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How I Stopped Checking to See if the Oven Was Off

How I Stopped Checking to See if the Oven Was Off

Everyone has their favorite vacation pics.

Mine are the ones of my…toaster.

Don’t judge.

It goes back to the fact that the very act of leaving my house to go on vacation is 90% of the reason I need a vacation in the first place. I could write a whole blog about this (in fact…I did!).

And the sequel is that, after two weeks of packing and repacking…after our family has finally left the house and arrived at our destination…after we’ve finally settled into our new surroundings and curled up together and consumed multiple pieces of chocolate cream pie because one piece doesn’t meet the minimum required for room service so I say to the nice person on the phone, “OK, give me six” (true story)…there’s the inevitable moment when I at last sink into the couch and look at my husband lovingly and ask him the question every husband wants to hear…

“Did I remember to unplug the toaster?”

Which brings me back to those pictures.

In my very own scientific research (I asked a whole bunch of people I know at work) I learned I’m not alone; I’m surrounded by people checking ovens/toasters/coffee pots. Advice on Google includes helpful hints like, “Repeat out loud: ‘the oven is off; the oven is off;’” and “Make sure someone has a key in case a neighbor sees smoke.” Thank you.

And the toaster is only one thing to turn off…there are also flat irons and curling irons. There are garage doors to close and dead bolts to lock. And if all that isn’t enough, we now have cars you can leave running if you forget to push the button when you get out. Makes me envy the cavemom who only had to worry about stomping out the fire.

My life changed the day I was checking the toaster for the umpteenth time (“The toaster is off; the toaster is off”) and muttering under my breath in that third-grade-way I have of talking to myself, “Lisa…you should just take a picture.”



I always knew my phone had a lot of uses…I never thought it would save my sanity.

So now, if you flip through my phone on any day, you’ll find pictures not only of family and friends…but of empty electrical outlets and off switches…and toasters. It’s the only way I can leave my house.

And now, when we go on vacation, I snuggle up with my husband, and instead of asking about the toaster, I say the more sensible thing.

Pass the chocolate cream pie.

Editor’s Note: If you enjoyed this post, you might also like Edamame for Breakfast, our blogger Emily’s humorous account of what it’s like to get your family out the door in the morning.

Lisa Oppenheimer Bright Horizons loggerI’m Lisa, I’ve spent my career chronicling the travels, challenges, and delightful messiness of fitting together work, life, and parenting. I’m the mother of two grown daughters, and I currently live in Massachusetts with my husband, two cats, and endless homeowner responsibilities.



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