Whatever can go wrong in the home, will go wrong. And it will happen in the middle of the night, in the least convenient way possible.
Case No. 1: This morning, at approximately 5:25 a.m., a sharp, piercing beep jolted me out of a snoring slumber. It was the smoke detector in the foyer. You know, the foyer with the lovely cove ceiling that is 14+ feet up? That foyer. WineGuy, who was up at 5:00 showering (which woke me earlier), ambled upstairs to check the smoke detectors in the boys’ rooms. Apparently, Moose’s smoke detector chirped for a battery last night; WineGuy changed it, but the battery was bad. And Moose’s room was a Superfund sight. And WineGuy couldn’t find a flashlight. And several other problems, which are apparently my fault.
But, I digress. To get to the smoke detector in the foyer, one must utilize the 10′ step ladder, which is in the garage, and another 9-volt battery, which is also in the garage. I, in my fetching cotton nightshirt, stumbled and grumbled into the 80º garage. I retrieved a battery from the Battery Cave (a/k/a the freezer) and gingerly extricated the step ladder from its nest amidst the bicycles, tennis rackets, and palmetto bugs. I wrestled the mythical beast through the front door, into the foyer, and into position. WineGuy spent another 5 minutes precisely angling the ladder so he could reach the smoke detector – at 6’4″ he can reach it by standing on a lower rung than the top one, which I would have to do. WineGuy climbed the ladder and
broke took apart the smoke detector. He asked for a screwdriver, and I dutifully fetched it. Woof. He spent 10 minutes in the stratosphere changing the battery and trying to screw the confounded alarm back into its very complicated holder. While dutifully holding the ladder, I used time to dream up creative uses for said screwdriver. WineGuy finally put the smoke detector back in place and climbed down. He graciously held the front door for me to haul the great step ladder back out to the garage. When I came back inside, WG gave me explicit instructions on how and why to fix Moose’s smoke detector (sometime during daylight hours), because of course, I could not figure it out for myself. So – not – true.
“But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east . . .” and the sun rises o’er the swamp.
–From Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)
Case No. 2: It was 1999 in the early spring, and I was still pregnant with Wild Thing. [must … resist … urge … to post in iambic pentameter] WineGuy woke me from a happy slumber with the news that Wizard, then 2.5 years, had vomited in his bed. As if that weren’t joyous enough, WineGuy then reported that when he went to put the soiled bedding in the washer, he found a lake in the laundry room. The washer hoses had burst, sending dozens of gallons of water across the 2d floor laundry and down two stories, through the office and back room and into the basement of That Old House (our 1856 Federal Revival home). WineGuy shut off the washer valves to stop the flood. We used every towel in the house to sop up a small fraction of the mess. Surveying the damage, I found the plaster ceiling sagging in the office and 3 solid cherry bookcases full of soaked books. Thankfully, our insurance agent sent in the water restoration team at first light. They dried out the house and saved a lot of square footage and stuff. In the end, we had to refinish the laundry room floors and walls, drywall the office ceiling, refinish the office and back room floors (finding a plumbing leak in the process), and repaint the office.
Now, it is 7:00 a.m. The children and I are wide awake, and Moose’s room is still a mess.
Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.