I’ll set the world on fire for you

Dear Baby,

Last night I nearly torched the kitchen of your future home… and potentially an entire apartment complex that is at least 50% occupied by senior citizens. Somehow, that makes it worse, doesn’t it?

Burn Unit

As you’ll see eventually, we don’t have a lot of counter space in our kitchen. I often use the stove for food preparation, placing a wooden cutting board over the burners for a makeshift workstation.

And last night—even though I triple-checked the knob—instead of turning on the burner under the kettle of tea water, I flicked the switch under a big slab of bamboo kindling.

Not only did I fill your dad’s lungs with acrid, grey smoke as he ran from room to room opening windows and stopping the fire alarm, but I could have put 3 sweet old ladies out on the street.

This is the mother you will have to deal with, and you might as well know now that there are some things I am not good at.

I forget things. I put things off. I read numbers, signs, and maps incorrectly all the time. We’ll spend a lot of time driving around looking for the place we were supposed to be 20 minutes ago. I lose important things some times, and lock my keys in the car.

Your dad says these are things I can work on, and he’s right. They are not, as I worry sometimes, insurmountable barriers between me and the rest of the normally functioning world. But… keep in mind, Baby, that I’ll be working on some of these things for the rest of my life.

Now, I can promise you there won’t be fires all the time… despite my miserable track record with stove burners, I will not be one of those crazy movie-moms who takes pills and feeds you chocolate for breakfast and burns the patio furniture “because, look, the colors are so gorgeous!”

Aside from 6th grade camp, this is the first actual fire I’ve set. And it really was pretty quickly contained and put out… teh old ladies are all just fine, and probably don’t even realize the peril I nearly thrust upon them.

I can also promise to never forget you or put you off or leave you behind anywhere.

Even though I have no idea right now exactly how I will manage not to break you or traumatize you, but instead keep you safe and healthy and happy… well, I promise your dad and I will do our best.

And I promise never to put you on the stove. Ever.

Your Mama


5 thoughts on “I’ll set the world on fire for you

  1. You do have a fire extinguisher, right? Preventable kitchen fires are one of the saddest ways to lose your home. Every kitchen should have a working fire extinguisher. If that had gotten out of control it would have been so sad.

    Lovely post, BTW.

    • Yes, Keith, no worries– we DO have a fire extinguisher and it was we were able to damp the flames with a kitchen towel immediately and got the smoldering bamboo board off the hot burner.
      But yes, you’re absolutely right: Fire Extinguishers, people! Keep ’em close, keep ’em accessible!

  2. Hehe. Don’t feel bad, Em. About a month ago, my sister and I were making delicious enchiladas. A big part of what makes enchiladas delicious, is dipping the tortillas in the sauce first, then frying them in oil until they’re, well… more delicious. Heather is usually in charge of the frying, and she let the oil get too hot. Much too hot. So when she slid the tortilla into the pan, grease spat in all directions, and flames screamed up about six feet to the ceiling. We both screamed, and while Heather turned the burner off (as the very tall flames raged on), I searched for a lid, absolutely unable to verbally articulate to Heather what I was looking for. Luckily, the fire burned out on its own, quickly. But there are still grey scorch marks on the cupboard and ceiling.

  3. Emily, you should submit this blog to a baby magazine or something. Boy, you captured the feeling you have of being pregnant, vulnerable, prone to accidents (to which you weren’t before) and still being ok. Hang in there and we love you a lot, Bette

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