Lucas’s most excellent day

A day that starts with fire trucks in the driveway is a pretty exciting day for a toddler. When you get to the part of the day that has a boy-sized carton filled with packing peanuts? You’ve hit Nirvana. Such is the day Lucas is having today.

It started innocuously, and early. It was just before 7 am. Lucas and Simon were watching TV, Beloved and Tristan were still sleeping, and I was two sips and four pages into my morning coffee and newspaper routine, when I heard the chirp. I cocked my head, listened to the silence for a minute, and then went back to my paper. When it chirped again. I let it chirp two more times before I finally resigned myself to tracking it down.

I figured it was a smoke detector, but when I followed the aural trail, I ended up in the furnace room. I looked all around for the smoke detector with depleted batteries I was expecting to find, but saw nothing. Well, nothing except the 19 year old furnace and the five week old hot water heater. I watched the flashing LED on the hot water heater for a while, and tried to decode the rather unintelligible translation of the signal. Greek. So, I picked up the phone and called the gas company who installed the hot water heater on the day we moved in to the house.

The attendant I spoke to was perplexed. “There’s nothing in the manual for a chirping alarm,” she told me. We chatted as I walked around the hot water heater, trying to figure out exactlly what was emitting the sound. She was just reassuring me that it was likely nothing of concern and getting ready to book a service appointment when I looked up from my squatting-between-the-furnace-and-hot-water-heater-in-my-pyjamas position and saw it.

“Hang on,” I told her as I peered at it, trying to read the writing beside the red flashing LED. I had to stand on the tool box to resolve the label. “Um,” I said, “it’s not the hot water heater that’s chirping. It’s a carbon monoxide detector.”

“Oh,” she said, and in that syllable I heard a complete about-face in her demeanor. “Well, that’s a bit of an emergency, then.” Before I knew it, she had me conferenced-called in with the fire department, and the fire department and the gas company were on the way, and we were supposed to ventilate the house and go wait outside. My first thought was for my coffee, waiting patiently on the side table. My second thought was for Beloved, still snoring in blissful oblivion.

And then we were all five of us outside, sitting on my grand verandah, watching the fire trucks pulling up. Cuz nothing says good morning like fire trucks in the driveway at 7:07 in the morning. The boys, of course, were delighted with this spectacular break from our morning routine. Me, though, I’d begun to feel a little uneasy. The adrenaline rush of, “You must evacuate your family from the house” had begun to wear off, and I had a niggling little worry I was trying to suppress.

Sure enough, when the rescue truck driver did his walkthrough of the basement, he detected no measurable levels of carbon monoxide. He did, however, detect a detector with failing batteries.

Yep. The fire department and the gas company came for a pre-breakfast visit to help us change the batteries in the carbon monoxide detector. In my defense, it was actually the gas company who called the fire department. Had I not been on the phone with them and panicked by the sudden onset of their sense of urgency, I would likely have thought to test the batteries before calling in the civil authorities.

Heh. At least it makes for good blog fodder, right? My humiliation for your entertainment.

And THEN! As if that weren’t enough excitement for one day, a REALLY BIG BOX arrived mid-morning. I’ll save the story of what was in the box for tomorrow, but look how much enjoyment a curious toddler can derive from one box and a whole shitload of packing peanuts.

“Hmmmm, what are these things?”

Lucas and the packing peanuts - 1 of 6

“Hey! This big box is FULL of them!”

Lucas and the packing peanuts - 2 of 6

“They squeak when you walk on them!”

Lucas and the packing peanuts - 3 of 6

“Get these things out of my box!”

Lucas and the packing peanuts - 4 of 6

“Wheeee, I’m upside down!”

Lucas and the packing peanuts - 5 of 6

“Yeesh, who’s gonna clean up this mess?”

Lucas and the packing peanuts - 6 of 6

And at naptime I carefully picked up each damn one of those styrofoam peanuts and put it back in the box to save for another day. If you’re looking for Christmas gift ideas this year, you might want to check the packing supply aisle in the post office!

I’ll be back tomorrow with a post about what was inside the box!

Author: DaniGirl

Canadian. storyteller, photographer, mom to 3. Professional dilettante.

20 thoughts on “Lucas’s most excellent day”

  1. Awesome (on both counts).

    I’m glad everyone is okay and it’s just the detector. We went through the same excitement last year. The girls didn’t seem to mind the firemen. I was kind of miffed at having to wait outside in my socks. Our 10+ year old detectors were apparently due for replacement.

    I like the peanut shots. Nothing says happiness like a box full of peanuts.

  2. ha!!!!!! i KNOW that toddlers love these things;) and so excited for the day that lucas has had. even mommy. cuz fire fighters before breakfast???

    that would totally make my day;)

  3. Blog fodder is the silver lining in just about any situation, I find. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have some photos of Leah when she was three that are similar to those ones of Lucas, though not so artistically framed. The best part was the packing peanuts stuck to her hair with static electricity.

  4. now that is what i call a full day. glad it wasn’t anything more serious than the batteries.

    and the big box… does it have anything to do with a certain giveaway you are having…?

  5. Glad you are all OK! We had an actual carbon monoxide event 2 years ago–I was very grateful for the quick response of the fire dept and gas company. And I’m very careful about changing batteries now!

  6. Add me to the ‘woohoo firefighters for breakfast!’ brigade. Very glad all is okay. I’m off now to figure out how to add some fire fighters to my breakfast

  7. Oh Lucas is sooo cute. I can’t wait till D is old enough to play with those. For now I have to hide them since he just tries to eat them.

    Dang batteries. Better safe than sorry I say ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Were the fire fighters peeved? Or just glad to have an excuse to get out of the firehouse that didn’t involve mayhem?

    Man, I wish I had a toddler in my house. Or at least that I’d had a really good camera back in the days when I had toddlers in the house. Sigh. Double sigh.

  9. LOL, you guys are funny! It would have been more exciting to have firefighters for breakfast if I weren’t pre-shower, still in my flannel jammie pants and winter coat, and blushing a flaming red from embarrassment.

    Jody darlin’, you think even if you’d had a kick-ass camera you would have had time to take pictures with THREE toddlers in the house? Clearly you are misremembering those years. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. Glad it worked out okay. I had a friend who had a similar occurrence with the Firefighters, but her’s was because someone over filled the propane tank for their BBQ. As it happened they were told that since it was outside there was nothing to worry about, but better safe than sorry.

  11. As embarrassed as I would be in your shoes, it’s probably for the best that the emergency wasn’t real. Because real emergencies are much less funny in the re-telling.

    And my children LOVE packing peanuts. Throw in a box, and who needs a present?

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