Monday, March 4, 2013

Go ahead, fire it up

Our new house has four chimneys, two fireplaces and a wood burning stove.  The stove is the only functional one as the rest are not lined.  Our last house had one fireplace, which we used to use regularly.  I think we stopped using it right around the time the girls were born.

I want to start bringing in wood (which is stacked outside, just waiting) and using the stove to help heat the house (since our electric and gas bills have been astronomical with the cold weather we've been experiencing while the temperatures are in the 20s).  Mama claims it's too dangerous as the girls could easily burn themselves.  Others have advised even if they do burn themselves, it'll only happen once and they'll learn from it.
We don't have this much wood, but we do have enough to last for quite a few fires.
Not sure how I feel about that, but my argument is we can teach them: 

1 - how to build a fire (inside, without smoking everyone out of the house or burning it down)
2 - to respect a fire and the heat it provides
3 - to not touch the stove
4 - to love the aroma of (properly aged) wood burning  
5 - there are other ways of providing things you need in lieu of paying for them

Even when I recommend using it only AFTER they've gone to bed, I get a negative response.  I realize they can't learn much if they're asleep when I build and maintain a fire, but I thought this might get Mama more comfortable with having one.  It didn't, obviously.

We just had it cleaned and inspected, so it is ready to be used. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts whether you think a fire should or should not be allowed.


Derek Aldrich said...

I think it is wonderful. The girls know not to get near the fireplace when we have a fire in it, and Sedryn stays away as well.

You can get a gate to put it around the stove to keep them out. Of course, they will probably only touch it once.

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

We have gas logs, so I can only speak to part of this experience...

Until this season (when the girls were almost four) we used the gas logs, with very rare "special occasion" exceptions, when the girls were in bed for the night. We don't use them every day now, but if we've been for a walk, or if I'm particularly chilly, I'll turn them on.

KNOCK ON WOOD, we haven't had any issues. We have a rug in front of the fireplace, and they know not to step on the rug (so that is a physical reminder of how close they can get). I am really conscious about what toys they play with when the fire is on...they can't throw the ball, for example.

It's hard for me to remember the exact developmental stages, but at their current age, I'm pretty comfortable (KNOCK ON WOOD AGAIN) that they understand direction, and also have a sense for danger.

For the record, I'm not siding with Mama or Papa here, just offering up our experience. ;)