How I defeated the oven and saved the day

Last week, Ollie came down with a nasty stomach bug. The universe, just to prove how snuggly and warm it is, decided that would be wonderful time for the oven to stop working.

I mean, it was working fine one minute, and then the second Evie finished up a batch of granola, it just wouldn’t light. Nada.

I had to stay home with Ollie the next day anyway, so we decided to take it apart to see what makes it tick. As soon as I took off the oven door, Ollie exclaimed, “Oh! Now THAT’S interesting!”

There is nothing that captures Ollie’s imagination more than taking things apart, or seeing how they work. I know he’s too young to really understand much, but he really is just fascinated by it. So I knew he’d be a good helper, even if it was just fetching tools.

Now, I’m not going to lie; being a handyman is not my strong suit. And that’s what made this next part so absolutely awesome.

We completely took apart the oven, diagnosed the problem, found an appliance parts store in Chicago, got the part we needed, put it all back together, and it worked! I mean, this was some serious repair work: there were multiple screw drivers, a socket set, wires that had to be spliced together, part numbers to be looked up…believe me, I’m more shocked than anybody.

After we replaced the ignitor, I told Ollie, “Okay, if we did this right, that part should start to glow.” It takes 30 seconds or so for it to kick in, but when it started glowing you would have thought we had just won the Superbowl. “OH!” Ollie cried, pointing. “IT’S GLOWING! IT’S DOING IT! IT’S GLOWING!”

Many high-fives were given.

I don’t know if it scratches some heretofore undiscovered man-itch buried deep inside me (heh, heh, he said ‘man-itch’), or if it’s just the satisfaction anyone would feel accomplishing something that is completely outside their wheelhouse, but I was strutting like a peacock for that one.

1) Correctly diagnosing the problem, 2) actually successfully completing the project, and 3) doing it all in under a day are usually the unholy trifecta of failure for me. Top that off with only spending $65 total and, I assure you, I was completely insufferable for the rest of the day.

(You know, even more than usual.)

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