Monkey Business

Cambodia 511


My son came running downstairs. 


He was supposed to be “resting” in his room. It was more for me than for him, truthfully. I knew he never actually slept these days.

He beamed up at me.

“Mom! Guess what I did!!!” He was breathless with excitement. He grabbed my hand and started pulling me toward the stairs.

“Uh…. What? What did you do?” 

“I did something special for you!”

My heart started beating fast. Images flashed through my mind of crayon decorated walls or Ninja Turtle stickers placed strategically all over the hardwood laminate in his bedroom.

“Baby, what exactly did you do?” I took a deep breath, bracing myself for the worst.

“I lit the candle in your bedroom! It took a lot of matches…”

Before he could say another word I was flying up the stairs three at a time. The smell of smoke and matches caught in my nostrils on the landing halfway up. I almost tripped on the next to the last step as my top half was moving faster than my bottom half.

The candle was in a complicated metal and glass structure. I was fairly sure he would not have been able to figure it out. Which then begged the question, what exactly had he lit?

Oh please, oh please, oh please!!!!!

I ran into my bedroom and breathed a sigh of relief. The candle was indeed lit in the votive holder. No other flames were visible licking at the duvet or the draperies.


I walked around the end of the bed just to be sure and found the pile of about two dozen half-burned matched. All of the wooden drawers from the medicine chest cabinet (about 20 of them) in which the matches were hidden were in the floor nearby, the perfect tinder. It was a miracle the whole house had not gone down in ashes.

Moral of the story? 

Hiding matches in a secret drawer is no match for a four year old boy with the deadly combination of boredom and a heightened level of curiosity. We stopped “naps” after that…


86 thoughts on “Monkey Business

  1. My two year old son was left in the middle of the rug happily playing with his wooden meccanno while i nipped to the loo very fast (you get good at that, don’t you?). The room was safe enough… childproofed… locks on dodgy cupboards.. fireguard bolted to the wall…

    …except I hadn’t realised he would bolt the wooden bits tofgether to reach through the bars of the fireguard and into the flames…

    Two minutes… ! But only the rug, thankfully, was singed…

    Liked by 1 person

      • Boy, that brings back memories – Ha! When I was transportation manager for a large retailer,we used a round pickproof, uncutable, torchproof, stainless, rustproof, basically indestructible system lock on everything from trailer doors to key drops to tool boxes to storage accesses. They were superb and as long as I was at that company we never had one defeated (had a lot of tries but no one succeeded ). They all had the same key so no matter where the drivers went or what they did, they had the key. For all their unequaled utility, they had one fatal flaw – as soon as the temperature dropped below freezing, every single one of them froze up. Ha! That used to cause terrible problems until we discovered hairspray. Every fall we would issue each driver with a case of aquanet hairspray and a lighter. Ha! Lighting the hairspray and using it as a mini-torch, the locks could be thawed within a few seconds. Tah Dah! Hairspray to the rescue. And of course, many of our drivers had,as your brothers had, experience with this as they has sisters. A skill with no apparent use, learned early in life and discourage by all adults, actually turned out to be a useful skill that enhanced employability. Ha!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I remember my parents finding little round holes in the couch cushion covers, and asking what they were. I had no idea. Later, it turned out my big brother burned those holes with cigarettes, while my parents weren’t home.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Geeze…scary, Victo! Phew…good ending though! Can’t “match” that story, but how about a little one finding hidden pills in a drawer (at my Mom’s house). Good ending in the ER…and he refused the lollypop. Chryssa

    Liked by 1 person

      • Reminds me of the time I ate a whole bottle of St Joseph’s children’s asprin, because they were sweet, and I didn’t have any candy. I don’t know the year they discovered Ryes Syndrome, but it must have been later. Only now, looking back, do I realize how lucky I was to not get it!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ok, so I googled it, and I spelled it wrong. Reye’s Syndrome was discovered 1963, which was before I was born, but they put warnings about it on asprin bottles in 1982, which sounds about right.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Close call there, Doc. You have to keep an eye on those Curious George types. My kids melted down a bunch of crayons (I don’t want to know how) and made me a homemade wax candle for Mother’s Day. I still have it…we laugh about it now. ❀️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh I was right there with you. Sometimes our children terrify us. I remember my son aged three and the littl one I minded, also three, came down stairs laughing saying ‘all gone’ over and over. I brought them back up dreading what they had done. They walked to a knot hole in one of my bedroom floorboards and jumped around delightedly shouting ‘all gone’. I looked around and saw my jewellery box open and yes ‘all was gone’. Waaah.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I know there is a story of my brother in law drinking his moms perfume when he was young, but I think I remember hearing something about my husband and brother in law lighting one on fire? They were a little older though. I think. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, it is. LOL My daughter used to cut her hair and apparently the cats too. She filled her bathroom drawer with water for her dolls (I’ve blocked this from my memory but she says it’s true) and while she was giving herself a hair cut my son was finger painting with pudding. I swear I wasn’t that far away. LOL

        Liked by 2 people

  7. When you eliminate the naps you might create a new Icarus who wants to fly to the sun to measure the heat. Of course this is a hyperbole.

    If your son is smart enough to figure out your complex candle thingy taking naps away will not work. He has too much energy and cannot help it. Let him tinker with DIY and arts and crafts projects.

    I was obsessed with knowledge and books so I was and am a bit weird. Still I enjoyed tinkering for the sake of “what can I make with these materials? ” and well duct tape is awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Basically, nap elimination was to more closely supervise him. Leaving him to his own devices was not going to work. Instead, he gets to play with me. He has some elaborate art projects. The other day we dissected an owl pellet. That was pretty ick but he sure dug it. I think he will be pretty weird, too. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 3 people

  8. The only really awful thing I ever did as a child was to burn up the back field behind out house. We were trying to write our names and thought with the little stream close by, we would be fine…….not so. I remember how terrible I felt when they had to call the fire department which my brothers we all members… AWFUL! lolol

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Haha, you stopped “naps” after that! Thank God you were ok!!
    By the way, you’ve been chosen as one of today’s nine blogs in That’s So Jacob’s Ninth Month Blog Challenge! I challenge you to find nine blogs you find interesting and give them a comment to brighten their day…well, eight other blogs and mine πŸ™‚ Copy this message in your comment and enjoy your new blog friends.

    Liked by 1 person

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