Mar 9, 2015

Maddie and the Viking Stove

Ah…. I wish it wasn't so, but it's true. 

Maddie Louise 

I traumatized Maddie about a year ago with my trials and learnings using a professional Viking stove. Now every time I cook on the stove top, Maddie stands a few feet away looking at me intently, shaking like she's having a convulsion. She is fearful of the "noise" - the noise associated with the cooking sound when the burner is on high and the fire alarm "noise" in the house going off. You know the fire alarm noise: loud, blaring, with a cadence that punishes anyone nearby. 

Maddie's always had a kitchen strategy and she has always been very social.  She likes to be with people and she is always waiting for something to drop or for me to give her a tiny taste of whatever I am chopping, putting away, getting out of the fridge or pantry. It's always been like this with her. 

So let's go back about 12 or 18 months. I was able to get a professional Viking stove, made for the tiny track house type kitchen I have. I was thrilled to have an appliance that was top of the line.  

The stove used to be in Carlos and Michele's house in Atlanta, they got a new one, so I got the one they were replacing. And compared to the original stove I had when I first bought the house, it was like going from a Go-Kart to a Ferrari.  The Viking is awesome ! And it's hot and when you're cooking, you'd better be paying attention. 

In my attempt to learn, and because sometimes I am not patient, I set off the fire alarm twice when cooking on the stove top. Maddie is and has always been extremely noise sensitive and now I am certain the loud exasperating sound of the fire alarm is forever associated in Maddie's mind whenever I cook. Not sure what or how she is thinking, but today her shaking was intense and I could see the anxiety in her eyes. 

She starts trembling and won't stop until I turn the heat down and the sizzling sound stops.  I've tried everything I can, I've cooked on low many times and reassured that Mommy E has indeed learned to use the stove without setting off the fire alarm.  I've given her treats and encouraged and celebrated that we are SAFE in the kitchen and that the alarm will NOT sound; all of this to no avail. 

And while all of this is going on, Morgan is always by the back door, calm, poised, like she's in charge of the world. No worries, no stress. And Morgan was subjected to the same fire alarm noise that Maddie was when these "learning" cooking episodes took place. She was not affected in anyway.  

I feel bad, not sure what I can do. If anyone has any ideas, besides "cook everything on low",  send my way.