimate, install, check, adjust, and re-check. This is all very thrilling to my kids. They are fascinated with the ductwork, wiring, insulation, and all the special equipment. Even without all that, any visitor makes for an extra special day around here.
Throughout this process, I’ve had talks with my girls (ages 6 and 3) about proper behavior around Furnace Men. Our rules of conduct are pretty straightforward:
#1 – We let each Furnace Man have his own personal space, even if he is one of our favorites.
#2 – We use our inside voice and say “excuse me” if we’d like to say something.
#3 – If there is a special jump, or twirl, or pair of shoes we want to show the Furnace Man (and there always is), we wait until the end of his visit and then ask politely if we can show him whatever it is.
With a few whispered reminders, the girls generally do well and our visitors seem to enjoy the rockstar reception they get at our house.
wire bracelets some Furnace Men made for our girls during their lunch break
Yesterday was yet another very special day because Doug (one of my daughters’ favorites) came to inspect the ducts.
“Excuse me, Doug,” My oldest daughter began. “Won’t your face get itchy when you crawl down there?”
Doug was preparing to enter the crawl space under the house, and the last Furnace Man to do so had worn a ski mask. Doug gamely answered her question and was just about to descend when my three year old, Caitlyn, had a question of her own.
She stepped a little closer to him and said, confidingly, “Excuse me, Duck, but if you are scared down there, will you just let me know? I can go with you so you won’t be scared.”
Doug chuckled and thanked her. I thought that was such a sweet thing to say that I hardly noticed anything was amiss. He slid down the hole, turned on his headlamp and started to crawl away. Caitlyn peered over the edge and looked quizzically at his legs as he worked his way across the dirt floor.
“Hmmm,” She observed aloud. “He doesn’t look much like a duck.”
In hurried whispers, I explained to her that the Furnace Man was named Doug, and he was indeed, not a duck.
She nodded, but was apparently unconvinced.
After he reappeared, she doggedly followed him all around the house, helpfully pointing out the vents he was looking for.
“Here, Duck! There’s one over here.”
“Duck, you are very good at measuring!”
(Under my breath, I reminder her. “Doug, Honey. His name is Doug.”)
Undeterred, she rushed ahead to assist her friend. “Now, Duck. I think this is the last one!” She proudly exclaimed.
Duck was such a good sport about the whole thing, and he even waited around an extra minute to watch the dance-jump-twirl she had been saving.
Ah my sweet girl. What would I do without a three year old around to keep things interesting? 🙂
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