Friday, April 1, 2011

OK, Maybe We Did Start The Fire

Whew! I didn't mean to keep you in suspense about our fire for nearly two days, but sometimes (OK, most of the time) things are a little crazy around here.

So about that fire...

Usually my stove looks like this:

See? No knobs at all. That's because the knob locks make it easy for little hands to pull the knobs completely off the stove. Ever since the day Jeff had to bring home pizza for supper after I spent more than an hour hunting unsuccessfully for a stove knob, I just keep the knobs in a drawer.

But the night before the fire, I made supper for the adults after the kids were in bed. I left a knob, in its lock, on the stove. 

It was a typical morning around here. I had gotten the newspaper and was standing at the stove, which is on a peninsula overlooking our kitchen table. I was reading the newspaper and chatting with the boys while they ate their breakfast.

Then I made the mistake of being human and having to pee.

I left the newspaper on the stove, and went to the half bath less than 10 feet away.

I heard the boys running around the kitchen jabbering. Then I heard them say, "Fire! Fire!"

I didn't think much about it. We're in a big imagination phase around here, and the boys are always talking about monsters, volcanos, flying robots and the like. And no one was screaming or sounded panicked.

Then I thought I smelled smoke. Honestly, I was sure I was imagining it, but I opened the door of the bathroom to check. I saw two-foot high flames on the stove. The burner was red hot and my newspaper was on fire.

I almost killed myself trying to get off the toilet and extricate myself from my pants.

Then I raced, bare-bottomed, to the cabinet with the fire extinguisher while yelling at the boys to move back and sit down.

Unfortunately, like every cabinet in my house, the cabinet with the kitchen fire extinguisher is locked. Those magnetic Tot Locks really work! I nearly tore the door off the hinges before I spied the kitchen tongs. I grabbed the tongs, picked up the flaming paper and threw it into the kitchen sink where I doused the fire with water.

News flambe, anyone?

The I turned around and said to my three very wide-eyed boys, "That is why we never EVER touch the stove."
The boys were all quick to tell me what happened. As it turns out, Alex can now open the stove knob locks. He happily demonstrated his new skill and told me, "I make fire, Mommy!"

That's great honey, but this isn't the Boy Scouts. We don't give badges for that.

Alex had a small blister on one of his fingers, so we headed to the hall bathroom for a stern lecture and a Band-Aid. As I was tending to his injury I suddenly heard sirens.

I panicked, thinking one of my neighbors had seen smoke and called the fire department, and I was about to greet them sans pants.

I scrambled out of the bathroom in a desperate bid to retrieve my pants before the firefighters arrived only to find Isaac and Sam playing with their very realistic-sounding toy ambulance and police car.

Since there was no harm to property or children, this story is one we can chuckle about, but I am very,very aware how lucky we were that no one was hurt. Though I may be traumatized for life. I even put all the boys in their cribs later that day when I had to use the bathroom again.
Alex, Sam and Isaac
I told Jeff later that the whole thing never would have happened if I were a man.

Because if I were a man, I would have taken the newspaper to the bathroom with me.

© Trippin' Mama 2011


Jen said...

I am sorry this happened but I was totally laughing at your adventure. Mostly because it didn't happen to me. ;)

Emily said...

My heart was racing just reading that! Sometimes it's those close calls where I didn't do anything foolish that are the scariest for me, because they seem so out of my control. I'm glad you're all OK!

Christy AKA Trippin' Mama said...

Jen, once my heart quit racing I had to laugh, too.

Emily, thank heavens something bad doesn't happen every time I turn my back, but I agree. It's scary when you didn't even do anything foolish (and we've all done those things!).

Kaia said...

Haha! Ok, glad you guys and the house and everything are all ok but that last line made me laugh! These brothers I have have started bringing their laptops to the bathroom with them.......... guys anyways!

meghan said...

I just want to thank you for all your posts/advice/recipes. I have been following your blog, after finding it from a friend's blog (Owen plus three). My son is just 2 months younger than your boys and your experiences resonate with me. I took all the knobs off my stove last night. He hasn't shown any interest lately, but don't want to take any chances. Glad to hear everything is ok, although I am sure you are still recovering from the shock.

Christy AKA Trippin' Mama said...

Kaia, love that you are part of such a big family. I'm one of eight myself, but the baby (just 4 minutes younger than my twin).

Meghan,I'm glad you like the blog. The fact that you get anything useful out of my rantings and crazy stories amazes me.

Thanks for reading!