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…