Lights out!

July 26, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My little man is acting more and more like a terrible two, so I decided I needed some help. I picked up The Happiest Toddler on the Block, same author of my favorite baby book Happiest Baby on the Block. I figured this guy had good ideas for soothing fussy babies, so I’d give this a try. The methods are a bit silly, but if your alternative is dealing with an uncontrollable tantrum, I’m sure I can swallow my pride and talk in “toddler-ese”. Apparently it really works if you do it right. 

Anywho, yesterday afternoon, as I sat on the couch reading this book, the power flickered off. Then on. Then off. And suddenly I noticed how dark it was getting. Awfully dark for  mid-afternoon on a summer day. James and I went to the window to see leaves blowing up and down the street and branches waving erratically as if the wind were blowing straight down on our house. Rain poured, lightening struck, and thunder roared. Liam slept. And in less than two minutes, it was all over. The sun came out. And the power stayed out. Remembering our last experience with prolonged power outage, I quickly jumped in the shower. Thankfully we have a gas water heater, but I hate showering in the dark. Liam woke up, and we all headed to the cool basement. By 5:30 we still had no power, and no way to cook the dinner I had planned (the grill’s still broke. that’s another story.) We quickly discovered the upside to summer power outages vs. winter snow-storm-related outages: we could go out to eat! Never in need of an excuse to eat at Red Lobster – mmmm, cheddar biscuits – we headed to downtown Silver Spring. We passed many a downed tree and police directing traffic through powerless intersections. The lights were on in downtown, so we spent a couple of hours eating and shopping. Back at our house at 7, and still no power. I took Liam out for a walk partly to survey the damage and partly to use up some of his endless energy. Another upside to summer-time black outs: it was still light out when Liam took his bath. 

By 8 PM it was getting downright steamy upstairs, and after a brief argument with James over “letting all the humidity in”, I opened all the windows. With no fans to circulate the air, it was still hot, but bearable. I laid Liam down in just his diaper, and he was out cold inside of 15 minutes. We called the power company again and got a “we’re working on it as fast as we can” standard message. Darkness fell, and I finally appreciated all of those flashlights James stocked up on during the winter storm. We contemplated playing games, but the lights were dim, and James wasn’t in the mood for trivia. We sat and stared where our TV would usually be blaring. Dammit, Mad Men was on tonight!

At 10 I sent James downstairs to sleep. I don’t mind the heat as much as he does, and I felt a little guilty sleeping down there with Liam sweltering in his room. But by 10:30 the lights came on, we shut all the windows, and we slept peacefully in air-conditioned bliss.

Turning on the news this morning, I think we were the lucky few. Power was still out in much of the city. I discovered this afternoon that our phones are still out. I’ve got to run out to the store after naptime to replace the egg salad I made for tomorrow’s play date lunch. And I’m hoping, hoping, that I can watch last night’s Mad Men on OnDemand tonight. Such a small storm, by midwest standards, made such a big impact!

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