I was making fish tacos, is the thing.
We needed to eat AND get in the car to go to our life group AND go over a fire escape plan with our boys so that Garrett could check that off his scouting list. Also, so that my children don't burn up if the house catches fire. But mostly so he could check it off of his scouting list. We were multitasking, is what I'm trying to say.
I had the fish baking, the beans cooking, and a tortilla browning on the burner. Troy was busy walking the boys around the house, quizzing them on what they should do if there is smoke, where to meet once they managed to get outside, and how not to grab the door knob if they suspect that there might be a fire which is really quite hysterical because my children keep their bedroom door WIDE open for fear of what might happen to them if they dared close it at night. Goblins and ghouls and ax murderers. Finally, we all came together in the kitchen and were about to switch subjects when Garrett started frantically pointing and yelling, "MOM-UH-UH-UH-MOM-MOM-MOM!"
Thankfully, I speak eight-year-old and I realized right away that I'd forgotten that darned tortilla. I turned around to see smoke billowing from the underside of the flattened flour disk. That poor tortilla was all bubbled and brown on top and the edges were curling up where the smoke was seeping through. In one quick move, I darted toward the stove, grabbed a spatula and flipped that thing right off the burner. It was a grotesque and distorted version of itself, a blackened mess.
Troy ran to fan the smoke detector.
I thanked the scout for alerting me to the near fire we had on our stove top. Had he not realized it, the extinguisher would certainly have needed to make an appearance. Then I explained that, in the future, when there is a pressing issue that might very well turn itself into a full blown emergency, "MOM THE TORTILLA IS ON FIRE!" would be better than the repeated stammer of, "MOM UH MOM UH!"
For a bit of trivia, the only other time I've tried to burn down my house it involved a tostada shell. I might need to quit cooking Mexican food.
Still, I do commend my parenting skills. A lesser mother would not risk burning her home down for the perfect object lesson. Also, again with the reality show. This time I can actually see the shot. The camera pans in and focuses on the smoking tortilla while the family stands, two feet away, discussing what to do in case of a fire.