Last Night…

Quiet evening last night. The baby went down at 6:30 and hasn’t been heard since. After doing the dishes, I enjoy a restful reading session, lying on the couch. Around 9:30 I go to bed, Zak staying up to finish some work. I’m warm and cozy and feeling myself drifting to sleep, when suddenly…

The bedroom door opens with a bang. I only have time to think that really, Zak could have been more quiet, before he says: “Fire alarm is on!” Right away, I’m up with my glasses on, digging into the hamper for my dirty clothes. Zak comes in and turns on the light. I hadn’t even realized I was doing it in the dark. We are not sure how cold it is or how long we will be staying outside for, so we put on several layers of clothing as well as our boots. Finally, when we’re about ready, Zak opens the baby’s bedroom door. I walk in. Light is flooding his bed. He’s so cute. I have only a second to take in the sight, but I can’t help but marvel. I rarely get to watch him sleep, because he needs total darkness to fall asleep, so I usually nurse him in the dark and feel my way to his bed once he passes out in my arms.

After expending so much energy trying to get him to sleep all these weeks, it breaks my heart to wake him up when he was sleeping so well. But we don’t hesitate. I put his tuque on, then take him out of his sleep sack and stuff him into his winter outfit. I’m trying to do it fast but gently – who knows, maybe he can stay asleep -, but who am I fooling? Fire alarms have the same effect on me as a huge pot of coffee: I’m shaking a bit and I’m not as gentle as I’m willing myself to be. Finally, he’s all dressed up. Zak has put on the backpack that serves as a diaper bag. He takes the baby from me while I grab a blanket and lock the door. And off we go.

On our way down, I yell at the two people waiting for the elevator that in a fire alarm, you’re supposed to take the stairs. They are not our elderly neighbors, either, but valid middle-aged adults. Oh well, I don’t care enough to stop. We are down the stairs and out in the courtyard in a few seconds. I breathe more easily already. There, it’s almost a party. No-one really believes it could be bad. It’s always a false alarm, isn’t it? Only a few people are out. Some are looking out the window on the fourth floor to make sure they’re safe. I don’t understand them. A neighbor comes down from the fourth floor to see what is going on, but his wife is still up there with their kids. They’re sleeping, he doesn’t want to wake them up. Sure, but what if it was real this time?

Fifteen minutes later, of course, we’re back inside. It was a false alarm. I spend 45 minutes with the baby putting him back to sleep, and he wakes up 2 more times that night. But I don’t feel bad about that one night of disturbed sleep. He’ll get over it. If it had been a real fire and we hadn’t gotten him out in time, we wouldn’t get over it.  Call me paranoid, but I will never take any chances with fire. I don’t want to get burnt.

Comments are closed.