Friday, my oven caught fire when I was at home alone with all three children. The house is fine and we are fine. I’m telling you this up front, so you have the option to just say, “Wow,” and move on with your day, or stick with me and hear the whole story.
It seems I am cursed with some kind of voodoo. Someone who hates me went to a voodoo-caster and said, “CURSE THIS BITCH. MAKE SURE THAT ANY TIME SHE HAS COMPANY COMING OVER, SHIT HAPPENS. NOT REAL BAD SHIT, LIKE I DON’T WANT ANYONE TO DIE. BUT MAKE SURE WHATEVER HAPPENS, IT’S SCARY AND EMOTIONALLY SCARRING FOR HER.”
I had some people coming over, so I went full speed from the time I got up, trying to kind of clean the house amid the chaos which we all know is a pointless endeavor. I also had to shower, make myself presentable, get the kids to take their naps and feed them, make them presentable, all while texting because that is how I roll.
I wanted to make chocolate chip cookies because that’s my signature baked item. They are easy and delightful because they are comprised mostly of Butter-Flavored Crisco. So I had Asher napping and Maverick watching TV and was simultaneously feeding Pepper in her high chair and baking the cookies. I put the first pan of them in and they came out fine. I put the second pan in and a few minutes afterward realized that I smelled something weird. So I looked at the oven from where I was sitting and saw an orange glow. I got up to investigate and the whole damn thing was ABLAZE.
I absolutely freaked out. I have no idea what I did or said. Pepper sat there staring at me with her big owl eyes like this …
… while I opened the stove and removed the pan and threw a box of baking soda on the flames which did NOTHING. Meanwhile, Maverick came running into the kitchen asking what was going on. I started to panic and dumped a whole bag of flour on the flames and all that did was create a lot of black smoke.
I did what made sense: I called Husband screaming about how I was about to call 911 because the oven was on fire. I then hung up on him and dialed 911 as I frantically threw water on top of the now-bigger fire … which also did nothing … then proceeded to rush the kids to the van and start the process of buckling them in, putting jackets and shoes on them because it was like 45 degrees outside.
I have to give him credit, Maverick was a very big help to me during this particular emergency. He was calm and helped with the little kids, who were understandably confused. Poor Asher got ripped from his room by his panicked mother who was still in pajamas. After they were safely in the van I started the out-of-body experience of trying to think of what I would need should the house go up in flames. I rushed to the back and threw on clothes, put on shoes, grabbed my backpack with diapers, etc. and got Pepper’s half-empty bottle, all the while thinking, OMG, the house is going to explode while I am back here putting workout clothes on because I am too embarrassed to be seen in my ratty pajamas.
Yes, I realize it was dumb to take the time to change clothes. But I’ll tell you what, I looked pretty cute when the firemen showed up.
Husband got here right before the fire department and he ran in to see the fire which was starting to die out and then four firemen showed up and the fire was completely out by then. I apologized and they very nicely said “Don’t apologize!” but I felt like an idiot. The heating element itself is what was burning and it had cracked in two. I stood there in my not-embarrassing outfit and thanked myself for making sure I didn’t look like hell since I had pretty much lost my dignity with the use of my oven.
After they left, I got the kids out of the van and returned to the kitchen to see Husband standing there next to the pile of water and flour, which had turned into a gelatinous goo, eating cookies off the one good pan I’d made. It was at this point that I think it dawned on him that this was going to be It. This was going to be The Thing That Sent Harmony Over The Edge.
I came unglued and I faintly recall yelling, and then … I just checked out of the entire situation. I turned around and returned to feeding Pepper the rest of her lunch. The boys stared quietly from the living room. Husband quietly went to our room and stripped down, came into the kitchen, and cleaned everything up, all of it. I had to do nothing. It was such a huge, disgusting mess, but he took care of the entire situation and then wordlessly got dressed into his work clothes again when he was done.
Clearly this was to atone for his sin of eating off the one good pan of cookies.
Other than the house having an odd smell, there was really no sign that anything had happened by the time my guests arrived. My oven needs replacing, and since we rent, we will have to wait until the landlord gets around to it.
If you never understood why I joke so much about it being a miracle that we all make it through the day, THIS IS WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT. It’s also why I’m not bothering to make New Year’s resolutions this year, because I’m too busy doing other things like keeping us all alive.