Ok. I'll admit that it's taken me about two weeks to get over being nauseous about this to be able to write about it. But here goes. And let this be a lesson to all of you out there to remind your kids of things that you think they probably already know....nagging doesn't hurt as much as the alternative could.
So one morning I went to wake Maddie up and as soon as I opened her door I was hit with a smell. It was a foul, burnt-rubber, noxious smell that hurt my face to breathe in. I frantically looked around to figure out where it was coming from when I realized that her little Ikea bedside lamp was on. Oh, but not only was it on, but it had been on all night long. Oh, and not only had it been on all night long, but it had been covered with a pink doggie blanket all night long. And not only had it burnt a huge hole in the blanket, but it had gotten hot enough to melt the entire plastic lampshade and neck almost completely off. An entire scallop of the shade had been melted, too. I think when I came in at 6:15 that morning, the entire lamp/blanket combo was probably an hour away from starting on fire. That smell was one that I will not forget soon.
It turns out our little bookworm that reads before bed every night wasn't quite ready to turn off her lamp and go to sleep the night before. In an effort to avoid getting busted while she was reading, she covered it with her favorite pink dog blanket from when she was a baby. And then of course she fell asleep before turning the lamp off. And she slept with her head about 2 feet away from that potential fireball all night long. And the lamp only takes one of those tiny chandelier light bulbs that's barely 25 watts or something. I think my reaction to finding it smoking and almost on fire was enough to scare her straight.
When I realized how bad that situation might have become, I almost threw up. Her room is upstairs and at the very end of the hallway--it would've taken me awhile to wake up and even get up there in the event there was a fire. I just keep picturing her trying to get out of her room that is totally ablaze and her being engulfed in flames because it started so close to where she sleeps. I couldn't help but think that at some point during her 6 1/2 years, I had surely explained the danger of covering a light bulb with something and the risk of starting a fire.
Now go find every kid you can--your own, or the neighbors', even random kids in the mall and tell them: NEVER PUT ANYTHING ON TOP OF A LAMP! Light bulbs get really HOT! Nag them till they get it through their little, squishy heads.