July 10, 2009

Things that Go Bump in the Night

When we moved into our new house two years ago, we asked the builder to swap out the regular smoke detector in Hadley's room with a smoke detector with a flashing light. While we have had ample opportunity to experience the system, last weekend we lived through what is probably the "perfect storm" of fire safety. An earlier nightmare had brought me to Hadley's bedroom, where I had fallen asleep. Her lights were off, her nightlight had been unplugged, and somehow her bedroom door had been closed. Her room was pitch black. Our smoke detectors (which are extra sensitive to humidity) went off in the middle of the night. I was up immediately, holding Hadley's hand, and heading to the door-- when/////suddenly/////I couldn't///// tell ////where////the door///was////because of the/////strobe////light/////from the////special smoke////detector. No amount of nightclub lighting could have prepared me for this. It took us almost 10 seconds to go the 5 feet to the door-- which I then promptly opened into Hadley's forehead since I was so disoriented. By the time we made it to the hallway, the alarms had reset themselves and all was back to normal. This left us with just enough energy to see the giant dent I had made in Hadley's head and fetch her some ice. Six days later, she still has a big bruise.

Lesson learned: add a nightlight to the outlet nearest to the bedroom door so you can focus your eyes on that. And add "call electrician to replace faulty detectors" to that long list of things to do.

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