Which Is Why I Will Never Be “That Mom”

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I confessed in a recent post that I was going out of town for a few days and would not be leaving pre-made dinners in the freezer for my family while I was gone. I would love to be that organized, but I simply am not “That Mom”.

However, as it got closer to my trip, the mom guilt started to set in, and I discovered a few extra hours on Monday so I decided to make a batch of homemade bread for my family to enjoy in my absence.

I melted the oil and mixed the flour and yeast and added the tepid water and let my handy Kitchen Aid mixer do the kneading, and before I knew it I had a big mound of dough ready to rise. I greased a big Pyrex glass bowl, placed the dough inside, covered it with plastic wrap and set it on the stove to rise while I went upstairs to get a shower.

I noticed that the stove felt warm, but I didn’t think much about it.

I showered and got dressed and came down about a half-hour later, planning to make a quick trip to the grocery store while the dough finished rising. But when I stepped into the kitchen, I noticed that the dough was overflowing the bowl.

How strange. It doesn’t ever get that big, and besides, it had only been rising about 30 minutes!

I figured I’d go with it and I might even get an extra loaf out of the deal, so I went over to the stove to get the dough and prepare it to be put into loaves. When I picked up the bowl, I could once again feel its warmth, and that’s when I knew something was up.

I placed the bowl on the counter, and a quick glance at the stove revealed that I had left the burner on low from when I melted the coconut oil for the bread.

I immediately realized the implications of my oversight. I almost went to the STORE and left the bread rising with PLASTIC on top on a lit burner! We have a gas range. I mean, hello, I could have burned the entire house down!!

Overwhelmed by my idiocy and the possibility for disaster that had been somehow avoided, I started to leave the room to take a minute to get my nerves under control.

I had barely taken three steps when I heard a loud POP!

I turned around to see the glass bowl in pieces on my counter and the dough oozing out through the cracks.

All I could think about was, if that had been 5 seconds sooner, I would have been holding that bowl in my hands when it exploded.

And if I had done the unthinkable and left the house with the bowl of dough and plastic wrap sitting on that burner, I might have come home to find my house in ashes.

I walked outside and sat down on my front porch while I counted my blessings and waited for my heart to return to its normal rhythm. I couldn’t quite get over how bad the situation could have been, and I didn’t have a scratch on me.

Finally I decided I could no longer avoid the inevitable, and I came back inside to deal with the aftermath. I knew I had to clean up the glass but I wasn’t sure how. I moved the trash can over to the counter, but when I went to pick up what was left of the bowl, the pressure of the dough was too much, and it split clean across and slashed two of my fingers.

I guess I’d counted my blessings too soon.

I moved to the sink and rinsed my hand under cold water to clear the blood so I could assess the damage. I had a deep, gaping cut on my middle finger and a smaller cut on my ring finger, and they both hurt like the dickens. All I could think about was returning to the ER for the second time in one week and how I’d never be ready to leave town if I had to spend my afternoon in the ER getting my fingers stitched up.

Meanwhile, my inquisitive puppy was trying to get in on the action, so I started sweeping up the glass while periodically shouting for her to stay out of the kitchen, but I didn’t get very far because blood was dripping from the gaping wound in my finger onto the floor that I was trying to sweep. It was almost comical, but I assure you, I wasn’t laughing.

Finally I decided to call for reinforcements, and my neighbor came down to help me clean up and take a look at my fingers. She didn’t think I needed stitches, so we bandaged them up, and between the two of us we somehow managed to get the shattered bowl and the deflated bread dough into an industrial strength garbage bag without further injury to either of our persons.

Once everything was cleaned up, there was nothing left to do but hop in the car and make a quick grocery store run to stock up on necessities for the family to eat while I’m gone — including a loaf of conventional sandwich bread for the school lunches.

So much for being That Mom.

I suppose you can say all’s well that ends well. It could have been so much worse on so many levels. Believe it or not, this is not my first mishap with a batch of rising bread dough. The last one occurred when I was 20 years old and babysitting for a family in my college town, and it actually DID involve firetrucks.

Maybe I should just steer clear of the kitchen from now on.

All I know is, it will be a long time before I leave a bowl of rising bread dough unattended.

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11 Responses

  1. Oh my! I stand by my assertion that housework done properly is hazardous to one’s health. LOL! Glad it wasn’t worse…

  2. Oh no! In this case, it was definitely the thought that counts 🙂 If I am ever away from home for dinner I tell my husband, “You’re on your own”…. makes me a little nervous about what he will give the kids, but also makes him appreciate the meals I do make when I’m home…. and how hard it can be to make them. Hope your fingers heal fast. At least you can still type!

  3. Oh Jo-Lynne! Thankful that it wasn’t worse but sorry for the drama and the mess! Ugh! I hope your fingers heal quickly and what a wonderful neighbor to come to your aid, that’s something else to be thankful for. No harm in going to the grocery store for a loaf of bread, you know even the Proverbs 31 lady brings her food from afar:)

  4. I always appreciate when you share these kinds of stories, Jo-Lynne! It’s so easy to feel bad when we have the best of mama-intentions & everything flops. Thanks for sharing, and please let us hear the firetruck story sometime! ; )

  5. One time I turned on the wrong burner, and exploded the glass lasagna pan from the night before that was sitting on it. I was so very, very thankful that my son was out of the room-he was barely walking and was usually playing at my feet. Glass flew everywhere and he would have definitely gotten hit. I think it is times like these that remind us of how thankful we should be!

  6. I remember trying to impress my mother in law by cooking a meal at her house to prove I was ‘that mom’. The woman didn’t like me and I just knew that if I could pull this off she’d see how wrong she was. Instead I exploded her favorite glass pan on top of her stove, broke a gallon of milk on her kitchen flloor and, some how, managed to burn my bangs right off (was the first time I’d ever tried cooking on a gas stove). It was humiliating and I well remember her saying to my husband, “Mike, is she trying to ruin my kitchen or is she just stupid?”. We wound up eating peanut butter sandwiches, outside, because the house reeked of burnt hair.

    I’ve never been “that mom” and although I still try sometimes, the resulting disaster just isn’t worth it. (hugs)

  7. I’m well aware I’ll never be “that mom.” I probably err too much on the side of not trying hard enough to be lol.

  8. I don’t think many of us are “that Mom.” The past few times I’ve tried to be, “that friend” and bless folks with a surprise dinner, it has totally flopped–Tried to meet a very pregnant friend in the pick-up line with a casserole-she was no where to be found. I tried to double my dinner and bring half to a dear friend having a rough time, I ruined both of our dinners. I’m not typically a disaster in the kitchen, except for when I attempt to bake, so this was weird. Both instances happened within the same week. I have my own brood of 8 + a husband to feed so I was ready to throw in my kitchen towel. I asked God, “What is going on, here? I’m trying to bless people!” I really didn’t get an answer–just a gentle nudge to keep giving. The last thing I want to do is ignore those promptings in the future because I didn’t get it just right.

    Don’t think of it as Mom guilt, think of it as wanting to do something nice for your family. Sometimes it it works beautifully and you get hugs and thank you’s. Sometimes they don’t even notice, yet it pleases your soul anyway. And, sometimes, you almost burn the house down and slice your fingers open. 🙂 There’s always a reason these things happen…sometimes it’s to make you be still, sometimes it’s to count your blessings, and sometimes it’s to let go of our idea of the perfect mom or friend. Thanks for sharing so honestly! (Hey, it’s at least a good reminder to check your smoke alarm batteries!)

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