Don’t Get Caught Playing With Matches

Playing With Matches

Playing With Matches

Don’t Get Caught Playing With Matches….What should the punishment be if you were a kid playing with matches?  How about slapping your hand or getting  chewed out or being sent to you room or even being grounded?  Do all these sound about the right punishment?  After all, if you were a kid playing with matches there could be some serious property damage or personal injuries.  What should the punishment be from your parents?

Does burning your hand on the burner of a hot stove seem about right?  Well, that’s what my mother did to me.

It all started back in the early sixties.  I was probably ten years old.  At the time my mother was either bowling or yelling at her kids.  I think she must have been a pretty good bowler.  It seemed like she would always win some sort of trophy.  I guess she was on the league committees and was responsible for the end of year awards banquet.  In our garage were all the leftover napkins, little bowling pins labeled with the team names, party favors and of course one more thing?  My eyes were glued on the boxes and boxes of matches.  What a sight!  What can I do with matches?

Once I got my hands on the matches, my friends and I thought it would be cool to strike them and just “flick” them away.  Another cool thing was to light the whole book of matches.  Nothing harmful, just innocent fun or so I thought.

But, how did she find out.  There were boxes and boxes of them.  She wouldn’t miss one book.  Not two or even a few.  I guess I wasn’t too bright because taking a few books of matches later turned those books into empty boxes.  Oh well, I guess the jig was up.  I knew I’d get caught sooner or later.  What could happen to me?

My mother usually didn’t handle the discipline.  She let my father handle things.  She was just a yeller.  My father was portrayed as the bad guy.  He had to do her dirty work.

So I came home one afternoon from playing with my friends.  Everything was good.  No problems, but the house was quiet.  My mother was standing in the kitchen.  She looked at me and told me to come here.  She asked me if I was playing with matches.  Of course I said no.  She told me to show her my hand.  She grabbed it and turned on the burner to the stove.  I was yelling and yelling.  She wouldn’t do it, would she?  I was wrong.  She put my hand on the hot burner.  It seemed like an eternity, but was probably only a couple seconds.

When she was finished she let go.  I was crying so hard.  I took off and went down to the basement.  I didn’t go near her for the rest of the day.  Oh no, I forgot one more thing.  What about my father.  He finally came home from work.  What else was going to happen to me?  He never said a word.


6 thoughts on “Don’t Get Caught Playing With Matches

  1. sparky

    I think all boys have a fascination with fire at some point. from our neanderthal ancestors. those people must have burnt down everything when they first figured out how to light a fire. the punishment depends on the level of damage. The best thing i guess would be to catch your kids early and teach them about fire and its danger. Be a parent and teach your kids about right and wrong.

  2. sy

    Hey sparky, not all boys fascinate with fire. what are you some kind of piro? i never touched a match when i was a kid. i was busy studying and getting good grades. and what do you mean about neanderthals? it was cro magnon people. see? you should have been studying and not playing with matches

  3. sparky

    Actually Sy, I’m an arson investigator. ironic huh? wasn’t too good in History I admit but the point i was making was that we need to cut our kids off at the pass before they do something stupid.

  4. Butch

    I played with matches when I was six. Got caught and back in those days, there was no mercy from the parents. I grew up on a farm and remember we always had a fire going in the winter time. So of course my curiosity took over. Good thing I didn’t urn down the house or something stupid like that

  5. Terence

    I know the matchstick fascination…when I was about 12 I started a huge field fire next to the house playing with matches, model glue, and plastic milk jugs. I was never busted for that move but I did learn a lesson from it. As a father I decided to teach and supervise my kids on how to use matches responsibly and let them experiment with various forms of fire. I let them use freely as long as I was in attendance and their fascination faded fast because matches were no longer “forbidden fruit”. I killed two birds with one stone on this since here in Vermont we heated our house with a woodstove and I appreciated the help keeping the house warm in the winter. It all worked out pretty well for us and none of my kids have ever had a problem with fire (that I know of at least).

  6. Jr

    Wow that’s a tough mother you had growing up. I would get thrown in jail if I did that now. But sometimes we need to be tough on our kids


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