Thursday, December 3, 2009

Things that go beep in the night...

God is smiling right now. I know that He has a sense of humor because of what happened last night. I had the choice to either laugh or cry, so I chose to see the humor in it. Here it goes (Oh! And it's important to set the stage with this little tidbit: we have a vaulted ceiling in our bedroom. It's easily 15-17 feet high. I know you don't yet know why this fact is important, but you will soon):

My youngest child finds The Sandman to be his biggest foe. When the gentle Sandman cometh each and every night for every other child in the world, my son sees it has his chance to rebel and show off his freakish resilience to sleep. He fights it like it's the plague.

It is not at all uncommon for my son to sleep from 7 pm until 8 pm. One hour. One glorious, fleeting hour. Then, from 8 pm until midnight or 2 am, my husband and I take turns trying to coax our son back to sleep. (Oh how I wish I was exaggerating or embellishing here, but I'm not. Sadly, I am not). He often proceeds to wake again at 3 am, 4 am, and then he is usually up for the day around 5 am. There is lots of tossing and turning, flip-flopping around on the bed, screaming, crying, kicking, hair-pulling, and pushing. And let's not even discuss the antics on my son's behalf. {Just kidding. We don't kick or pull his hair. All the aggression is coming from him toward us during these nightly bouts. The poor little guy just hates to go to sleep. We practice peaceful parenting as much as humanly possible, but we do struggle to remain calm and patient come the 4 or 5 hour mark}.

Last night I had to do the whole bedtime routine solo. My husband had some important documents to print up, scan, and fax. So, he drove back to work to do those things. That left me to get both kiddos off to sleep. It's not a huge deal, but if Rascal puts up a fight, I'm on my own to deal with it.

Poor Roo, she waited patiently in her bed while I tried to get her brother to sleep. I told her I'd rub her back and belly once her brother was asleep. She fell asleep while waiting for me. :(

After one and a half hours of me nursing, singing, and patting Rascal in our bed, his eyes began to flutter closed. I waited another few minutes before I dared move my arm away from him, as he was curled up against it. I was almost ready to start celebrating my swift and successful sleep induction. Almost.

Then, approximately 11 seconds after he had officially nodded off (but while he was still in that easy-to-wake stage of early sleep), guess what happened? Go on, guess. I'm telling you that you will never guess because even I can't believe what happened and I was right there to witness it.

Wait for it...

The smoke detector began to chirp. You know that high-pitched chirp the detectors make every 30 seconds or so to warn you that the battery is low? It's an unbelievably loud and disturbing chirp when you are in a dark and quiet room listening to it. And I thought to myself, "Have we ever changed the battery in that thing?? Many a night I've laid awake in this bed for the last several years, looking up at that smoke detector. I've seen it's light blinking in the dark and often wondered just how long one battery could possibly last."

Well, it failed to last about 8 hours longer than I needed it to.

WHY couldn't it have waited until morning? Why couldn't it have started the warning chirps during the daytime, when the children were not using the room for nocturnal sleep? Why did it have to start now -- while my husband is gone and unable to fix it for me (vaulted ceiling, remember? Otherwise I would have fixed it myself).

Just for the record, to demonstrate how ridiculously uncanny the whole situation was, my husband has NEVER gone back to work late at night. He does not hold the kind of job that requires him to do any additional work once he gets home for the day. I remember once when he left his wallet at work, he didn't even drive back to work to get it. He just called and asked the guy that sits nearby to put the wallet in his desk until my husband could get it the next morning. My beloved never leaves me stranded at home in order to run back to work. Until last night.

So, having it MY way, I would have preferred for the chirping to start sometime over the long holiday weekend. When my husband was home for 4. straight. days. Looking for something to do. That would have been a good time to go out to the shed and get our rickety old ladder, maneuver it up our long, narrow staircase, move our queen-size bed out of the way, climb to the tippity top, perch himself precariously on the uppermost step, stretch his long arms up and still barely reach the smoke detector. But, instead, he had to do all of those things late at night. In the dark. After a super-exhausting day of work.

Oh, yes. I think God got a good little chuckle watching that scene play out in our bedroom last night.

And as for Rascal, he fell right back to sleep just as the sun was rising and his sister was waking and it was time for this tired Mama to get up and start her day. Does it count as "starting" a day when you never went to bed the night before?

1 comment:

  1. HA! That made me giggle, that's happened to us a couple of times and yes it's always in the middle of the night it's always the ones that require a ladder. My poor hubby! And yours too! Good for you for finding the humor in the situation!