Tuesday, January 19, 2010

calling the electrician tomorrow


You know what I'm talking about. Those days. The days when you look at the clock and count down the number of hours to bedtime (at 9:15am). The days when you guesstimate how much your kids would go for on Ebay. The days when you think about revising your resume to go back to work so you don't have to listen to one more tantrum.

After a hellish day of another ear infection for Josie and 10,000 moments of noncooperation from Gabe, we were upstairs playing for a bit when Gabe started screaming hysterically from the side of his bed. I rushed over and the smell of something burning hit me right away, and he wouldn't stop screaming that his fingers had been burnt. I teased the answer out of him, and it turns out he'd pulled out his lamp plug halfway, and then touched the metal prongs with his fingers. HIS FINGERS. That was the burning smell.

I comforted him and then patiently explained why we never ever EVER touch the electrical outlet or the plugs or anything like that because they are so so so dangerous. I thought we were clear on the concept, and I figured the shock he'd received was enough to dissuade him from doing it again. Anyway, I sat back down and kept playing and then turned around to see him PULLING THE PLUG OUT TO DO IT AGAIN.

I. lost. it. Seriously. I screamed so much I think the neighbors must have heard me. I smacked his hands 5 times because the fear that rose up in my throat, that clenched my stomach and made my head swim was too much. I didn't know what to do to make him understand that he could never ever EVER do that again. To make him understand how dangerous the electrical outlets could be.

What can you do, though (besides this)? How can you possibly make a just barely 3 year old comprehend something so scary and dangerous? Still now, hours later, remembering the moment I saw him reaching his little hands out to touch the prongs again, and I can hear the terror pounding in my ears. I need tips, folks. How do you make your kids listen? Especially those kids (and I'm hoping someone besides me has one) that appears to listen, nods along, repeats what you said, looks you in the eye and agrees, and then 2 flipping seconds later is doing it again. And again. And again.

Please let tomorrow be better.


Beth said...

Oh I HEAR you. And I have NOTHING. As I have the same nodding, and then doing it again. I am having so many of "those days" that when I get a good day I am surprised by it. My yelling, smacking, time outs - NONE of them are working and I am slowly going crazy. I just don't know how to get through to her and it's doing my head in. So...I will be watching for sound advice from others and I can be here to say "me too!" And it SUCKS. Gin may help? And or dart guns filled with phenergen?

Stacy said...

Well I have been through this so many times. Honestly there are some things that they learn the hard way. As painful as it is for us, sometimes there is no way around it. There are some outlet boxes and plug lock things that you can get to help prevent them from easily pulling things out.
In addition, arranging furniture to cover as many outlets as possible can help too!
I have 3 boys.... boys like to learn the hard way!
Girls well they are just divas and it will be a whole different world!

Meika said...

I also have nothing and recommend martinis (such as I am currently consuming). That fact sheet is freaky, but now I'm confused - my husband's back-home-buddy's son has electrocuted himself a la Gabe's attempt several times and lived to tell the tale - so maybe there's another side to the scary-danger story??

liz said...

Holy guacamole.

Yankee, Transferred said...

Apply vodka immediately. To the mama.

Chatty Cricket said...

I like Beth's suggestion of the dart guns. I don't know what phenergen is, but it sounds good to me!

Also? I believe in the learn by experience. I got a shock once when I was plugging in our Christmas tree, and it stung enough to make me remember to be careful. Even to this day. I must have been about 7 when it happened?

But the other thing that happened in our house was right around the same time we had an ungrounded outlet in our dining room, and if you've never seen something like it, let me tell you: During a thunderstorm, somehow (either the house was hit by lightning or the power cables were) and lightning SHOT OUT OF THE OUTLET and since electricity is attracted to things like PEOPLE, it came around the corner of the kitchen door LOOKING FOR US.

I Swear. To. God.

If we can survive that, Gabe will be ok. Even if his fingers smelled like burning. GROSS.

Chamiza said...

my brother used to do this. ALL. THE. TIME. as a baby and toddler. He loved the thrill of the shock. The ped told my mom to slap him on the hand and say no firmly....then I'd get mad at her for slapping his hand....but he stopped. go figure.