Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The power of electricity

So I had a bit of excitement this weekend.

My children, they discovered the power of electricity.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Exhibit C:

In short, while I was busy talking to my sister-in-law on the phone my boys were busy getting into mischief. The 8-year-old at some point handed the 5-year-old the brass fastener (see exhibit A) and watched him insert it into exhibit B. Causing exhbit C. There was no blood-curdling scream, no cry of pain. The lights didn't flicker. (Apparently, we are lucky it was brass. It melted through so quickly that it didn't even trip the breaker.)

They skittered past me and into the bathroom to attempt to nurse their own hurts before the oldest came to tell me "He stuck a pin in the outlet." My slow brain still took what in hindsight seemed forever to fully grasp the situation. I hung up the phone with a breezy, "Gotta go. We have an emergency," thinking I would kiss the boo-boo and give a disciplinary talking to.

Instead, I witnessed the youngest's finger and just as I was realizing this was not just a slight blister, the older one said "It's still in the outlet."
"Show me!" I demanded, and grabbed a potholder on the way past. It practically fell out of the socket when I nudged it with said potholder - there wasn't even smoke, but I had a nervous few moments picturing a still-sparking, smoldering, or perhaps flaming sight.
By then, the youngest one is beginning to feel the pain of his electrical burn, and I began to wonder if it would be safe to try and treat it myself, as it was more than just a small blister. The fastener had actually burned a groove down through the end of his finger. I think it was at least 1/8 of an inch deep. So we trooped off to emergency to have him looked at, and they had some burn cream that numbs it and a sterile dressing to put on it. Which stayed on almost until bedtime, and then I put bandaids on it while he slept, and when he woke up and the bandaids came off almost immediately I put more bandaids on, and when those came off, my paranoia had mostly worn off so I said to hell with it and left it uncovered.
Oldest boy got a few tiny blisters trying to remove the fastener from the outlet while it was still hot, but I let him suffer, despite his theatrics - it's callous and cruel, I know they hurt, but they really weren't much compared to the trench in the other one's finger.
I just hope to God they both have learned their lesson. Dammit I thought they were old enough to know better!

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