Leaves of glass


It was a cold, rainy day, and the Maiden and I were cooking up a storm. Shepherd’s pie, eggplant lasagna, zucchini muffins: all were in the oven and waiting to warm us with their deliciousness.

The crown jewel was a lovely little apple crisp. The Maiden had helped to cut the apples (nibble, nibble), stir the apples (chomp, chomp), and sprinkle the topping (gulp).   She enjoyed tasting making it so much that I briefly considered letting her eat it uncooked.

As it turns out, I probably should have.

While we ate our dinner, the crisp was happily bubbling away in the oven. After we cleared our plates, we gave it a peek: perfectly done. Out it came, and since it needed to cool for a while, I promised the Maiden we’d eat it later as a bedtime snack. Suddenly, she was very interested in the pre-bed preparations that she normally shuns like the plague. In fact, she was begging for a bath before I’d half-finished the dishes.

This was unprecedented, and I wasn’t about to let the opportunity for a fuss-free bedtime routine pass me by. I started the Maiden’s bath. In a burst of extra-productiveness, I decided to put two eggs on the stove to boil for her school lunch the next day. Then I popped the Maiden in the tub and let her splash around for a bit.

Then came a shattering smash.

Usually, such sounds involve the Maiden wearing an innocent look while staring at the unrecognizable remains of something priceless.  But not this time.  I realized the noise had issued from the kitchen.

What a sight met my eyes. Einstein Mummy had turned on the wrong stove burner, the one under the cooling apple crisp, and the crisp was in the process of living up to its name.  It was burnt, blackened, and unpleasantly crispy….but that wasn’t all.

Oh, no.  Apparently, the glass pan– which is supposed to withstand broiler temperatures, for gosh sake– couldn’t stand the heat.  Its solution: get out of the kitchen.

Literally.

The smash was the sound of fragments of glass, apples, and topping escaping their servitude.  Bits of everything were everywhere, and smoke was billowing from the remaining shards of glass attempting to melt onto my don’t-scratch-this flat-top stove.

I bellowed something unprintable, several times in a row, turned off the burner, whisked the Maiden to safety, and began shoveling the rubble off the hideously smoking stove…off the counter…out of the remaining shepherd’s pie…and off the floor twenty feet away from the Incident.  What kind of power had been unleashed here, anyways?

The crisp, of course, was a total loss.  The Maiden withstood the disappointment pretty well.  She’d hoped I could “fix it”– according to preschooler logic, moms armed with gluesticks can work wonders– but realized it was over when she saw the clinking mixture slide into the trash.  Surprisingly, there weren’t any tears.  I think she was fascinated by the thought that I, too, was capable of making insanely stupid mistakes that resulted in destruction.

I guess in all fairness, she gets one free pass for the next time she ruins something.

But only one.

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