Saturday, October 25, 2008


I truly am absentminded...
...and it has gotten worse in the last few years. I can't tell you how many times I walk into a room and I can't remember what I am there for. I have to retrace my steps until I can figure out what I was doing. Likewise, I have to write things down immediately if I am going to remember them. Every week, I stare at my shopping list thinking, I know there was something we needed but what was it? I forget about things too. The phrase "Out of sight, out of mind" is true. I'll start the bathtub and the minute I have leave the room, I forget the water is running (this is only really bad when I have already put a child IN the tub). Because of the absentminded factor, I try to write down things I need to do—like calling people or upcoming activities. It is truly annoying, but it rarely gets me into real trouble...until it does.

Yesterday, around lunchtime, I was thinking that macaroni sounded good for the girls. I filled a pan with water and put it on the stove. I flipped the stove to high and then I thought (since I was standing by the evil used-to-be-infested-with-a-black-widow cupboard) that I should call the Spider sprayers. And knowing that I would forget if I didn't do it right away, I headed upstairs to get the number off my computer. Absentminded me kicked in; the minute I was upstairs, I forgot about the stove. I do this more often than I would care to admit. I usually end up smelling the smell of heat from a stove, or hear a sizzle as the water starts to boil over.
I was discussing with the spider lady the details of spraying, when I smelled the stove and thought, oh that's right, my water is probably boiling. I didn't even make it all the way down the stairs. I was met at the bottom by a worried Robyn who said, "Why is the house so dusty, mom?" And when she says dust, she means smoke. I turned the corner and realized that the smell of the stove wasn't your usual smell and it was accompanied by a yellowish smoke that filled the kitchen. Aaaahhhh! I ran to the stove remembering all too late that I had left a plastic bowl with popcorn on the stove and I had obviously turned on the wrong burner! The bowl was melting away so I took it off, then ran through the house opening windows and shooing kids out the door. The smoke billowed out the windows and doorways and oddly enough, did NOT set the smoke detector off. How is that possible? People tell me that only certain kinds of smoke set them off, but I am highly suspicious of our smoke detectors now.

I am sure melting plastic is not high on the list of things you should inhale. Once we were all outside, I made periodic dashes inside to see how bad the damage was. Not only was it the smell of burnt plastic but it was also the smell of burnt popcorn (which is nasty). I scraped the stuff off the stove, which was still smoldering and went back outside. I called the spider people back (who I basically hung up on) and finished giving her my information. Oddly enough, she said she had done something similar the previous day, except she had left Raman cooking on the stove until it burned. Me, I just turned on the wrong burner AND forgot it was on. I am so stupid sometimes. The house is starting to smell better today, but it still stinks in some places. We'll have to see how much smoke damage we end up with. Tyler did not get mad, but he kindly made a new rule for me--I am not allowed to leave anything on the stove, and if I turn the stove on, I am not allowed to leave for more than 60 seconds. Hopefully I will then notice if I turned the wrong burner on (I should confess this is not the first thing I have melted on the stove).
So another absentminded event, but this one could have cost us a lot more. I really need to focus. Here is the bowl.

Fortunately it was the least favorite of my mixing bowls. Still hitting myself in the head though.


Cindy B said...

Maleen, I'm sorry to tell you that you have a dreadful disease - momnesia. There is no known cure.

I'm actually not entirely kidding, you can google the term. Apparently, we're all doing it, forgetting stuff because we are so busy and sometimes sleep deprived, that they had to come up with a name for it.

I guess the real treatment is several uninterrupted night's of sleep, but I don't see that happening for you for a few more months. So maybe you'll have to carry that 'list of things I can't forget' around for a while longer.

On a sillier note, I just got the Mom's Calender by Sandra Boynton and it came with two notepads - one for groceries, with chocolate already helpfully listed, and the other called

"Things I have to do.
1. Find this list"

That's about the size of it at my house!

deckerfam said...

You are too funny. If it makes you feel any better I do stuff like that ALL the time. Awhile ago I plugged in my skillet to make dinner, a few minutes later I smelled something burning I took off the lid and found the plug for the skillet. (I somehow used the plug for the griddle to plug it in) It happens to the best of us : )

meganmushrat said...

Your sister melted a plastic plate in the oven because she didn't know that the oven cooks thing differently than the microwave. OK - so she was a kid at the time, but we had to throw the entire oven rack away because we couldn't get the melted plastic off of it. I had to throw away my favorite plastic colander because I got it too close to a hot pot. And when I got up for work last night, I discovered that the oven was still on from the casserole that I had cooked that morning and taken out of the oven while forgetting to shut the oven off. Nobody else noticed. So, perhaps your absend-mindedness is a bit hereditary!

Tim Dargan said...

That happened to me once- except it was me. The stove was still hot from just cooking something and with my big heavy jacket on I put my arm on the stove, as I listened to the instructions my grandmother was giving me, I felt something warm- and sure enough I lifted my coat to find a huge smoking hole again. Things like that happen to everybody.

Emilie said...

You are so funny! You are not alone though, I have done the same thing, just not to that extent! I love the picture you included :)

Chelle! said...

You are too hilarious!!! How come you did not call the fireman and ambulance people--they are good at clearing the 'dust' from you home. Yes, I am speaking from experience!

¡Vieve! said...

I can't believe you melted through a bowl! Thank goodness you all got out of there...before you inhaled lots o' smoke.