Looking Back – Playing With Fire

July 2, 2008

“Jean from NM” has an office in the same complex in which I have one.  Today she told me I should write about my two (human) boys.  They’re great guys (well, men), but when they were little, they were always looking for trouble.

When Marc was seven and Brock was four I found some spent matches behind a chair in the living room.  First there’s the sinking feeling, and then a sense of relief that the little devils didn’t burn down our only home.  So, I called them into the living room.


Me (very calmly):  I found these used matches behind the chair here.  Did you guys light matches?

Them: No, not us.  Unh, unh.

Me (still calm):  Are you positive?  Not even one time?

Them (fervent denial): Unh, unh.  Never.

Me (running into the kitchen and grabbing the phone):  OH MY GOD!

Them (panicky):  What are you doing?

Me (hysterical):  I’m calling the police!  Someone is trying to burn down our house!

Them (a little hysterical):  Mom, don’t.  Wait!

So, they fessed up that they had indeed experimented with matches.  They never did that again.

Hee, hee.  Moms are lots smarter than the average bear, and the boys lived to tell about it.

  1. Shelley says:

    LOL!! Why is it that our kids figure we are so dumb?

    I told my kids over and over, there isn’t anything that you can do that I haven’t already done myself, so don’t think that you can pull one over on me.

    My best was finally leaving my daughter (15) alone for the first time with my son (19) coming home to stay with her for a long weekend while I went to a dog show.

    Walked in to a spotlessly clean house (or so I thought till I moved furniture). I just KNEW there had been a party…my kids don’t clean!

  2. Jean from NM says:

    It reminds me of the time when my children were finally old enough to be left alone for an hour. I hit the road with my husband FOR THE FIRST TIME to help out with a show he was doing. We arranged it so that Laura and Danny would only be alone for an hour until the sitter got there. They were 13 or 14. That’s safe enough, right?

    At last! I’m outta there!

    So we call home later that evening, and Laura answers the phone. “Uhm, we had kind of a problem here today. Maybe you better talk to Danny.”

    And Dad gets on the line and says, “you did WHAT? And the fire department was there? And the police? And the paramedics? And the BOMB SQUAD???!!!”

    Ah, my dear adventuresome son had built and tried to fire off a “rocket,” which was, in reality, a pipe bomb. He’d gotten solid rocket propellant from a kid whose father was an ex-Air Force guy from White Sands Missile Range. And he’d packed it tightly in a pipe with a washer or two. And taped the ends carefully. And ran a fuse. He invited his sister out to watch, but she declined.

    And the rest is history. Fortunately, he suffered no injury except where one of the washers had smacked into the side of his leg. Had it been going a different direction, it would have punctured his leg and severed some muscle and tissue, but it hit him flat.

    Someone had been setting off pipe bombs in the area, and the police thought they finally had their kid. Thank God they didn’t, and thank God we didn’t need Penni.

    The ex-Air Force guy was never cited or punished in any way for having stolen solid rocket propellant and leaving it where kids could reach.

    Our son was grounded for a year.