Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Well, one thing’s for certain:
There’s no escaping reality.
Fire! Fire! Carbon monoxide warning! Get out! Get out!
Not this crap again.
But this time around, it wasn’t merely the obnoxious chirping signifying a dead battery.
Or the smoke detector getting triggered by my disastrous attempts at cooking.
This was a full-scale notification of distress, with every single alarm throughout the house screeching in synchronized cacophony.
At a ridiculously ungodly hour of the night.
Which is obviously when I do my clearest, most rational thinking.
I’m normally the world’s lightest sleeper.
Yet I jolted from a deep sleep in a state of utter confusion.
What was going on?
Was this seriously real?
The Bigly Bestest Doggie would probably know.
For surely, if anything were truly wrong, he’d alert us and then heroically save us the way Lassie saved Timmy.
Loud noises terrify The Bigly Bestest Doggie.
And so he just laid there in his bed, looking for a cue of what to do next.
And then it hit me:
We had absolutely no concrete plan of action in place.
No clear-cut escape routes.
What the hell was wrong with us?
What kind of parents would wait for a moment like this to start planning?
I mean, we did have a plan.
Once upon a time.
In our old house.
But apparently we hadn’t given it any thought since moving several years ago.
Did I mention my husband was out of town for the evening on a business trip?
I briefly bemoaned my myriad of failures as a mother, figuring I’d probably drop dead from a panic attack anyway before my senses finally kicked in.
Only one kid stirred with all the commotion of the alarms.
The other zombie either somehow managed to sleep through it or simply didn’t want to be bothered to get out of bed.
My oldest demonstrated impressive priorities as he sleepily muttered that he couldn’t afford to spend $200 on another phone.
I forced both kids to move their butts and get out before rapidly searching for a potential source of fire.
After examining every single room, closet, and the garage, I dashed outside to check the perimeter.
The alarms were shockingly audible outside, too, their ear-splitting decibel enough to wake up the entire neighborhood.
Speaking of neighborhoods…
We just so happen to have a rather passive aggressive Facebook page for our development.
And while occasionally helpful, the discussions can get downright ugly sometimes.
I could almost picture it…
The nerve of those rude neighbors allowing their fire alarm to go off and disrupt our sleep!
The next time that happens there’d better be real flames bursting through the roof!
And why is that dog of theirs running frantically down the street?
Hello, animal control?
Fortunately, the alarm stopped on its own several minutes later.
Upon discovering it had been a false alarm, I got the boys settled back into bed for whatever was left of the evening,
I warily laid back in my own bed, unable and unwilling to sleep.
I could’ve sworn I felt a surge of heat as I thrashed around in bed.
Or was something really on fire?
I bolted out of bed to do another thorough check.
Then I noticed the flashing red light on a detector above my bed.
Something in my bedroom must’ve triggered the alarm.
A sadistic insect?
Unusually high humidity?
A defective smoke detector?
(Because that’d be incredibly comforting.)
Or was it my domestic ineptitude?
God knows I hadn’t dusted all that recently…
So I suppose that could’ve been it.
I’m far from coordinated when woken from a zombie-like state of sleep.
And you know what the best thing to do when you’re exhausted and can’t see straight?
Haul a gazillion-ton expandable ladder out of the garage!
And then attempt to drag that ladder through the house without taking out a wall or knocking yourself out.
Isn’t that what any normal person would do?
That beast of a ladder could’ve reached the top of the Empire State Building.
Hell, that thing could’ve reached the top of Mount Everest.
But I couldn’t figure out how to open the monstrous thing.
And once I finally got it open, I didn’t pay any attention to the orientation of the battery when I yanked that sucker out of the alarm.
So I fumbled around with that for several more minutes.
Thank goodness it was only a false alarm.
But it was still downright scary.
And it showed just how ill prepared we were.
Which is even scarier.
The next day, the boys and I discussed fire safety and evacuation plans.
I think it’s safe to say that while we now have an effective plan in place, I also effectively scared the living crap out of them.
Now I’m worried if there’s ever another false alarm, they’re going to bolt out of bed and jump out their second-story windows without being 100 percent certain there’s actually an emergency.
I can picture it now.
Better safe than sorry.
Oh, and that ginormous ladder?
It’s still sitting in the middle of my bedroom, two weeks later.
But good news!
It’s being repurposed!
The ladder works surprisingly well as a clothes hanging rack.
The Industrial Look is fashionable, right?
Repurposing is awesome!
Beep beep bo bleep!
~Happy Friday, friends! Anyone here a fan of irony? Well, guess what? As I sat here typing this, my thoughts were suddenly interrupted by the wail of tornado sirens and hail slamming vigorously against the windows. Fortunately, everyone is safe. But I think we’ve had enough fun for a while…~