This is the story of how one day- when things are wonderfully calm and simple- you suggest to your two year-old daughter that you bake something. Brownies, perhaps.

And how she then proceeds to tear apart the kitchen in excitement, looking for wooden spoons, looking for aprons, trying to eat through the cardboard box to see what color the sugar is, etc., etc., etc.

But then you turn on the oven. And, as the room becomes full- maybe overfull, even- of tools necessary (and completely¬†unnecessary) for the act of baking brownies…you notice that the room is becoming full of something else as well.


Thick, black, puffy clouds of burnt toast smoke. Or, to be more accurate, burnt pizza crust smoke. From a section of pizza that had- somehow- fallen off of the frozen dinner from the previous night’s meal and ended up incinerating itself way back against the broiler’s flames.

So you turn on the oven’s vent fan, the kitchen fans, and [inexplicably] the bathroom fan. The windows are opened. The doors are opened. Rags are waved uselessly.

And, through all of this Non Panicky Take Chargitude, the two year-old demands (politely at first) that You Promised We Would Make BrownieCookies.

And you explain (gently at first) that the kitchen is in very real danger of charring to a crisp and, since the brownie-cookin’ needs to take place in the kitchen, First Things First.

But she does not jive with your “logic.”

So she begins to have a full-on tantrum about the very real lack of baking happening in front of her face. And she proceeds to hit you with a wooden spoon.

And so then you drag the toddler to the Time Out chair- waving her smallish body at the smoke detectors along the way- and have a very timely discussion of Why We Do Not Hit and Why We Need PATIENCE, DAMMIT.

Meanwhile, the infant is sitting nicely in her bouncy seat and staring up, quite possibly preparing for a future epileptic seizure due entirely to a strobe light effect caused by poorly placed track lighting behind the ceiling fan.

But the smoke eventually clears.

And the toddler apologizes- especially when she sees it’s Game On for brownies and not so much for fire extinguishers.

And you can fully admit- once you see the infant blinking normally, that is- that maybe you just experience the weirdest three minutes ever.

At least for that afternoon.



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