Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire. Except For When The Alarms Go Ballistic And Freak Out With No Reasons.

I thought that I was tired LAST NIGHT before I went to bed, because Thing 2 had decided that 4:45 was an attractive time to just get up for the day yesterday morning.  Apparently, I had no idea what tired looked like twenty-four hours ago.

Do you want to know why?

I’ll tell you why.

It’s because at precisely 12:57 this morning, I woke up ON MY FEET, standing in our bedroom, trying to shut my alarm clock off.  Only guess what?  The alarm clock wasn’t actually GOING OFF.  And then I freaked out, because HOLY BUCKETS OF PHLEGM, SUPERMAN!  It was Thing 2’s baby monitor going off!

(Yes.  Thing 2 has a monitor that beeps if no one has been breathing in the crib for 20 seconds.  I know that some people will say, “Really?  REALLY?  You spent enough money on one of those to feed a Compassion-sponsored child for six months?”  To that, I simply say, “We did.”  It’s because I SLEEP when that monitor is running.  I don’t know how Caroline Ingalls ever put Mary and Laura and Carrie to bed without one and got any rest herself.  The honest truth is, I love it.  It’s gone off a couple of times before… when Thing 2 has scootched so far down in his crib, that he was a mile away from the sensor pad beneath him.)

After racing in my half-asleep state to Thing 2’s bedroom (Hubs actually beat me there!), we realized it was not his baby monitor going off.  Thing 2 was safe and still breathing, and the enormous alarm was screeching, and that is when we realized…

smoke alarms!

All six of our smoke detectors are wired together, per Small Town County’s code of standards; if one goes off, they ALL go off.  And they are sixteen feet in the air, because we have vaulted ceilings.

Hubs ran down the stairs and threw open the fuse box, and announced, “I can’t shut them off!”  It was exactly like being in a horror movie, when you realize that your fuse box isn’t working and the house is about to explode around you.

I guess that’s why people put BATTERIES in their smoke alarms.  Because when you “change your clocks, you change your batteries” when Daylight Savings rolls around, and we are diligent about this, people.  You don’t think a family with a motion-sensing baby monitor ISN’T on top of battery-changes in their smoke alarms, do you?  Having batteries in the alarms means one thing:  When your husband flips the switch in the fuse box (or, more likely, when the electricity goes out), the detectors shout out, “NOW SWITCHING TO BATTERY RESERVES, IN FOUR, THREE, TWO, ONE… ACTIVE.”  Once they hit ACTIVE, they continue to screech and wail and carry on like a banshee in heat.

And that is why, at 1:10 this morning, Hubs was hauling our giant ladder out of the garage, so that he could climb to the heavens and yank the battery out of our hallway detector, which was the start-of-it-all culprit.  We’re not sure why that one misfired and decided to alert the neighborhood that our house was in eminent danger of becoming a heap of ash, but it did.

By 1:19 this morning, peace and quiet were restored to our home, because Hubs had worked his magic.  He’d managed to reset the delinquent detector, reloaded a battery, flipped the breaker back on, and we were golden.

Except for the fact that the cats had nearly died.

Cat 1 came out of hiding as soon as the noise stopped.  She glared at everyone and said, “Holy hell!  I have blood dripping out of my ears!”  (Cat 1 swears.  A lot.  It’s what old lady cats do when they’re cranky and disturbed from their sleep.)  And then she added, “I doubt we’ll ever see that big-boned gray cat that lives here.  I thought she was a mouse at first, and I was all, ‘I WOULD SO POUNCE YOU, IF I COULD HEAR ANYTHING AND DIDN’T NEED TO HIDE UNDER THE DINING ROOM TABLE FOR A MINUTE,’ and then I realized she was that other cat who lives here that I don’t like.  She crawled at a dead-run under the refrigerator; I doubt we’ll see her until daylight, because she can’t get her big butt back out.”

Of course, when your smoke detectors are going off for NO REASONS WHATSOEVER in the middle of the dark, a person will walk around their house, saying, “Maybe I DO smell smoke.  What do YOU think?”  And that person’s husband will say, “I think I might smell some.”  Only… it’s all just an olfactory hallucination, because do you know what we flat-out DIDN’T HAVE last night?



Thank you, Jesus.

Somewhere in the middle of all the noise, the boy woke up. I told him, “Honey, we’re having troubles with the smoke alarms.”  He looked at me with sleepy eyes and said, “Really?  I hadn’t noticed.”  Sarcasm is obviously a trait that is inherited from the father’s side of the gene pool.

And Thing 2?  Well, he slept through it all.  Slept like the baby that he is, for all twenty-two minutes of the worst noise ever.

At 1:19, with a silent house and the boy instantly back asleep, I said, “Cat 2!  Where are you?”  And this comment?  Well.  It woke  Thing 2 right up.  He was all, “Hey!  Who’s talking in the middle of the night?  Oh, it’s YOU, Mom!  Hey!  Wanna get up and do some things?”

At 3:45 this morning, I had Thing 2 back asleep.

At 3:46 this morning, I was back asleep.

And then Thing 2 decided that he’d still go on ahead and get up at 6:10 this morning.

I’m not sure that you can even envision the meltdown that he suffered at 8:00 today, after the boy left with Enzo to head to school.  There was wailing and moaning and gnashing of the teeth, and Thing 2 cried, also, until I got him situated for his ONE-HOUR NAP.

(A one-hour nap with Thing 2 is the equivalent to a four-hour nap with any other baby on this planet.)

So here’s to surviving the day, and we’re all throwing in the towel and calling it a night early around here.

We just live in the comfort of knowing that our alarms work incredibly well, that the backup batteries work even better, and that, EVEN WITH OUR WINDOWS WIDE OPEN FOR THE NIGHT, our neighbors apparently heard nothing.  They were able to continue sleeping in peace, and they didn’t call to say, “Y’all on fire over there?  Do you need any help rescuing the pride of wild cats and the boys and your hard drive?”

Thanks, neighbors.  We’re glad we didn’t disturb you, and WE’RE OKAY OVER HERE!

So now we’re calling it a night, people.  We’re hoping for a quiet one…

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