It started out perfectly lovely, because Hubs and I met two other couples, who are all good friends of ours, at a restaurant where water is served in stemmed glasses. Y’all! STEMMED GLASSES FOR THE WATER! This is called a GIANT STEP UP from our usual dining-out routine, which involves restaurants with playlands, as well as hamburgers wrapped in paper and covered in mustard that you asked them not to even use. It also involves you serving yourself water in a paper cup. With a plastic lid. And a straw, if you’re feeling fancy. We ordered things like Shrimp Alfredo and Seared Tuna, while we had real linen napkins, that had been ironed before the dinner rush, in our laps. We laughed our heads off, and had very grownup conversations about children’s fevers, parental control software for our family computers and whether or not saving money by booking a campground cabin WITHOUT a bathroom was actually worth the stress and money you’d save, or whether you should just BOOK THE BATHROOM CABIN.
For the record, I voted to never pay money for any accommodation that required you to open the front door and walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night, because LIONS, TIGERS and also BEARS.
After we had lingered over creme brulee and talked our heads off together, someone looked at his phone and announced, “Wow. It is really getting late!”
And it was.
And we all had babysitters to release.
It was 7:45 PM.
We were practically on the brink of pulling off an all-nighter.
Hubs and I went home, where Mam had rocked Thing 2 to sleep. Our house was quiet.
It was quiet, that is, until I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of an alarm blasting off, like some battery-operated detection system was letting the ENTIRE TOWN know that its battery was, in fact, DYING.
It wasn’t the kind of alarm that alerts you to FIRE IN THE HOUSE! FIRE IN THE HOUSE! It was the kind of alarm that beeps three short times in a row, shatters the glass in your windows with its pitch, and then waits sixty seconds, before three more ear-splitting beeps happen.
Here’s what you need to know about our smoke alarms: They are sixteen feet up on the wall.
Yes. SIXTEEN ENTIRE FEET.
I don’t know if Joanna Gaines would’ve put them so high, but our contractor did.
Our ceilings are high, and our smoke alarms are higher. Sooooo…. when they beep in the middle of the night, it involves a trip to the garage to get the giant ladder. It involves Hubs knocking half of our furniture over with the giant ladder, as he hauls it indoors with no contacts on his eyeballs. And then we start the process of trying to determine WHICH smoke detector it happens to be. The beautiful thing about having a new home is that if one smoke alarm goes off… they ALL go off, because they all work together. Blame it on fire codes for new builds. Also? Well, shutting the breaker off to them doesn’t work, because they are designed so that… when they lose power because the man of the house threw the breaker... they move to battery power.
And those batteries are high in the air.
So, Hubs climbed sixteen feet into the air and took the battery out of our bedroom smoke alarm.
Sixty seconds later, we again heard the piercing BEEP, BEEP, BEEP.
He climbed the ladder and took the battery out of the smoke alarm in the boy’s bedroom.
BEEP, BEEP, BEEP.
He climbed the ladder and literally ripped the battery out of the alarm in our hallway, outside of our bedroom doors.
BEEP, BEEP, STINKING BEEP.
The dining room smoke alarm lost its battery, after the giant ladder was swung around and knocked more furniture over.
It was all very relaxing, in case you’re wondering.
After fifteen minutes of climbing ladders like a fireman and ripping batteries out with softly spoken words of love in the middle of the night, I was the one who realized that the dying-battery-beep was… um…
… ACTUALLY COMING OUT OF OUR CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR.
Which was plugged into an outlet six inches off the floor.
Next to our feet.
Where you just stoop over and don’t need a ladder to reach it.
Hubs wasn’t upset to hear about my discovery at all.
The carbon monoxide detector was giving an error message. After we pulled it out of the outlet and ripped the battery out of it, our house was plunged into total silence. We read the back of it, which said, “This machine will give off three rapid beeps, sixty seconds apart, after seven years to let you know that it needs to be replaced.”
The date on it was 2007.
I figured that we got our money’s worth out of that one.
… because it was the middle of the night…
… I asked Hubs, “Is it really just the carbon monoxide detector DYING, or do you think our house is filled with poisonous gases? Because remember… YOU CAN’T EVEN SMELL THAT STUFF!!”
Hubs replied, “I’m sure it’s poisonous gases. I’m going back to sleep.” And he left the giant ladder propped against our bedroom wall, where I’d be sure to run into it in the middle of the night, if I happened to be up again.
I told Hubs, “I’ll just get the carbon monoxide detectors out of the boys’ rooms and do a little TEST in our room. You know, so we don’t die or anything while we’re sleeping.”
And THAT, people, is when I realized that neither of our boys actually HAD carbon monoxide detectors in their rooms!
SINCE WHEN??!! They used to have them. But walking around their bedrooms with a flashlight last night indicated that NOPE! Neither bedroom had a machine plugged into an outlet anywhere.
And that’s when I remembered that when Thing 2 was crawling, he used to pull those things out constantly and set the alarms off. Clearly, I have failed as a mother, because I must’ve kept the carbon monoxide detectors from being able to alert us to possible poisonings, by putting them in a closet somewhere.
WHAT KIND OF MOTHER AM I??!!
*insert the shamed head-hang here*
I told Hubs, “Would you want to go to Walmart and buy a new carbon monoxide detector now, just so I know we don’t have poisonous gases here?”
Hubs suffers from zero-point-zero middle-of-the-night anxiety.
I couldn’t go to Walmart, people, because I had the worst bedhead of my entire life’s career. And lest you think it was SMACK DAB IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT, it was only (*gasp*) 10:30 PM. I knew that if I took my bedhead into Walmart, I could very possibly run into twenty-five-year olds who still had their beautiful hair going on, because they hadn’t already been participating in REM sleep, like the older generation had been.
So… I opened a window in our bedroom.
Hubs said, “You’ve got to be kidding me! It’s FREEZING out there!”
And then, people, I fell back asleep and slept like Rip Van Winkle…
… until Thing 2 forgot that it was the start of Daylight Saving Time, and got up at 5:30 in the morning.
It was all a VERY fantastic way to start our stint on Daylight Saving Time, let me tell you. I believe we lost a bit more than just an hour of sleep last night.
But today? Well, we have been to the store. The boys have new carbon monoxide sensors in their bedrooms, and so do we. Our checking account is much lighter, because those things are not cheap. We also bought new 9-volt batteries for our smoke detectors, because CHANGE YOUR CLOCKS, CHANGE YOUR BATTERIES.
See how responsible we are?!
And then… there was coffee this morning. I’m not sure a piping hot cup of coffee laced with an excessive amount of cream and sugar has EVER been more needed in our house, as it was this morning. I cradled my mug like it was a beloved new baby.