Upon our return home from getting groceries this morning, Wonko set one of our two green plastic totes on the stove, in our much too tiny kitchen, then went back to the car to get the rest of the groceries. Weeb went to the bathroom and I popped out, for just a moment, to help get the rest of the stuff in the trunk of the car.
Back we go into the kitchen and Weeb and I are talking about stickers for her calendar and how she gets four today because she - but then Wonko was yelling. Something was on fire. Um... FIRE!
Wonko moves the green tote to the sink and yells a variety of four letter words. I see flames on the stove, notice our offspring is frozen in the hallway and I put the sticker box on the floor (I don't remember doing this) and grab the fire extinguisher.
Now, let me explain something about my reaction to fire. Have you ever seen a deer in headlights? Yeah, that's me and fire. Since a rather nasty apartment fire in my 20's (not my fault!), I have not coped well with fire. My husband, on the other hand, is something of an expert, having started and then put out an evil curry fire in our kitchen a couple of years ago, marking the moment on our linoleum kitchen floor with a ring in the same shape as our once loved curry pot.
I will say that I tease my husband about the curry fire (I was not in the house with our then infant, at the time, so I cannot comment too much on this actual event), but HE knows what to do in these cases, as opposed to my typical response of... well a deer in headlights. He grabbed a large pot lid and put it over the element now decorated in burning plastic.
And I will also say that either one of us could have been responsible for this fire today. Both of us put those totes on the stove and could have, at any time, bumped the dial, turning it on. Which is what happened today. The element came on, got hot (while Weeb was in the house alone), the green tote started to melt on the hot element and with our return to the kitchen, smoke alerted Wonko that there was a problem. He lifted the tote, there was flame and that's when the four letter words started.
With the fire out, Wonko starts putting the unharmed groceries away. Weeb and I go outside and I cry and hug her and we talk about fire and I think about what a horrible mother I am and how could I have possibly left her in that house alone and I'm so thankful that the timing was what it was and the flames didn't start while we were outside. A million what ifs now spring into my head and I'll keep it all short by saying I have sworn never to leave my child alone in the house again. Ever.
So we go out for Slurpees, as we are apt to do on a Saturday afternoon. Later, Slurpees in hand, we pull into our spot in the parking lot and my daughter, the same one I left alone in the house with the fire in the kitchen earlier today, informs me that her seat-belt wasn't on the entire way home.
Do I really suck that much as a parent?
I KNOW I buckled my child into her booster seat, as I always do, and then tightened the belt, as I always do. Upon our return home, she went to undo the seat-belt and found it already undone. So I obviously did not do things as I always do, unless I always fail at seat-belt fastening.
I suppose I'll spend the rest of the day beating myself up for my demonstrations of failure to be an awesome parent today. I think maybe I'll just chalk it up to reminders regarding safety and lessons learned then thank my lucky stars that no offspring were hurt in my vast stupidity today.