A few weeks ago we were sitting around the table eating our dinner of leftovers, when suddenly, all the lights went out. I was immediately confused.
‘Did the power just go out? Or wait, is this a fuse thing? Do we need to check the fuses?’
After looking around and taking in all of the blank screens where digital clocks formerly were, as well as finding all the little power lights to be out on our various electronics, it was determined that, indeed, the power was out.
Oooooh.. exciting! My first thought was, ‘Oh man, I’m glad we already heated up dinner!’ I don’t think our landlords would have appreciated a kitchen fire to heat up those leftovers :).
As we realized what a power outage at this time of day would mean and began to discuss how we were going to handle it, it became very apparent that we are entirely unaccustomed to thinking non-electrically.
For example. Because it was dinnertime, that meant bedtime was looming. Since both our boys sleep upstairs, we use monitors so we can hear if they wake up while we’re downstairs. Ok, so we’ll leave the living room door open so we can hear a little better. Should be fine.
Next issue. The noisemakers. We are white noise people. Both the boys have white noise playing in their rooms and can’t sleep well without it. As we discussed this I came up with this excellent solution.. ‘Well, we can just use your iPod in Asher’s room, and use our white noise on the computer in Aed’s room.’
Ian follows with, ‘And what are we going to do when the computer dies?’
Me: ‘Plug it into the.. oh.’
Once I manage to stop laughing, a thought suddenly hits me.
‘Wait, does this mean we can’t flush the toilets?? I seem to remember whenever the power went out growing up we couldn’t flush the toilets?’
Ian: ‘I don’t know.. I think the toilets will be fine.’
Me: ‘Yeah, I remember Dad refilling them with buckets.’
Ian: ‘That’s probably because you guys lived in the middle of nowhere and so had a well, which probably used electricity to pump water to the house.’
Then Ian realizes that if the power is out, that means we won’t be able to heat up the leftover dessert we were saving until the kiddos were in bed.
So, I come up with another zinger..
‘We can still heat it up! We’ll just use the stove instead of the microwave! Oh, wait..’
Ian: ‘Yup. There it is.’
Me: ‘Why am I so bad at this??’
So we focus once again on solving the white noise problem. I took a flashlight up to investigate our situation.. Both noise makers could also be operated by batteries! Yes! I rounded up some batteries for Aed’s, took them up, and viola! You’d never know the power was out (aside from the flashlight usage, of course).
Asher’s, however, took a 9V battery. Turns out we didn’t have one. But, all the fire alarms have them, so I suggested Ian just take one out of the a fire alarm and use it for the night in the noisemaker. He didn’t like this idea. Ian hates messing with the fire alarms. It always ends up with all kinds of unnecessary beeping, climbing on chairs, struggling to get the caps off, etc. It’s not pleasant. So he was already fussy before attempting to remove the battery. As he stood on the chair trying to remove the heat detector from the ceiling, apparently the reality of an evening without electricity began to sink in. All of a sudden he explodes with, ‘What are we even going to do tonight, PLAY SKIPBO?!?! I HATE camping!!’
I proceeded to crack up laughing at his desperation to get the battery out of the detector while dealing with these revelations.
About this time, I hear Asher poop. Shoot. It’s dark. Ian and I both managed to pass yet another test of parenting: changing poopy diapers by flashlight. I guess power outages inspire bowel movements because both kids went for it. Ian tells me that though he was slightly confused, Aed thoroughly enjoyed bedtime by flashlight.
I had a meeting that night, and quickly learned that it was only a small segment of houses right around us that lost power. It was kind of funny being in an electrically lit pub with a few friends, imagining Ian sitting alone doing something (SkipBo?) by candlelight back at our house.
Fortunately, by the time I got home the power was back on and all was well. Aside from the fact that Asher had hardly slept since I left, but that’s another issue altogether..