Last night, I went downstairs to check on the boys, who were camping out in the living room. This was around 1 AM and as I came down the steps, I heard a familiar ticking sound that sent chills through my spine. It was the ignitor on our gas stove.
I ran into the kitchen to find the back burner barely burning but thankfully it was. I say thankfully because if it hadn’t actually ignited the gas, the whole house would have been filled and that doesn’t end well.
This burner had been on for hours and stone was hot, as was an empty pot, just off to the side. About 6 inches from the burner was a pair of oven mitts that while flame resistant, still managed to burn.
I know what happened.
Before bed, Gavin had decided to wash some dishes. Kudos to him for that, as it’s a big help. He had washed a small pot and decided to place it on the stove to dry. For whatever reason, Gavin walks up against things and he always has. The most common and problematic example of this is our mantel. He walks with his shoulder scraping across the face of the mantel and knocks things to the floor. It drives me crazy but he does that with everything. Walls, doorways and apparently gas ranges as well. We’ve been told it’s a sensory thing.
He probably did the same thing to the stove while putting the pot away and was oblivious to the fact that he’d turned the knob on the front of the stove. This sorta blows my mind because it the ignitor makes a considerable amount of noise and he should have heard it, or even scene the blue flames.
Thankfully, aside from burned oven mitts, no harm was done. I’ve since removed the knobs from the stove and have talked to all the kids about what happened. Gavin was really upset because he didn’t realize that ticking noise was coming from the stove or the blue glow of the fire. Again, mind blown but it’s Gavin and par for the course. He didn’t do anything on purpose and now I know to take precautions.
I know that we were really lucky and I need to be even more vigilant. I thought I was being vigilant but now I need to add something else to the list. This is just one example of how and why Autism parents never or rarely let their guard down. We have to be ready for anything, especially the things we don’t expect.