The Enemy At Midnight, My Dance With The Smoke Alarm Battery


I’m exhausted. I’m finally in bed after hosting a fifth birthday party for my son and his buddies. And daylight savings time hits today. Oh, did I mention I have a 7-week-old too? This exhaustion is the type of exhaustion you bury deep down in your soul, an ability only given to you upon the birth of your first child. I’m asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow that night. I’m sleeping soundly until around 1 am, and it happens. It’s like it knows. Beep. It sees my eyes closed. Beep. Sees my husband and I both getting some much-needed rest. Beep. But no, it has a way of taking that all away from you with one simple sound. Beep.

We are sleeping with the enemy, literally.

I struggle out of bed, walking aimlessly around the house, searching for the enemy, attempting not to wake the rest of the family up in my search. Beep. Why I ask myself? Why couldn’t this happen at another time? And I know I can’t just dispose of it or ignore it. It’s a necessary evil. Finally, I find it. Beep. We meet again, old foe.

I carefully nudge my husband awake and pull him out of bed to help me. This is not a one-person job; if I’m up, he’s up! Beep. I sift through drawers looking for the solution. He grabs the ladder, and we head towards the enemy. Beep.

We both laugh a little, thinking about how ridiculous this is. If it’s not funny, it’s just sad. Two parents, lacking sleep, trying to climb a ladder at 1:00 am. Beep.

We finally finish the job, clean up, and take a deep breath. Silence. We know our old foe is keeping us safe, but his timing is always off. And it will happen again, that we’re sure of.

But in the meantime, we stumble back to bed, longing for our eyes to close quickly. These parents are ready to sleep, and we can now rest easy knowing the dance with the smoke detector battery is done.