Monday, January 31, 2005

One Note Short

I burnt myself on an Easy-Bake Oven pan yesterday.

It's embarrassing. After all, these little light bulb boxes have every anti-burn device NASA, the Pentagon and Hasbro's R&D team have ever developed built into them. Aside from the mini Halon system, they even supply a thirty-foot push rod to keep little fingers from even being in the same room while manipulating their tiny pans of bulb baked joy.

Allie asked me to watch and make sure her pan didn't fall out the unit's cooling chamber as she moved it out of the baking chamber. She moved the pan with the push rod and as it came out of the oven I reached for the pan to make sure it stayed in the center of the cooling chamber.


Sorry. But that's what I said as I grabbed the tip of my left ring finger. That was the part of my body that barely touched the bottom of the pan that had obviously been heated to seventy thousand degrees Fahrenheit by the 100 watt bulb.

I think Deb laughed at me. I don't really remember because I was too busy waiting for the skin on my finger to bubble up and melt before my eyes (it didn't). I'm pretty sure I did hear her say, "Duh" after I said something like, "That thing's HOT!"

I didn't even look at Allie. The oven was a gift she got during her birthday party on Saturday. She turned five. I had pulled what I'm sure Allie would regard as something a toddler would do. So I knew I'd catch her looking at me as if I'd just started braying while I sprouted big jack-ass teeth and ears.

I just shuffled past her into the living room, sat on the couch and stared at my finger. Allie offered to kiss it and make it feel better. I declined. I didn't deserve treatment. I just wanted to sit quietly while the infection became systemic and slowly, painfully killed me.

I think Allie had a good fifth birthday weekend. Friday featured swimming at Grandma and Grandpa Leege's hotel. Saturday was party day complete with Hello Kitty cake. Sunday evening she went to a big McDonald's playland and crawled around in huge plastic tubes for 57 minutes (I timed her).

This evening Allie and I did thank you notes. We're one short. If you don't get a Hello Kitty thank you then you'll know you're the one with the special note.

She looked really grown up while she signed her notes. I won't get maudlin on you again but I'll miss four-year-old Allie. I'm sure I'll love five-year-old Allie even more (if that's possible) but I wouldn't object to a just a little more time with our four-year-old girl.

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