Friday, February 21, 2020

Things These Little People Taught Me That I Needed To Relearn

Today I got the pleasure and privilege of spending time at the park in the crisp air with a small pack of preschoolers and their parents.

Things these little people taught me that I needed to relearn:

1.) Try it all, every last thing, before it’s time to go home!

2.) Ask for help, not necessarily to do it for you, but to hold your hand when you’re feeling unsure. Someone who will promise to not let go...until you’re ready.

3.) If you fall down, take a moment to decide if it’s an owie or a surprise. This will help you to determine the best course of action to get you back up on your feet again. They’re two very different things, but both pretty unpleasant, and sometimes you just need a little acknowledgement.

4.) Take your shoes off, at least for a little while. Even when it’s cold. How else are you supposed to get every last wiggle out, clear down to the tips of your toes?

5.) Celebrate your accomplishments and look back at how far you’ve come! You stretched yourself for every inch of that climb. Enjoy where it’s gotten you.

6.) Squeal with joy from that fantastic feeling of going fast. Because it all goes fast. So very fast.

7.) Share a spot on a blanket in the sun. It’s warm and wonderful, but even better when there’s someone sitting there beside you.

And last but not least...

8) Tell your mom you love her. Then do it again. And again. And again.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020


Our smoke detectors, although they require emergency batteries, are wired up through the ceiling electrically and communicate with each other.

Last night, before bed, very LOUDLY, the one in the master bedroom, begins...


I step up to the offender, on the ceiling, right inside the doorway and test/reset it. Test beeps are fine. All units communicate.

I step back down.


I climb back up but cannot reach the battery.

My husband climbs up. Changes battery. Climbs down.


I climb back up. Reset. Climb down.


Attempt to remove entire unit. Can’t quite reach it. Husband can’t either.


Climb down. Completely undress. Put on real clothes. Drive through the rain to Lowe’s just before closing. Buy taller ladder.

Flip down seats. Wrestle taller ladder into my vehicle in the rain and drive home through said rain.

Unload ladder. Get it into the bedroom without dripping or scraping anything. Climb back up. Remove unit.


Hallway detector now chirps to let me know bedroom unit has been compromised.

Remove battery. Drain remaining backup power. Clean with air. Replace battery. Replace unit.


Back up ladder. Remove entire unit except mount. Remove battery altogether. Set aside.

Hallway chirping and now, regardless of the fact that I’m holding the main master bedroom unit in my hand with no batteries in it at all, the doorway unit MOUNT itself apparently continues...


Internet search. This sequence of chirps is indicating that the carbon monoxide portion of this unit is toast.

I am not happy because these are relatively new and Lowe’s is now closed.


Back up ladder. Attempt to fill mount with alternate smoke detector from other location that does not have CO monitor to fool the system.


Attempt to call company. No one answers because it is late and offices are closed.


Inspect unit mount. No way to disconnect power without shocking myself or causing other units to alarm. Decide to turn off breaker in attempt to reset system with this unit unhooked or at least stop electrical power to unit.

Out in rain to breaker box.


Breaker off longer. Rain harder.


All breakers off. Even the yard lights and the pool, standing in the pitch blackness and pouring rain waiting for coyotes and wild hogs to eat me. My husband reports from inside on the ladder...


Drip my way back inside. Everything electrical is now flashing the wrong time or resetting.


Wipe up muddy floor. Fight with husband. Rummage for earplugs.


Pump up air mattress in office at other end of the house for alternative plan in case (and the case is highly likely) the screeching proves to be too much for earplugs and guest rooms.


Exasperated. Done. Surrendering to the fact that the smoke detector/CO monitor company now, forever, permanently owns my sanity.


Remove the ladder from the doorway pulling it into the master bedroom rather than out so I can scale it first thing in the morning and resume fighting the good fight. Slam the rarely-if-ever-closed-in-a-house-with-no-children master bedroom door behind me to muffle the screeching that is radiating through the rest of the house.

And there on the wall, always obscured by the open door, is an ancient carbon monoxide detector not at all connected to anything else...


I rip the AA batteries from its heart. Tear the unit from the wall. And flip it off like the mature adult I am.