Twelve o’ clock yesterday found me preparing mac ‘n cheese with hot dogs cut up in it for lunch (This is just one of many classy meals in my repertoire. Jealous?) The kids were playing “ninja” in the living room while watching the 1994 classic “3 Ninjas Kick Back.” Don’t even tell me you haven’t enjoyed this movie two dozen times. That would suggest you had done something in a past life other than kick puppies, take candy from babies and steal from non-profits.
Naturally, right about the time I was removing the steaming hot pot from the stove both kids came screaming into the kitchen to hang on my legs because, you know, nothing draws them faster than the promise of danger or disfiguring injury. Well, except for maybe me trying to have an uninterrupted telephone conversation. No sooner had the words “DO NOT touch the stove! It is hot!” left my mouth than Anders had placed one palm flat on its surface. He’s currently in a bit of a defiant stage and that urgent announcement must’ve sounded a lot like the ultimate challenge.
Commence freak out on both our parts.
I ran his hand under cold water.
I held ice in his palm.
That’s when I began emptying the contents of our fridge onto his hand because I thought I remembered someone saying once that mustard took the sting out of burns or was it ketchup? Perhaps it was butter? Screw it. I lathered all three on his hand while he writhed in pain.
Next I tried Neosporin and then some Cortizone cream that promised “cooling relief.” Nothing seemed to ease Anders’ pain and I was feeling pretty helpless and desperate. Also, Danica, disturbed by the amount of attention I was lavishing on her brother, had begun running circles around us holding one arm in the air while shouting “My hand! My hand! My hand!”
Hey, baby drama queen, not helpful.
Finally, my sister, an expert in burns or perhaps in suffering from them as someone who works with curling irons and flat irons all day, arrived with a bottle of burn relief spray. No sooner had it met his skin than he fell silent. That’s when I made a mental note to find the inventor of that spray and kiss him or her on the mouth. It was that relieving for both of us.
Anders found a pair of gloves and wore one on his injured hand a la Michael Jackson for the remainder of the day, periodically stepping into the kitchen to leer at the stove.
All jokes aside, that moment was desperation defined. I’ll be hearing those screams of agony in my nightmares.