In the fall of 2006, I was in the middle of finishing a quilt for Xavier's kindergarten class, for a silent auction. Since I was using my sewing machine almost every minute of every day, I left it set up on a table in our den. This was my precious sewing machine that had finally allowed me to remember how much I loved sewing. It is amazing how much more enjoyable sewing is when you don't have to fight with your sewing machine.
One day, I went upstairs to take a shower, leaving the two little boys watching t.v. They were 6 and 3. They decided to take that opportunity to investigate the forbidden fruit. After all, what mechanically minded 6 year old can resist a machine full of buttons. (For the record, he still loves it- he just uses it for what it's meant for, now.) As they opened drawers, and flipped the top up and down, they saw a small bottle of oil. They took out the small brush that came with the machine, and proceeded to 'fix' the sewing machine with the oil. They just dumped it all down the inside. Mind you, this sewing machine is computerized. When they realized that they couldn't clean up the oil with a rag, they ran into the kitchen and got a liter size cup, filled it with water, and dumped it down the top of the sewing machine to clean up the oil.
In the words of Dominic, "It went fzzzz pop!" *sigh*
There I was with a half finished quilt and a sewing machine that was not going to run. My two boys were crying (I hadn't even said anything to them, yet) and apologizing. My wonderful husband stopped on his way home from work and bought me a cheap sewing machine. I proceeded to curse my way through the rest of that quilt.
A friend advised me to let the sewing machine completely dry out and then try it out again. So, 6 months and one move later, I took it out of its case and plugged it in. It worked! I did a happy dance and forgave my children. Well, really, I had forgiven them the same day they did it. I was very upset with them. After all, they knew they were not supposed to be touching it. That's the whole reason they tried to wash away the oil. They were trying to get rid of the evidence. But, they were so contrite. And, they have not touched my sewing machine without permission since then.
Things are better now. They know how to use my machine. While I still insist on supervision, they are allowed to use it. I believe it is always better to have an appreciation for what something is actually for than to abuse it and ruin it.