Tuesday, January 26, 2010


You know how you are supposed to change the batteries in your smoke detectors every time you change your clocks? Well, I didn't do it this year.

Who am I kidding--I have never done that. Instead I have my own ritual for changing the batteries in my smoke detectors. I do it every time the batteries start to go bad and the thing starts making that high pitched, annoying, intermittent "beep!" sound.

Without fail, this always happens sometime between the hours of midnight and 4 a.m. A few nights ago, it was 12:15 a.m. My husband and I were still downstairs and my 3-year-old daughter had just woken up crying. On my way upstairs I heard the dreaded "beep!"

I went back downstairs to grab a 9-volt battery, only to find out we only had one, and it wasn't in any packaging, so there was no way to be sure it was any good. Because sometimes, the dead and dying batteries find their way back into our collection. It was my only hope, though, so I took it upstairs.

First I had to stand in each room for 30 seconds in order to figure out which of the four smoke detectors was making the noise. Next I stood on a kid-sized chair while my daughter sat on her bed, holding the battery with the dazed, half-awake look of someone just jolted from her slumber by a high pitched beep.

The chair was not tall enough, so I had to go down to the kitchen for a bigger one. Now I could just barely reach, so I opened the battery casing and, standing on my tip toes, I managed to flip the old battery out.

Unfortunately I hadn't paid any attention to which way the battery was in there, and I wasn't close enough to read the positive and negative signs on the inside of the battery compartment. So I had to pull out the big guns: the ladder. Which was in the garage.

After moving a doll crib and some toys out of the way, I set up the ladder and finally got that battery in there just right. I put the lid back on the compartment, then my daughter and I sat on the bed, watching, waiting, to see if this battery was any good. We waited and waited, over a minute. No beep. "Well, I think it worked," I told her, getting ready to take down the ladder.


Next we searched for another 9-volt battery. In a home with so many battery-operated toys and gadgets, you wouldn't think it would be so difficult, but we couldn't find any, and it was getting late. My husband volunteered to make a run to the gas station. He came back with batteries, and I popped one into the smoke detector. Put away the ladder, put the crib back, and got my daughter back in bed before 1 a.m.

Simple as that.


Torrie said...

nothing can ever be simple can it?

lucythevaliant said...

No fun, no fun at all!!

Cassie said...

See that's why I got married. to have someone to change smoke detector batteries in the middle of the night. LOL