Last week, Anthony helped me put in new batteries in our smoke alarms. (Notice how I didn’t say “replace”? I figured they actually had to have had batteries IN them at some point in the past two years to qualify as being replaced.) I didn’t think I’d have to give them another thought until August, when we were due to repeat the process.
And then, sometime after 1 am this morning, the beeping started.
[As a side note: What is with smoke alarm batteries failing in the middle of the night? Seriously? You can't hold it together for another four hours, until we're all awake and I don't want to bash you with a hammer? Or a Tonka truck? I HATE you, smoke alarms. You too, batteries!]
I heard it on my second trip to the bathroom, and pretended I didn’t. It took me a little bit longer to fall asleep after my fourth trip, because I started counting “one-Mississippi, two-Mississippi” between chirps. Some chirps were 20 Mississippis, while others were 6 or 7. (This lends credence to my theory that smoke alarms are very much alive and inherently evil, since they not only choose to go off in the middle of the night, but have a way of controlling the intervals between chirps. This would also explain why every time I go downstairs to figure out which battery needs replacing, the stupid thing is silent until I’m halfway up the stairs. I am 6 1/2 months pregnant. Also, I am not a ninja. I refuse to dive into every doorway, hoping to catch the offending alarm before it finishes its masochistic “CHIRP!”)
At some point, I fell asleep again, and forgot all about the beeping until SOMEONE *coughLunacough* thought it would be funny to use my bladder as a trampoline. I dragged myself to the bathroom one more time, and listened to the chirp find its way up the stairs, around the corner, through the kitchen, down the hallway, and into my head. I used a pillow to muffle the persistent sound, and slept semi-peacefully until morning.
This morning, I have been downstairs half a dozen times, and I can’t figure out which alarm is having issues. I have stood in every room, next to every alarm, pressed “test” repeatedly, and still– nothing. I’m about ready to pull all the batteries out and leave the empty alarms behind, just so the beeping will stop.
And suddenly, just like that, I remember why none of my alarms have had batteries in them for a long, long, LONG time…