Wednesday, May 21, 2008

low battery, no battery

3:30 a.m., Monday night/Tuesday "morning" ("morning" to me implies that it is time to get up; 3:30a.m. is therefore not really "morning"): I leaped awake (like only a parent can) with adrenaline pumping away. I heard nothing. Maybe I'd dreamed it. I tried to relax and fall asleep again. I was close to nodding off when it happened again. This time CD and I were both jolted awake. Someone was talking. It was a mechanical, computerized voice, but someone was talking. It sounded like a kid's toy.

We don't have many battery powered toys around here; we've bought none ourselves, so only a few gifts have slipped in. But those that we do own are evil. Take the Sesame Street saxophone. I can't get rid of it, because Daddy plays the sax, but the dang thing has no OFF switch. If it gets bumped in the storage room (where it lives, hoping to be forgotten) it starts to play Rock Around the Clock- and has no volume control either. Anyway, this was not Cookie Monster's voice.

We heard it again, more clearly now that we were both awake, "Low battery." Huh? We have some stupid battery powered item in our house that can talk to us? We need to hear it again to locate the source of the sound, but the delay suddenly feels longer than it did when I was trying to fall back asleep earlier. "Low battery." In our office/storage room area. CD is kind enough to get up to investigate. I'm pretty sure that whatever evil toy is talking to us is a toy that will go to Goodwill very, very soon. "Low battery." I hear him removing something plastic, taking batteries out. He returns to the bedroom with our carbon dioxide detector and puts it on his dresser. "Who thought of THAT safety device?"

7:15 p.m. Tuesday night (which meant it was still very light out, but we refer to it as "night" so we can persuade kids to go to bed.) Storms were predicted. The house was hot. The windows were open. The kids were both in the bathtub with bubbles. Not washed. Suddenly the temperature dropped and wind blew through the room. I glanced outside and saw tree branches blowing wildly. I quickly turned the bathing over to CD and went to check the radar on the computer. Red flashing light: "Tornado Warning, seven miles north of Dunwoody, heading southeast at 40 mph." That means headed here! I dashed upstairs and tried to relay the information to CD without starting a panic. We got the boys out of the tub, wiped down most of the bubbles, grabbed handfuls of pj's and both loveys (I am so a mom) and hurried everyone down the stairs.

We have no basement, and no room in the entire house without a window, but our half bath's window is into the garage so we consider it our best option. Four people were not going to fit, but I sat in the doorway. CD got the throne. He'd grabbed a couple of (long) books. The boys seemed to enjoy the adventure without getting too scared. Plus, they were up past bedtime. The storm calmed, but another cell was on its way, so we stayed put. Richard Scarry entertained. (Can you find Goldbug?)

On his way downstairs, CD had grabbed the weather radio we'd gotten from our local public radio station at a previous pledge drive. (See, you ought to ante up!) We'd never used it. It has FM, AM and shortwave, a cell phone charger, a light, and optional siren (no, thanks). I fiddled with it and got good enough reception to listen to storm reports during the Braves rain delay. Best of all, it takes no batteries.


  1. Actually, we used that radio camping last year, when attempting to drown out the noise of the rednecks in the next campsite before they assaulted each other and got hauled off by the sheriff. But that's a story for another day.

  2. We don't have a basement either...the many tornado warnings we've had this season have had hubby and me (and our 90 lb dog) crammed in the tiny downstairs bathroom which has a window, but a tiny one. We barely fit as is...I can only imagine how it will work once the baby is born!