Parenthood, Adulthood, and Home Ownership…

Here’s a recap of my week, which should be over by now, but it’s only Wednesday bloody evening.
On Monday night, we all snuggled into our beds for some rest. At 1:45, a loud and terrible buzzing rang out throughout the house. Disoriented and worried, my wife and I got out of bed to find the source. It took us a bit to figure it out, as it was a sound neither of us had heard before. It was the smoke detectors going off.

There was no reason. Looking around, no smoke, no flames, nothing. In my groggy state, I even turned on the television to see if there were some rolling power surges messing things up. I also checked out the windows to see if neighbors were having issues. Of course, none.

Looking back now, I apparently originally thought that the source of the sound was either the thermostat (I flipped some switches on it and for a brief time the sound stopped) and the doorbell chime box. I did not look up high enough while in my impaired state to figure out it was the smoke alarm on the ceiling above those two devices. M went downstairs to take care of the lad who had finally awoken and started to cry. The lass handled all the chaos better than I thought she would.

Sleeping after all that was essentially not an option. Not only were we a little high-strung after the whole event (goodness knows my heart was pounding like nothing I’ve ever known), but the lad joined us in our bed. I have never been able to sleep with a small wriggling creature constantly kicking me around my groin or bum. Go figure. I eventually gave up as I usually do and slept on the floor next to the bed to get a couple measly hours of sleep.

The boy did not sleep a wink since the alarm. Still, he wanted to head off to school, so we did our morning routine of getting he and the lad ready and shoved off. Thankfully, the little lady up and slept hard after dropping off her brother, and thankfully again, the big ol’ hardware store was open as of 6:30 in the morning (good gravy that’s early). So she and I went and bought two new smoke alarms, the main thinking behind this being that even if the current ones worked, the sound was so horrendous and unidentifiable that it still justified their replacement.

The lass and I went about our normal business after that, namely me writing down all the ideas I have for work around the house and eventual remodels. Well, I started writing them all down. As it turns out, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. But that list is for another time. Probably many times. Seriously, it’s a huge list.

Later that evening, once my wife came home and we were all relaxing, I started fiddling with our circuit breakers to find the one that connected to the smoke detectors. As it turned out, my breakers hadn’t been updated since 1987 when my house was built, and a good four of them were described on the chart inside the box door as ‘Lights’. There was even another double breaker not even marked! I didn’t dare test it for fear of turning off the Metrodome.

Here began much trial and error and a Sharpie to illuminate the knowledge gleaned for the future. At least I got to the point of finding the correct breaker for the alarms, though at the expense of my microwave’s clock for the time. I set to work and broken open the God-awful plastic packaging on the new alarms. I felt like I was trying to rip off a CD player. That line, by the way, almost makes me feel like I’m dating myself, but then I’ve been watching fifteen year old Simpsons episodes, so I don’t right care.

Once up the stool, taking apart the old system and preparing to put in the new, I beheld… Wait, what the hell? This new one doesn’t connect to wires? I’m entrusting my home and family to a circle powered by a AA battery? Hell no. I bought the wrong damn alarms. I was absolutely pissed with myself. I’m getting annoyed with myself just remembering it.

I went back and bought new ones that night. But since it was after dark and I, strangely enough, was tired, I left it for the next day. This, my dear reader, was a mistake. I kept awaking all night at the slightest noise, thinking that alarm from Hades was going to eat my cats.

[To Be Continued…]