We’ve known Ollie is a “firebug” since we went camping last year. Ollie seemed to be drawn to the dancing flames and loved the fact that whatever he threw on the fire would be gone in a few seconds. Sure the fire was hot but he never got burned so it was all fun and no consequences.
I can remember being the exact same way when I was younger. I have no doubt that the Ozone Layer is still cursing my name what with all of the plastic Mountain Dew bottles I melted and the random bits of glass and paper I threw on my various camp fires. It wasn’t necessarily about destroying anything…it was about watching the change.
And now I sound crazy.
We’re getting ready to move to the house and in preparation, I bought a bunch of discounted candles at Walmart so the house would lose some the “new construction” smell. When I say “discounted” I don’t mean they’re like Always Save “brand” or whatever. What I’m talking about is that they’re the ones that didn’t sell and they cut the price. So they’re not the knock-off candles…they’re just the “good” candles no one else wanted…
It sounded much better until I started trying to explain it.
At any rate, I bought so many of the candles that I’ve been burning them at the apartment to try and cut through the old-dog-we-spend-too-much-time-inside smell. It’s been working and it’s also nice to have the candle light. Then this morning, as I was cooking our wholesome oatmeal breakfast–I really was cooking oatmeal cause it’s the awesome yumminess!–Cara exclaimed, “MOMMY! OLLIE MADE FIRE!”
Ollie “made fire?”
I turned around in time to see a flaming napkin lift over Ollie’s head. I swatted at the napkin with my dish sponged and killed the thing.
Ollie wasn’t nearly as freaked out as he should have been. I was pissed that I had to worry about singed apartment countertops on our “move-out” inspection and Cara was curled up in a ball in the corner on the OTHER SIDE of the room. The side that’s the furthest possible side from the only door in the damn apartment.
Enter teachable moment.
Fires can kill people. If our apartment catches on fire then the apartment above us will burn too. If there’s a fire, go to the picnic table. [In my defense, we’ve discussed where we’re supposed to meet in the event of a fire but the flaming napkin scrubbed that info straight out of Cara’s poor little brain.] Ollie, if you get near another candle I’m gonna…
Yeah. Fire. Fun times.