fire and ice



I think we may have become complacent in our home. I don’t want to say lazy because that sounds a bit judgmental. I think we have just gotten to a place where we assume that everything is going to be fine. It isn’t a completely bad thing, I mean…I don’t want my kids to be worry warts or have ulcers, but there is a limit. This morning I woke up a bit late due to my late walk and reading, and found the house a bit on the chilly side. I checked the thermastat downstairs and saw that although it was set at 78, it was reading 74. Interesting…I went up stairs “Into the artic ring” and discovered that someone had turned that thermastat down to 64. My kids were bundled up in all the light blankets within their reach. Nobody wanted to get out of bed in the frosty air. As I was trying to rouse them all from their winter land dreams, the smoke alarm in my oldest sons room started beeping. It was soft at first, but within moments had reached an ear splitting decibel.

Now, at this point, one might assume that people, my children to be exact, might get out of bed to see what was going on. What actually happened was that they burrowed deeper under their covers and tried to block out the noise. (not possible, by the way) I went to work trying to turn off the insanely loud and annoying shrieking sound from the ceiling. Before I could get it to stop, peer pressure won and all of the smoke detectors up stairs started wailing along in unison. I ran downstairs and got a package of 9 volt batteries and tried to change out the batteries as quickly as my fingers could. It was dificult, since I’m pretty sure the part of my brain that controls fine motor skills was leaking out the crack that had formed due to the sounds of alarm. After changing out four batteries in the area ‘affected’, I went back down stairs to stick my head in a large bucket of ice water. Before I could find any relief, the darn alarm started going off again. I didn’t have any more batteries….and maybe that wasn’t even the problem? I went back upstairs and tried with all my might to smell smoke or CO or something that would make the alarms keep going off. In the midst of my searching I realized that my other son did not have a detector in his room at all. It had been removed. Interesting….when I asked him about it (shouted) he reminded me that it kept going off so we removed it.

We ended up removing the detector from my other sons room. It was the only way to get it to shut up. I will be going to Home depot or Lowe’s today to get two new ones. I guess they wear out over time? I don’t know what else could be wrong.

Actually I do know what is wrong. Very wrong. The problem with this whole picture is that we ‘supposedly’ have a fire plan in our house. If the house is on fire we have a predesignated place we are supposed to go to so we can get out of the fire and count heads. As I watched my kids burrow deeper under their covers to escape the ear splitter noise, I realized….they weren’t worried at all about the fire alarm going off. At some point in my struggles with the alarms, I shouted something to them like “hey! This is a fire alarm….if there was a fire, we would be burning up!” My poor son Ben jumped out of bed and went to the front door and started down the street to our meeting place. I told the rest of them that Ben was our only survivor.  They were full of excuses, like “you should have told us we were having a fire drill” and “I thought it was the house alarm…”

When I finally quieted the noise, I ran down the street (walked) and got Ben and brought him back. The poor guy was a bit rattled. He hid his face in a pillow to hold back tears as he told me how much he hated that sound and how he didn’t get any sleep because he was freezing all night. Sarah and Ethan also complained about how cold it was to me. The funny thing is….these were both problems they could have gotten away from. I have told them in the past that if they are uncomfortable at night, either hot or cold, to come get me and I would try to adjust the temp to make it better. I’m downstairs and they are upstairs so I don’t know what the temperature is like up there most of the time. Especially when I am asleep with my door shut. In both instances, sound and cold, they all just elected to hide from the problem.

It makes me a bit worried. I’m not one to over analyze things, but I am hoping they aren’t like this in all areas of their lives. When something is wrong, it isn’t always a good idea to just hide from the trouble til it goes away. Sometimes the answer is to get out of bed and find a way to fix it. Cause I said so.


photo credit:,r:73,s:57,i:89&tx=75&ty=46

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