Monday morning, things were going remarkably smoothly. The kids were behaving reasonably well, and the day was just trucking right along. I even posted this on Twitter:
I should have known better.
By afternoon, time had started to drag. Then, while I was sitting at the computer, gnawing kind of absently on my thumbnail (I know...), there was a sudden *crack.* Coming from my mouth. My front tooth, which I broke first in 1991, then again this past January, had reached the limits of its structural integrity and broken yet again. (Yes, the dentist who repaired it the last time warned me not to bite into anything. Ever. It's not like I wasn't warned.) So that was delightful and mortifying. (The "official" story I told the dentist this time around was that one of the kids had bumped my arm while I was about to take a drink of water from a heavy glass, and the glass broke my tooth.)
Anyway. Fortunately, I didn't swallow or lose the little chunk of tooth that broke off, so I was able to stick it back on there in the event that I needed to have face-to-face interactions with people other than my family, and not look like a total hillbilly. This would come in handy later.
I was able to make an appointment for tooth repair on Wednesday. Not so bad. Tom got home, offered hugs of consolation, then took off to go swim. I got started on dinner. I meticulously cut the rest of the meat off the chicken we'd roasted a few days previously. I cut brussels sprouts into shreds and sliced onions & bell peppers. Those went into a pan to sautee together. When that was nearly finished, smelling very tasty, I pulled leftover mashed potatoes out of the fridge and put them into another pot on the stove, to re-heat them. That's when the real fun started.
I was just stirring some sour cream into the potatoes when there was a *pop* and a spark shot out of the stove, somewhere behind the burner I was using. Okaaaay, that was weird. Moments later there were three more loud pops, and the control buttons burst into flame! I grabbed the fire extinguisher, managed through my shaking adrenaline rush to remove the plastic safety tabs, and put out the fire. But the stove was still on, and there was no way I was going anywhere near those buttons to turn it off. I found a stick and managed to use it to shut off one of the burners, but the button for the other burner was melted. At which point - duuuuuh - it occurred to me to just shut off the breaker to the stove. Which I did. Then I surveyed the damage. And then, as you might expect, I took pictures.
Dinner was aaaaaaalmost ready. Seriously, like 2 minutes from serving.
Scorched and melted stove buttons
A few minutes later, Tom returned from the pool, ready for dinner. I showed him the mess in the kitchen and relayed the whole tale. He lifted up the pot with the mashed potatoes and looked at the burner underneath. And this is what we saw.
A chunk of metal had exploded off the heating element. That must have been one of the pops I'd heard.
The bottom of the pot was scorched, and there was a deep pit where the exploded chunk of metal had shot into the bottom.
I don't want to think about what might have happened if I'd moved that pot and the burning metal from the heating element had ricocheted across the kitchen. Or, you know, lodged somewhere in me. I was also very very glad that the kids were not in the kitchen, though they were watching from the doorway (safely behind the nice new gate Tom built). Soren got to watch Mommy use a fire extinguisher in a real, live fire emergency, which was basically the highlight of his week.
Dinner was, of course, ruined. Tom prudently reminded me that my first call ought to be to the landlord, so after I called him, I ordered us some pizzas. The landlord decided he wanted to stop by and check out the damage - thank goodness I was able to put the broken piece back on my tooth and look somewhat presentable. (See, I told you that would be useful later.)
After ALL that, I still managed to get out and go for a walk after dinner. It was, all things considered, a very full day after all.