Consider This Your PSA

This past weekend one of our neighbors had a small kitchen fire. A sweet family lives there with a brand new baby, and I am sure it was quite frightening for them. The husband is a police officer, so he had a pretty good bit of support from his fellow officers. And by a pretty good bit of support, I mean a firetruck, an ambulance and seven police cars all showed up . . . for a small kitchen fire. Not only did our street become a scene from a SWAT movie, you could also hear their smoke alarm beeping all the way down to our house, seven houses away. Needless to say, it took a little bit of conversation to explain all of that to the girls.

We reassured them everyone was safe. We reassured them no one got hurt. We reassured them our house wasn't going to catch on fire. And we reassured them that if anything ever happened at our house, their "safe zone" was next door at our good friends, the Navarrete's, house.

I think we did a pretty great job calming them down. The only residual fear they seemed to have was related to the very loud smoke alarm.

So of course, wouldn't you know that last night at about 2:00 a.m., the battery in one of our smoke alarms went out and started doing that annoying chirping thing that happens. (And also, WHY IS IT that smoke alarm batteries only go out in the middle of the night?)

I woke Mike up, and he started doing the wait and hunt thing one does in the middle of the night when one has a random smoke alarm battery failure. Keep in mind also that Mike is partially deaf, so hearing that high-pitched sound was no easy feat for him.  He stood perfectly still, waited for the beep, ran to the location he thought it was in, waited again, and repeated this over and over again. Finally, after several minutes of beep and seek, he discovered the offending smoke alarm.

Any guesses as to where it was?

If you guessed the girl's bedroom, you'd be correct. I mean, of COURSE it was going to be in the girl's bedroom. It couldn't be in OUR bedroom, or any of the OTHER bedrooms, or a hallway or the kitchen. NOPE.

Fortunately, we do keep 9-Volt batteries on hand at all times, so we were prepared for the hell the demon smoke alarm had unleashed in our sleep. Mike went into the girls' room, calmly climbed the ladder with expert stealthiness, removed the battery and replaced it with the new one. He was like a ninja battery changer. I was quite impressed. The girls stirred a little, but Mike lovingly reassured them everything was okay.

But then, as though I was watching a car wreck in slow motion Mike popped the new battery back into it's place in the smoke alarm and said, "Don't worry girls, it's just the smmooooookealarrrrrrmmmmm." (use your slow motion voice).

The moment he mentioned the word smoke alarm, he was also plugging the new battery into the smoke alarm. I don't know if you know anything about smoke alarms, but when you unplug a battery and then replug one in, the entire system seems to reset itself by producing an EAR PIERCING AND CONSTANT BEEP, much like the one we heard from our neighbor's house.

Both girls flipped out, Mike jumped down from the ladder with his expert ninja battery changing skills, and flew to their bedside to reassure them. At the same time I was yelling, "It's just the smoke alarm, but our house is fine. Our house is NOT on fire! It's just the smoke alarm!" (I'm very calm in a crisis.)

Shannay, who can pretty much sleep through anything, rolled over and said, "What's happening?" as though she were awaking from a deep, deep sleep.

Unfortunately, poor Nikki, who is a very light sleeper, was not quite as reassured as we thought. At the sound of the words "smoke alarm" and the simultaneously LOUD BEEP as the system reset, and my somewhat loud "reassurance" that we weren't on fire, she did what any normal person does when scared half to death. She peed. A LOT. I mean, bed soaking, comforter soaking, child soaking, pee.

At 2:00 a.m.

All that to say, consider this your PSA and change the batteries in your smoke alarm. Today.

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