Sunday, July 19, 2009

Where There's Smoke...

There's likely the wife of a firefighter who nearly burned down the house while her husband was at work - AT THE FIRESTATION!

Let me preface this with the whole story, if you will:

It was a night like any other, save the fact that the day had been entirely, impossibly, completely too busy.

A day that started out innocently enough with a trip to the free summer movie first thing in the morning (note to self: wiring children on candy and soda before 10am is NEVER a good idea) quickly morphed into what will later be known as "The Day from Hell" by the time 7pm rolled around.

Let's break it down.

First, upon returning home from the free summer movie, we had a lot of free time on our hands. Katie and her cousin busied themselves with tearing her room apart, an activity that is expected and not really that big a deal when compared to the rest of the mayhem that was to take place. Wyatt found even more mindless entertainment to fill his noggin with, thanks to the Spongebob marathon playing on one of the cartoon networks. And McRae thought he'd work on a model of a ship he's been constructing.

All fine and dandy, except...a few minutes (okay, 30 minutes) into said projects and activities and mind numbing entertainment, I hear a yelp from my oldest child's room.

"Mom, I spilled paint on the carpet, but I'm going to clean it up."

Words no mother ever wants to hear, especially upon discovering that the paint? Is red.

Red paint.

Beige carpet.

You do the math.

After what seemed like hours (okay, 45 minutes), we had reduced the spot to roughly the size of a Post It note. But it was still blazing red, and wet with the many, many different types of cleaner we'd poured on it in our feeble attempts to remove it completely.

[By the way, I need more OxyClean.]

We decided to table the stain removing activity until the next day, when it would be dry and we could have another go at it.

Because by now it was nearing that time, you know the one - dinner time, I quickly remembered my good friends Ban and Quet who live in the spare freezer just waiting to be used on such occasions. I pulled the red boxes of chicken finger dinners from their icy home and bounded (okay, limped - kneeling over a carpet stain for 45 minutes took its toll on my aged knees) up to the kitchen to surprise the kiddos with their culinary feast.

"Who wants TV dinners for dinner?" I asked, in my best June Cleaver voice.

Three delighted children raised their hands.

After reading the directions 3 times (good lord those things are mighty complicated, they ought to consider dumbing down the instructions for people like me, who does not understand the term "remove plastic cover from corn and brownie" very well) I was ready to make dinner. I peeled the plastic film off the proper compartments and placed that little plastic tray of goodness in the microwave, pressed a few buttons, and went downstairs to check my Facebook account.

What was, I swear, not more than 2, maybe 3 minutes later, Wyatt ran into the kitchen, opened the microwave and out came a cloud (and I mean cloud!) of smoke. More and more smoke billowed out from the microwave, coming from the plastic tray inside...or what was left of it. I opened all the windows, fanned the smoke out the best I could, and tried not to breathe the disgusting smoke that was filling my house, my home, with the most horrible smell in the world.

Just try and imagine what burnt plastic combined with charred brownie-like substance smells like and you'll be there.

My kids ran outside to the yard, because every child of a firefighter knows to leave the house and go to their "safe" place when there's a fire.

Too bad every firefighter wife doesn't know not to press too many buttons on the microwave when making TV dinners, a'hem.

I brought out the fans and placed them strategically, like any good disaster clean-up crew would, to remove as much of the smoke as I could. But I must admit, I still catch a whiff of it every now and then...4 days later. My hair stunk. My clothes stunk. Even the sheets on my bed stunk. No amount of fresh air was going to cure this stinky stanky stunk so suffice it to say that I did a ton of laundry over the next 24 hours.

Much more than my usual ton, I assure you.

To top it all off, once the smoke was cleared, the children resting, and the day winding down to a lull, I spilled an entire can of Diet Coke on the coffee table in my living room, completely drenching a catalog I was just about to read.

How does that saying go?

C'est la vie?

Yes, that's the one.


Lisa said...

That sounds like a BUMMER! We had an oven fire earlier this year and I learned that my fireman doesn't really appreciate needing to call the other firemen to come help. =) Hope that smoke smell clears out soon!

Kyla said...

Oh noooooo! At least the fire department didn't have to come out, how embarrassing would that have been?!

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the time my roommate & I were preparing potato salad for a winter beach party at our college apartment. We went for walk & forgot the eggs on the stove. They exploded onto the ceiling.

Needless to say, airing out the place in 10 degree weather in January was not fun. And the smoke? Sulphur smell? Hard to get rid of it, that's for sure.

I can still smell it.

But the party was a huge success.


wyliekat said...

It's laugh or cry at that point. I always try to choose laughter.

Kendra said...

Yikes! Nothing that means having to air out the house can possibly be a good thing. How's the stain removal coming? We just pulled out all the carpet, leaving lovely wood floors. But now, rather than worrying about staining the carpet (which truthfully I gave up on years ago), I'm obsessed with not scratching the wood floors. The kids want to race matchbox cars, and all I'm thinking about is whether it's going to scratch the floor!

Hope you and the house are doing better now.

Daisy said...

OMG, the horror of it all! This was definitely the day from hell. I hope you - and the kids and the house - are all feeling better and less smokey now.