As parents, we try to protect our children from harm and teach them about possible dangers that lurk in our world. Hopefully our repeated chants sink into their ever growing brains. "Don't touch the stove, it's hot. Stay on the sidewalk so you won't get run over by a car. Pat the dog gently or he may bite."
Unfortunately, there are dangerous situations we parents may have overlooked, and curiosity will overpower any lessons taught.
Ian screams from the top of the stairs. They are nonstop shrieks that get my immediate attention. I race up the stairs and quickly look him over for any signs of injury. I see none. It takes me a few moments to calm him down enough so he can give me any sort of explanation. Between deep breaths, he sobs, "You should not leave the light on. The light hurt me."
My brain races with possible interpretations. He's oddly holding his hand. I look it over and find no cuts. It seems like an eternity before I figure out what Ian is trying to tell me. I remember having seen Ian and Laurel touch the hallway light that is just above the baseboard and behind a piece of translucent plastic. That gets warm, but if he just now touched an actual light bulb, that would be hot enough to burn his skin.
I rush him to the bathroom and immerse his hand in cold water. Within a minute he calms down. I look at his fingertips, and see a white blister forming at the end of his middle finger. "Ian, did Laurel touch the light too?"
I call Laurel to me and look her over. On her index finger a white blister is forming. I get the step stool for her to stand on and have her dunk her hand in the water also. Why she didn't cry is beyond me.
Upon further investigation, I find out that Ian and Laurel were reaching down between the staircase slats to touch the light bulb in a lamp. Evidently, this was a case of both curiosity killing the cat and monkey see, monkey do.
I discuss the circumstances with the two of them. "Guys, do we touch lights?"
"NO! Lights are hot and burn," yells Ian.
"No, Mommy. Ow, ow, ow," remarks Laurel.
No further lecturing is needed. My two curious kittens have learned their lesson. Some time spent in cold water, a band aid and a kiss alleviate their pain.
Later that evening, while Ian sits on the potty, he states, "Mommy, now I have to earn some more money to buy a new finger!"