"I smell smoke," A mumbled as he stood in the living room with his hands over his ears. He was in the posture he takes when either he did something wrong or he's really scared. This time it was both.
I couldn't help it. I normally am able to stay calm around children, even when they do something wrong. Sure, I've had my moments, like when A smeared the contents of his diaper all over his room, paying close attention to his books and the rug. But even then I had the "luxery" of telling him to stay there (in a tone of voice that left NO room for doubt) while I removed myself from the situation long enough to get myself together. But this time, with images of the house catching on fire, my voice raised in volume automatically.
"What do you mean! Where do you smell smoke? What were you doing?" I yelled at A.
Knowing he had really done something wrong and not used to me acting so out-of-control, he does what makes sense to him and throws himself to the floor in a ball with his hands over his ear. Oh, no, I needed the answers to these questions, so I carry his limp body upstairs.
It took many frantic minutes on my part while A stood frozen in the hallway, but eventually I found DH's new phone (had still been in the box) on the floor with the back pulled off and in my room found the source of the burning smell - did you know phone batteries can catch on fire if handled incorrectly? We do!
While the battery never actually caught on fire, it became very hot very quickly (enough to burn A's fingers some) and began to smoke. I carried it and A outside to examine both the battery and his fingers better. His fingers were red but fine. When I tried to move the part of the battery that he had pulled out back to where it had originally been, it became extremely hot very fast and again started smoking.
Not knowing what consequence to give A, I knew I didn't want him playing inside anymore, so I sent him in to at least get his shoes on. When I followed him in a couple minutes later (had to sit and wait for the nausea to pass) I found him on my laptop.
He was on the AT&T website looking for a new phone for Daddy. Good thing I got to him when I did - my credit card was right next to the computer.