In the Impatient Me post, I mentioned that one of my children had set fire to the house. A reader wanted wanted to know if my statement was really true. Well…almost. And not on purpose, mind you.
Here’s what happened:
Many years ago, I told the oldest two kiddos to go downstairs and start breakfast while I changed the baby’s diaper. I’m talking about pouring milk over cereal. A ten year old can accomplish this task without supervision–one might think…
Well, the diapering took longer than expected and I probably began a load of laundry, tripped over a few plastic toys, and stepped on a Barbie shoe ( ouch!) by the time I walked into the kitchen.
The two oldest were munching on bagels and cream cheese. Nothing amiss. I set the baby in the highchair and started the coffee pot. Child #3 climbed up on the chair and tried stealing his older brother’s bagel. The normal breakfast shenanigans. I put the kettle on and began packing lunches.
No sooner was one sandwich made when I noticed smoke coming from the stove top. I turned off the kettle, removed it from the burner. Smoke poured from under the stove top.
My first guess, old food had stuck on the bottom of the kettle. Nope. Kettle underside was clean. Meanwhile, the smoke increased! And my kiddos were sitting not 3 feet away.
Just so you know, the gas burners are located on an island in the middle of the kitchen. There’s 2 drawers on either side and under the range top is pot storage.
I still was not overly concerned. Guess, I wasn’t fully awake… hadn’t had my coffee yet.
I checked the space underneath. No smoke. Where was it coming from? The smoke began pouring from the burners.
And that’s when I panicked. The realization dawning! “It’s gonna blow!” I screamed, grabbing all the kiddos and pulling them out of the kitchen. I’m thinking, there must be a gas leak in the stove top! Once it ignites the whole island is going to EXPLODE!
Who knows how much time we had before the inferno erupts!
I bolted to the stairs, baby in one hand, toddler under my arm, and screamed to my husband. “FIRE!”
Of course, he came barreling down the steps and, sure enough, saw the smoke filling up the kitchen. After a 911 call we ran outside and waited for the red truck.
A few minutes later, a whole bunch of buff fireman raced into the house. The kiddos, meanwhile, were enjoying the early morning excitement.
Five tense minutes passed.
“It’s OK.” A handsome fireman waved us back inside. He held up a blackened potholder. “You really shouldn’t stuff a smoldering potholder into a drawer.”
A what? I didn’t use a potholder…wait a minute…
“Who used a potholder this morning?” I asked both school age kiddos.
They both took a step back.
“Sammy made the bagels.” Big brother pointed to his sis.
My daughter suddenly looked very concerned, but said nothing.
“Did you use a potholder?” I asked trying to sound as sweet as possible.
Her head shook back and forth.
“I won’t be mad, I promise. Did you use a potholder? I promise I won’t yell.”
A blonde head bobbed once.
“The toast was hot, so I used the potholder, and then…” And then the tears flow.
Frightened I would be angry because she burned a potholder, she stuffed it back into the drawer, where it began to smolder; eventually causing all that smoke.
Who knew a scorched potholder could be a fire hazard?
We laugh at the memory now.
Children…never a dull moment.