My son offers to make hot dogs and macaroni and cheese for lunch. A little too young to do it himself without supervision, I move my “office” with laptop to the dinner table, and oversee as he fills a pot with water and places it on the stove. After five or so minutes, he turns the vent fan on. And then I smell something burning.
“Baby!?!? What’s happening!?”
I don’t see any smoke, but something is clearly burning: a plastic-y sort-of smell. I immediately spring to my feet. “Did you drop something on the burner?”
“I don’t know, I just turned it off and moved it to this one. I think I had it on too high.”
As I maneuvered around, I noticed the room was all smoky, now. The smell was God-awful, and I couldn’t seem to find where it was coming from. The pot? The burner? “Baby, was there something on the burner?”
“I don’t know, I just turned it off when I saw fire.”
(We have an electric stove, friends.)
“Yeah. At first, I thought that’s what was supposed to happen. Until it began to smell.”
“Um, yeah, we’re not supposed to have fire, this isn’t a gas stove.”
Meanwhile, I’m wondering how this happened right under my nose, what fell and caught fire while he was cooking (we still do not know), and how to cover the new gray hairs I sprouted during lunch.
And yet, despite the fact that he nearly caught the kitchen on fire, he’s busy mixing and cutting and so very proud of his met task – he cooked his siblings lunch. Nevermind he came in from the sprinkler to do it, wearing his bathing suit and towel wrapped around him.
It’s the littlest things that are the biggest deal to them, you know?
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