When my daughter was three her favorite toys were “the guys”. She had approximately 952 of them. The "guys" were small plastic Disney figurines. She adored them. She called them her best friends (granted sometimes I was her best friend, sometimes our dog was her best friend, and sometimes the cashier at Target was her best friend, but the guys are on the BFF list).
In addition to the guys, she also loved to cook. She wanted to cook all the time. I let her help me in the kitchen - mainly in hopes that she is a chef savant and wants to take over the kitchen duties in a couple of years.
One morning she decided to serve "guy soup". I thought about explaining the fault in pretending to boil our best friends but instead I just I ate the soup. It was delicious and I asked for seconds. She informed me that she had to make more and asked if we could put our bowls in the oven. She is three so I skipped that soup was not generally made in the oven. The oven was not on, had not been on, so I told her she could as long as I was with her. Safety first. We opened the stove inserted the bowls and waited for them to do their thing.
Well, as the guys were "cooking", she got distracted, probably with the several thousand other guys that she has. I got distracted with, well, I don't know what I got distracted with, laundry, educational crafts, Facebook...ok, yeah, we all know it was Facebook. And, then we were off on errands (or as C thought, to see my friend Erin - she was vastly disappointed when we went to the bank).
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Upon our return home we were starving and Conley asked for cheese on bread (for those outside of my husband's family, this means toasted Muenster on bread). I turned the oven on to preheat.
You know where this is going, right? I smelled burning plastic. I looked around frantically before deciding to check the dishwasher…because it made much more sense for a burning smell to be coming from the dishwasher than the oven that I had just turned on! It did not cross my mind that as I stared into the dishwasher that I was burning the guys alive.
Then it dawned on me. The guys! The guys were melting! I threw my ov-glove on with the same intensity that I would have used had I been rescuing actual people from being broiled alive. I pulled them out. Cursed. Ran water over them. I don't know why. It seemed like the right thing to do.
The next task was telling Conley. There was nothing in any of the handbooks about how to tell your preschooler that you’ve melted her best friends. She actually handled it really well. She was sad, but I told her we would love them anyway...we didn't care that Bullseye was missing a hoof, or that Olivia's little "bother" Ian now only had one ear, or that Buzz Lightyear could no longer go to infinity and beyond because his face mask looked like a roasted marshmallow. No, in this house, we love all guys - no matter their race, gender or disability.
She just shrugged nonchalantly at my teachable moment and asked if she could put Band-Aids on them.