Plague Baby
Baby Ike Walking, A Play In Four Acts


He's standing on his little stepstool in front of the stove, watching pasta boil. He's waiting for his turn to "help" -- his brother got to pour the uncooked noodles into the pot, so I told him he could help me make the sauce. I'm right there next to him, readying the ingredients into convenient little pinch bowls and measuring cups for him. Milk, cheese, butter, seasonings...check, check, check, and check. 

He's watching the burner glow red and talking about how the stove is hot, the pot is hot, the water inside the pot is hot. "And we never touch those hot things," I chirp robotically, even though he knows this by now. 

"The red part is very, very hot," he says seriously. "You would burn yourself." He cautiously picks up a wooden spoon to give the pasta a stir.

"Careful!" I say, just because I can't help myself. He's always careful. But still. 

I wait for him to put the spoon down and drop his arms back to his side before stepping away to put the milk back in the fridge. 

And that's when the screaming starts.

Horrible, horrible screaming and wailing -- I have no idea what's happened, a spill, a splash of boiling water, an accidental grazing of the pot? I grab him and swoop him over to the sink and turn on the cold water. 

"What happened? What happened?" I beg him. I don't know what part -- parts? -- of his body I should be soaking. I guess his right hand and blast it with water up to the elbow. He's still screaming too much to answer me.

Finally I realize it's the tip of his index finger. A white blister is forming, but the rest of his hand is okay. I wrap it up in cold, wet paper towels and run upstairs for the Neosporin and gauze. 

I try to calm him down while I dress the burn. He's screaming more sporadically now, more from being pissed off that it's STILL HURTING and that nothing I'm doing is HELPING. The medicine, the gauze, the kisses -- it's not supposed to hurt anymore, after all that. But it does. Oh, I know that it does, how it feels. And he's furious.

After examining the tip of his finger, I know something else. I know it wasn't an accident. I know he touched something, and he touched it on purpose.

"What did you touch, Ezra?" I ask.

"I touched the red part," he confesses miserably.

I fall back on the floor next to him in exasperation. He...knows! He knows better! We talk about safety in the kitchen just about every single day! He's always so sensible and careful and GOOD LORD, we'd LITERALLY just been talking about the goddamn red part of the goddamn burner and I turned away for a SECOND, like he was WAITING for the chance to touch it and...

"Oh, dude," I say, shaking my head. Because what else is there to say that I haven't said a million times already?

He's three-and-a-half years old. He just has to figure some things out for himself. 

And now, at least, he knows. 




Ouch. Trial and error. Poor cutie.


Poor thing! And poor mama. Hoping he learning from it! He's such a good little chef.


Ouch. Trial and eror. Poor cutie.


Bet you he doesn't do it again. Life lesson learned and no great harm done.


That must have been frightening for you both. I'm glad it was a lesson learned with a minimum of injury. I also think it's awesome that your teaching your kids to love cooking.

FreeRange Pamela

We had a very similar incident at our house, but involving his whole right palm. Had to rush him to urgent care. They are just so determined to check things out for themselves. Mine even poured milk onto the laptop he shares with his brother. Whaddaya know, it stopped working!


I'm sure he learned. And he was careful enough still to only use the tip of his finger, and not his whole hand, or grab the whole pot. His curiousity just won this round.


Owwww. Poor Zah.


I have a very vivid memory of being about that age and in front of a floor box fan, one that my mom had told me repeatedly not to touch. So I stuck a wooden spoon right in there. It tore it straight up and scared me half to death. My mom came over with that look on her face and just and said, "That's why we don't put our fingers in there."


Growing up hurts. Hurts mommy too. My little, mischievous, boy turns three this month. It's wonderfully scary and has been since day one.


My son will be 3 in July, and from all your posts I think he's *very* much like Ezra. I was actually relieved in some ways when he touched a pot on the stove. It was just a small spot on his finger, so it wasn't serious, but now he KNOWS what I mean when I say something is hot and can hurt him.

He is now much more careful around the stove, so that's why I was relieved that he'd learned a lesson on such a small scale.


While as parents we all understand that natural consequences are generally the best teachers, doesn't make it any easier to watch our children learn from them! Poor Ezra!


Just like my three year old touching the hot water coming out of the tap into the bathtub, to see if it really was hot.


Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. Couldn't help wincing for you though. So hard.


Uninvited assvice... Iburn myself too often and have found A baggie of ice water to hold on burns helps with the pain. Sometimes it takes hours.

So sorry he burned himself. Kisses


That is so exasperating. They know and yet, how can they really know if they haven't actually touched the thing. *sigh*


Poor little chef..l let's hope it doesn'T turn him off cooking! Also, just in case it happens again or to somebody else, just put the burn part in a bowl (or in the sink) of cold water. It stops the burn from burning inside the tissue and soothes pain. It's also better if you don't put anything else on the burn, just a dressing , especially it is looks more serious, because they would have to scrap it off at the emergency, and THAT'S unplesant!!!


Damn. Unfortunately, yes, sometimes it takes the touching of the red part to realize FOR REAL that the red part is hot -- too hot for fingers (or your sister's Stretch Armstrong doll's foot). I'm glad it's not worse and maybe this'll be the only time he needs to learn this lesson. It took my index finger two tries (but Stretch Armstrong's foot only once).

That second is a guilt inducing bitch like no other. Don't listen to her.


It is one thing to know it in theory that it is hot. Now he knows in practice. NOT looking forward to my almost 2 year old being at this stage. We've already been to the ER for jumping {and falling} off the bed and spliting open his forehead.
I did something similar when I was little, but I think I was more like 5-6. Was playing in the car and pushed in the cigarette lighter {do they even still have those in cars?} and when it popped out because it was ready I pulled it out and was looking at the pretty bright red glowing spiral. And touched it. Knew it was hot, but it was pretty. Yup.
And for burns, might try having solarcaine on hand, they have a gel and spray version {aloe vera based}. Had it in the first aid kit in the kitchen at a restaurant where I worked. That plus a baggie of ice water will probably take the burning away fasted than anything. Of course hopefully you won't have to ever use it ever again. Until Ike is 3 anyway. :)

The Tutugirl

I remember looking over a pan, knowing I was getting too close. I burned my entire bottom lip, and it hurt like hell. Lesson learned. Hopefully Ike will take Ez's word for it later in life that the red part gives you a really big owie.


I absolutely remember doing this when I was little. The glowing red was too pretty to resist.


Oh the bright red pretty shiny thing O.O Must touch it but have to wait for when mom isn't watching so she can feel extra bad about it afterwards. Hope he isn't too scarred physically or mentally by the experience. I'm sure he will respect the stove now.

Sue C

Poor thing! Put a little Cortisone cream on his burn if the skin is not open. It will take away all the pain and heal faster.


Ouch. I'm sorry. My boy did that with my curling iron. He grabbed it with his whole hand. Holy moly did that suck. We actually had him hold onto a raw cut potato and that seemed to help. But we had to keep cutting it into smaller bits so it was fresh every few minutes.


Reminds me of when Laura touched the new bullets that Pa was making in Little House in the Big Woods, just because they were so pretty and shiny. I guess now he knows that it really is hot.


Oh dude, indeed. Poor guy.

We had an uninsulated door on our oven when I was little (it was a rental in the 70s, standards were low) and I was just learning to walk when I put both hands flat against the door to look at the cake my mom was making. Burned the hell out of both hands. My parents always said, "It'll be better before you're married," and it was. (The week before my wedding I was terrified that I would hurt myself and it WOULDN'T be better before I was married - go figure).


Next time anybody gets a burn (and hopefully it won't be Ezra!) put a little yellow mustard on it. I don't know why, but it takes the sting away immediately. I was doubtful, but it really works.


I did the exact same thing but when I was about seven? I think? WAY old enough to know better. But although I knew in the abstract that it was hot, I didn't have tangible proof that it was hot. That was a good lesson in how you don't always need physical proof. Some kids will always ask How, and Why and Prove it. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. :)


Ouch! Poor guy.

How interesting to hear him trying to talk himself out of touching it. "You would get burned" sounds like him reminding himself and trying to gain control of the part of his mind that really wants to reach out and touch it. I think he's learned about more than hot pots today, he's learned about self-control. Too bad it had to hurt so much!

What a beautiful photo!


One of my kids did the same thing with a hot burning light bulb around the same page. I reminded her not to touch it, she told me she knew it's hot and would burn her hand. 3 seconds later she came crying because she had touched the light bulb. She could not have even touched it accidentally. She would have had to reach inside the light shade to do it. Lesson learned, never did it again. Do be careful with hot boiling water though. If he knocks that over by accident, it can do some serious, very serious damage.


around the same *age, not page. Damn autocorrect.


My son touched a hot pan at about the age, despite all the warnings. About a year later, he lured a squirrel with peanuts until it came close enough to pet, and got scratched up -- again, after warnings about approaching wild animals. I await the teenage years with bated breath -- I have a feeling he's going to continue to need to learn the hard way.

Big Gay Sam

Last week I was making dinner and I have this habit of heating flour tortillas in the oven on the rack.

When I was placing the tortillas in a 350 degree oven I happened to bump the oven door with my knee.

It closed on my arm. It burned my forearm and I instinctively jerked straight up only to hit the heating coils with the top of my fingers.

I have first and second degree burns on my forearm and fingers. It hurts like Hell.

At least your child was 3.5. I'm 49. I have no excuse.


Poor baby! Once my husband and I were in the basement cleaning it, and our 4 year old daughter appeared at the top of the stairs screaming and dripping blood, and after my heart attack I realized she'd cut her fingers. "Now I know what those old razors can do, Mommy." She'd just been waiting for a chance to test the evil things that we'd warned her about. Kids do, indeed, sometimes have to learn things for themselves.

Submerge a burn in cold tea, the stronger the better. Takes away the sting. I keep a small jar of instant tea just for that purpose.


We have one of those flat cooktop stoves. My 3.5 year old walked over to it the other day, put his palm on the front burner and said "The stove is hot!" Thank God it wasn't turned on! I almost had heart failure. Age 3 is a tough one!


My dad always used to tell me that some things you can only learn the hard way - a lesson I never understood until I scraped my leg sitting on top of a wooden toy highchair that I'd been repeatedly warned to not sit on. I'm sure that was a fun "I told you so" moment for him (in which he, again, got to repeat that mantra). :)


YES. My 3.5 nearly drowned himself last week because he had to learn for himself why he can't go in the pool alone. It was horrible and scary and exasperating because, like you said, we've talked about it SO MANY TIMES. What is it about this age?


Poor Dude.

This is almost exactly what our pediatrician warned us about when we went in for our two and three year well checks. "She's very verbal. You think she gets it. She'll say, 'The stove is hot. Don't touch the stove,' and then touch it." Damn kids!


Ouch...poor thing!

Kim W.

Oh god, this made me all choked up. 3.5 is exasperating. My youngest just turned 3 and I'm certain it's coming -- this super cautious boy is going to take some chances (just like his two brothers before him).

Poor Ezra.


When I was about the same age I burnt my whole hand on an iron. I KNEW iron's were hot and BAD but I wanted to help daddy and make sure it was unplugged, so I grabbed it by the hot side... and it was already unplugged... We were going to a bbq (whole reason for ironing the shirt in the first place) and although I stopped crying I kept shaking my hand. My father described it as the most pathetic and heart wrenching thing to watch, and he felt terrible, even though it wasn't his fault. He explained his guilt to one of his buddies (and this is a group of doctors), and this fine MD suggested mixing my next dose of Tylenol with some beer, after the tylenol-beer I wasn't shaking my hand anymore... and so started my life of drinking. We all have stories like this, it's how we learn, they are TERRIBLE to watch but part of growing up. Hopefully Ezra feels better now.


At least you know you gave him full warning and had full confirmation that he knew the danger. Now he really knows.
It kills you to know they are in pain though. Wanna feel better about yourself?
Last week I took my three for hair cuts, trying to keep the mayhem of a 5yr old and two 3 yr olds to a minimum. While trying to pay, and help one three yr old in the potty, and saying Hi to another mom friend and her kids walking in, amidst the mayhem kids start helping themselves to cups water from a water cooler. Only my 3yr old (the one not in the bathroom with me) helping himself to a cup of water from the Red Spout, Oh Yes SCALDING HOT. Scalded his lip and the inside of his mouth and tip of his tongue. Those Screams, I know them well. MY baby, OMG I wince and even the thought of how painful that must have been. The guilt, I am still not over it and may never be. The kid, one week later, totally fine. Except now he has a a scab on his upper lip from face planting while running down the driveway. Dang kids.


Aw jeez... just HAD to find out for himself, huh. Poor little dude. At least now he knows firsthand, and it wasn't worse, because you can pretty much rest assured he won't be trying THAT again.

Mo Weinhardt

You handled that beautifully, and thank you for cooking with your boy. (Kids just want to be included!)

Knowing something because we've been told a thousand times, & learning through experience are two different things. It's tempting to bubble-wrap the kids we love to save them from pain, but in the end we each have to make our own mistakes.

Ezra is lucky to have a loving mom like you who includes him in the action, talks to him about safety, and holds him when he makes a crappy choice. Bravo - I bet he won't make that mistake again.


Oh kiddo, ouch. Hopefully he remembers that lesson and doesn't experiment with too many other things. I hope he believes you completely, for example, when you say that jumping off the roof would hurt like crazy.


Oh, poor Ez. I literally flinched and stepped back from the laptop when I read the word "screaming". But yes, like getting hit in the head by a swing, some things they just have to find out the hard way.


It's so hard to watch your kids learn these lessons! At least you know the message sank in this time, with little harm done. He'll remember it forever.

Cassandra from TX

Guess he just HAD to find out for himself. How would he ever know if it was REALLY hot if he didn't touch it? Three-year-old logic!

On the upside, you know he will never, ever touch the red part again.

Cassandra from TX

Guess he just HAD to find out for himself. How would he ever know if it was REALLY hot if he didn't touch it? Three-year-old logic!

On the upside, you know he will never, ever touch the red part again.

Cassandra from TX

Guess he just HAD to find out for himself. How would he ever know if it was REALLY hot if he didn't touch it? Three-year-old logic!

On the upside, you know he will never, ever touch the red part again.

Cheryl S.

My daughter did the EXACT.SAME.THING. And I let her. I told her a billion times not to touch the red, it's super hot, she'll cry, it will hurt. She looked me dead in the eye and put her finger down. My response? (after running it under cold water, bandages and such?) Now you know.

As awful as it is, sometimes they just have to do stupid shit in order to learn. I would never let my daughter do something that she would be seriously injured, but I've learned that sometimes, despite my telling her what will happen, I just have to let her do small stupid stuff. I hope it means she'll believe me about the bigger things!

I guarantee he NEVER touches it again.


Oh man. Reading this had me completely freaked out for you and poor Ezra. My oldest is only two...but she is tall enough to reach the front of the burner on my cook top now. I'm afraid of what could potentially happen with that, or even the oven. So glad it was only his finger tip and hopefully he HAS learned his lesson and you won't ever have to relive those terrifying moments as a mother ever again.
My sister accidentally did her whole palm as a teenager and I was the only one home to help her. Scary stuff for a kid, I know it has to be worse for a parent.

Mary Ann

My mother always took those fiascoes so well. "What did you think was going to happen? Something else?" (My sister was recently play-acting disciplining a child and "What did you think was going to happen?" was the sum total of what she could come up with to say. We heard that a lot. Logical consequences and all that...)

Jo G.

Poor kid. I did the same with an iron. I was about 3 or 4 and I remember it like it was yesterday. I just got out of the tub and my mom had been ironing. It was off. My mom told me it was hot, don't touch it, and walked into the bathroom. I immediately grabbed it.


Live and learn. It's survival of the fittest and now he knows better than anybody his age. Glad he's a bright one and just touched it rather than grabbing it. I learned my first two safety lessons with an electric shock and a sharp blade. Never forget either of those lessons and have all my fingers too! Hahaha. Good times.

Plano Mom

Yep, that's my boy. My "gotta learn the hard way" kid. Hang in there. He really does believe you, it's just some kind of insane compulsion sometimes.


Scary lesson for him to learn but now he knows. So glad it was just his fingertip he tested.


We keep trying to teach our 19 yr old important things, and are sadly, slowly admitting to ourselves that he is just going to have to get hurt to learn his lessons. Sometimes they learn by heeding our words, but more often they learn that our words were true by making their own mistakes.


Amy: Regarding "it will be better before you get married"... My mother used to say that to me all the time when I'd get hurt..

Except I fell on my knee once when I was about 13 and really scraped it badly. She said that, but the scar is still there. I'm getting married this July - I'm tempted to show her the scar when I have my wedding dress on ;)


That there? Is SCIENCE. Hypothesis tested!


The thing is, it does not get better, right? You tell them not to race with their bikes, to always put on the helmet, to mind the traffic ... and then you pray that the consequence of them trying their boundaries, making their own mistakes and defying your preaching will not be too bad.

Later you tell them to ... (insert whatever you like: study; no drunk driving; safe sex; ...)

Whatever it is, you educate them, and at some point you have to trust them, you have to let go and then you hope. Because what else can you do?


"It's human nature. When we're told not to touch something, we usually do, even if we know better." Oddly enough, that's a quote from last week's Grey's Anatomy that stuck with me. Even adults aren't immune! Hope he's feeling better soon <3


Solarcaine, momma. Take it from someone who burnt herself a bajillion times. Takes the pain out immediately. Keep it in the kitchen for those curious, tiny fingers.


Burn Bandaids! You must get these - they are amazing, I promise!!!! Magical!!!!!

Poor Ezra - I hope he's better soon.


Poor little buddy. And poor momma! Some kids just have to KNOW. I'm sure he'll never do it again.

Suzy Q

He's now ready for his The More You Know commercial. Hope the fingy gets better soon.


we never listen to our mothers until we are grown! My mom told me one day not to sit on this cement wall that was calling my name. Of course the minute she turned her back i sat on the cement wall she had literally JUST TOLD ME NOT TO and i lost my balance and fell over backwards. hairline fracture to the skull later, i think maybe i should have listened to my mom instead of the wall. i was 3.5


My mom did this with all three of us: when we were about Ezra's age, she would turn on the stove then, holding us securely with one arm, she would hold our other hand (tightly, so we couldn't wriggle and go for it)over the burner so we could *know* what HOT means. I guess it worked; we never purposely touched anything we knew was hot. Considering all the other crap we did because we had to find out for ourselves (perfume does not taste like it smells! Babies do not like hot sauce! Climbing on the roof really IS dangerous!) she avoided at least 3 trips to the ER this way.


I remember having almost the exact same experience at some fuzzy single-digit age of my childhood.

Erika Mitchell

Boys are like that! I told my son the other day not to climb down from the kitchen counter by himself because it was too high and he'd hurt himself for sure. So what does he do? Smile and climb down by himself. And then fall. And then cry.

But now? Now he waits for me to help him.


I wish I could tell you this EVER changes. There are some kids that no matter how much you tell them, still have to try. While it's heartbreaking as a mom to walk with them through that, it's actually a beautiful design to their spirit.


Poor, poor Ezra. I think we've all had one blister burn like that. (Mine was from putting a marshmallow roasting fork into the embers to "sanitize" it, then grabbing the business end to hold it still for putting a new marshmallow on... blisters across my palm, fingers, and thumb.)

Let me just say - it's so unfair that we have absolutely no control over our kids. Influence, yes, but control, no.

I left my kids (18 mo and 3 at the time) alone for literally 3 minutes (while cooking dinner), secured in a CHILDPROOF room, and the little one broke her elbow (we think she jumped off the toddler bed).

Becky M.

Ouch, poor dude. When I was about Ezra's age, I pulled a cord out of a wall socket and zapped myself a good one. I'm slightly paranoid about electrical outlets to this day, so I guess I learned my lesson.


My son recently did a similar thing at 2 and a half. We have an induction cooktop. This is theorectically pretty itself safe, because the stove doesn't get hot -- only the pan does.

He knew not to use it himself.Ke knew not to touch it. He knew it got very hot. I carried a load of laundry downstairs. While I was down there, I heard the "beep beep" of the stove being turned on. I dashed upstairs immediately, but the horrible wailing started before I was even halfway up.

I found my son crying, burnt over a several inch area of his palm, thumb, and pointer finger, and the living room carpet MELTED to the toy Ikea pan he had been trying to use to cook a now blackened wooden banana.

Let's just say he's very cautious about hot things now.

I also remember doing this around age 4, when I wanted to figure out which side of the iron was hot - the metal side or the plastic side with the handle? Seems obvious now, but I picked wrong. I was so ashamed, I never told my mom, and nursed a blister on my hand for days.


I will never forget being about that age or a bit older and very intentionally reaching out with one finger to touch the hot iron that I very much knew was not supposed to be touched because it was hot. And I remember how much that first burn hurt and being a little embarrassed every time someone saw the bandage on my finger and asked what happened.

I'm shocked that my daughter made it to almost-6 without ever touching the woodstove or electric chicken fence just to see what would really happen. I like to think we are in the clear now, but who knows.


:( Sigh. Kids.

I just did this last night with my 3yo daughter. She's ALWAYS putting things in her mouth, no matter how many times we tell her "mouths are for food and drinks only".

Last night she choked on a quarter, and I almost had to heimlich her. I hate the "I told you so's", but I hope that scared her straight. Scared the shit out of me.


Apparently I did this as a 4 year old but in my case there was no pot on the burner-my mom had just taken it off-and I laid my whole hand on it. Would it make you feel any better to know I have no recollection of this at all? You would think that would have stayed with me but nope, nothing. Hope Ezra forgets the owie part ASAP-(but not the lesson)

Becky M.

(On a lighter note, I am SO dang envious of that boy's eyelashes.)


When my oldest was around that age we had a similar incident involving the glass front on the gas fireplace. Both hands full palms on it. Didn't require an ER trip but he still talks about the hot fireplace. He *freaks* if his little brother (2.5yrs) tries to go near the fireplace, it's kind of cute. He'll be six in a couple weeks, amazingly LOL.


I was a good deal older than Ez -- 8? maybe 9? when I decided to touch the bottom of the iron when my mom stepped away for a minute. I wanted to see if it was really hot, or something. Pro tip? It is.


Yes. My careful guy did the same thing, but with an iron. Knew. Waited for his chance. And yes, now he knows.

What is it with these careful, deliberate boys? I know I have tucked that incident away in my heart. An important lesson, I think.


Oh, he "knew." but now he KNOWS and that makes all the difference. I can remember doing that at about the same age. The burner is so RED and PRETTY... My youngest did the same thing.

I've found the best thing to do with a burned finger or hand is submerge it in cool to cold water, refreshing the water as it warms up. The cold relieves the pain somewhat and it prevents the burn going any deeper. It also stops the pain completely after about 45 minutes of soaking.


that pic is ADORABLE. So is Ez. Sorry about the bum finger.


Oh, I did this too when I was his age. My Gaga has an old-school everything-is-hot-when-it-is-on metal stove and there I sat, slapping my hand against the side and giving myself a 1st degree burn. Idiot. Actually, 5 year old me probably said, "DUMMEEEEEEEY"


Oh, I did this too when I was his age. My Gaga has an old-school everything-is-hot-when-it-is-on metal stove and there I sat, slapping my hand against the side and giving myself a 1st degree burn. Idiot. Actually, 5 year old me probably said, "DUMMEEEEEEEY"


Yeow. Poor little man.

We call that the school of hard knocks. Those lessons are never forgotten.


Poor baby! I hope he did learn his lesson and doesn't try testing hot things again. But if you happen to need ointment for burns again try vanilla extract. It works wonders! I've used it on iron and curling iron burns on myself and it is amazing. If you get it on the burn immediately it will keep it from blistering and cut the pain drastically. It may still help him a little if you put some on it now. It really helps for the times when you the burn is in hot water like taking a bath, the water won't hurt at all after using the vanilla.


I think he knew that you told him it was hot, and he believed you, but there was a part of him that was thinking "How hot?" and that part wouldn't let go until he found out. I was there, once. I touched the red burner. I never, ever fucking did it again! My daughter knew the oven was hot. HOT! HOT! Opening the oven honey, watch out it's hot! Don't touch!

Opened the door, turned to put the roasting pan on the counter, and she leaned on the open door with both hands. SIGH. I lost ten years that day.


Mine did it too. 4 years old July 4th. We were doing jiffy pop on the stove. :(

Lauren @ Turquoise & Gold

I still have a scar on my arm from when I grabbed a curling iron at age five. But it made me VERY careful from then on with anything hot... and overly paranoid about leaving my straightener on.

Looks like he's already over it!


My mom said all four of us grabbed her curling iron and burned our hands. I think it's one of those life lessons we learn on our own.

Korinthia Klein

I know this advice is too late, but maybe for a next time: It sounds weird, but if you wrap a burn right away with aluminum foil it stops the pain. You keep the foil on for about half an hour to an hour, and then go ahead and treat the burn with neosporin, etc. Someone did this for my brother once when he was burned badly, and he said it was like a miracle. Then recently when my mom burned her hand terribly, she tried it, and said she couldn't believe how fast the pain disappeared. So there's that. Sorry your little guy had to learn a hard lesson.

The Mommy Psychologist

I bet he never ever touches the red part again:)

christine stephens

love this story. sweet little dude.


I just have a hard time reading this. Our philosophy is we don't do the stove at all with our toddler. As evidenced by this post and its comments, the lack of impulse control makes it dangerous.

Our kids cook with us all the time, but adults work the oven and stove top, with children asked to step away.

I'm surprised the moral emerging here seems to be 'kids have to learn' and not 'kids that young don't need to be near stoves.'

Of course, I let my three-year-old play with lighters for a consumer safety study though.

So what do I know?


Whitney Petch

Hi. Um, wow. So, I found a link to your blog just before Christmas. Loved your writing, devoured your (at that time) most recent entries, and found a statement you made at one point saying you had been keeping this blog for 8 years. So I went back to the beginning.

I've since read every single entry from day one on up. I'm a little bit in love with you, I gotta say. I've sent links from specific posts to friends and family, and, since I am expecting my first baby on June 8, I've written down sooo many ideas for different things I want to try with my kid.

I'm obviously going to continue checking for new updates every day, and just wanted to say, thank you. I suffered from 5 1/2 years of infertility, and finally got pregnant in September. I was panicking a little bit, because after over 5 years of trying, our lives are "suddenly" going to change hugely, and I had no real idea what I was doing. But being able to go through your pregnancies, and childhood, and all the ups and downs... I'm not RELAXED, exactly, but it's more that I understand. No one knows what they're doing when they start. And if I can be as great a mom as you seem to be, I think I might be ok.

Mrs. Commoner

Sometimes kids have to learn the hard way. They don't believe adults because they've never experienced it. Now that he knows, he'll probably be more careful in the future. He definitely won't do it on purpose again.


Yellow mustard surviver here as well...dunno what's it in but you make a sort of paste out of it and let it dry on the burn. I managed to touch the inside of a clam shell grill with my upper bicep (I believe I was cleaning it who knows) I had a blister within seconds and one of my employees mustard gunned me (I worked at McD's). 15 years later all I have to show for it is a random collection of small freckles in a slight pattern of the burn. I've used it on my kids as well. It takes the burn away in seconds flat and it's au natural. I'm not so sure about putting solaircane and neosporin on burns. I belive it has something to do with the oil in them can make the burn worse. I've also heard that cold water is bad as it's a shock to skin that's already been shocked. Glad he learned his lesson though. We have a gas stove...UG!!


When my now 18-year-old nephew was about 18 months we had a family pizza party. When the oven door was open, it blocked the door to the dining room. I had just opened the oven and had my hands full with a piping hot pizza pan when Jake ran in from the dining room and slapped both of his hands straight down on the inside of the 450 degree oven door. I screamed, which startled him, and he pulled his hands right off. He somehow escaped with just very, very minor burns (I don't think anything even blistered) but I was scarred for life!


Being a kid. We remember it.We knew, but sometimes we just had to... touch it.

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