Well. You may have noticed I’ve been a bit preoccupied with sleep lately. I get kind of obsessive. Last night it felt so glorious to lay down at 8:30 and know that I would have a few hours of sleep before Spencer and I switched shifts. I was also feeling hopeful because Case had slept better the night before so I thought maybe he was finally working himself back into a reasonable routine.
Then, over my white noise machine, I heard Spencer open the bedroom door. The clock said 11:23. My mind said “#%^*!$?”@&?!!!.” And Spencer knelt down in front of me and said “Do you smell something weird?” And I did. I sprang up in a way that I have only been able to spring since I became a mother. HIGH ALERT.
“It smells like something burning. Plastic or electrical or something.” Spencer agreed and said he’d been searching the house for twenty minutes and had about decided he was having smell hallucinations. So we looked high and low at every electrical outlet and appliance, checked outside and in the garage (where it didn’t smell) and concluded that he was going to have to check the attic. Then we decided we better get the kids out before he opened the attic and let a rush of oxygen in, which might cause a fire to erupt. As you can see, we are both very safe people.
Side note: (Once when we were kids and my parents weren’t home, the ice box started making a weird noise so I evacuated us to the yard in case it blew up. This felt similar.)
So, we gathered up some essentials (cash, toothbrushes, diapers and milk) and roused our sleeping babes (and let me tell you, Case had been snoozing like a champ since about 7:30!) . I had been trying to reach my mom and stepdad on the phone to no avail so when we got to their house, Spencer rang the doorbell while I fed Case in the car. Both boys were both pretty revved up by this point. It was probably the most exciting night of Jack’s life so far. No one heard the doorbell and I wasn’t even sure if their doorbell worked. So, I realized the only way to get them to let us in was if I knocked on their bedroom window. I thought this was pretty risky so I had no choice but to call my sister to ask if they kept a gun which they might use to shoot a person who was beating on their bedroom window at midnight. She was smart enough to tell me to just punch in their garage door code and go in that way. Oh. Duh.
So I did that and walked in their house turning on lights and hollering “Mom, it’s me!” all the way to their bedroom. As you can imagine, they were a little drowsy and confused but as soon as I explained the situation they both replied that I smelled like a skunk. And once I was in their non-stinky house and could smell my own coat, I had to agree that it did smell more like a skunk and less like that time when a plastic spatula fell on the heating element in the dishwasher and melted. Craaaaaaaap.
I went back to the car and reported to my husband who I had been trying to convince to call the fire department only moments before. He nodded that he had just smelled Case’s blanket and had the same thought. So he left us to party at Mom’s and went back to further investigate.
Not too long later he returned with the terrible news that our house was not in fact burning down but was only the object of a skunk’s wrath. How embarrassing. These two country kids who have both been the victims of our houses being sprayed before never even had the thought that it could’ve been a skunk! Even though we see skunks like every night.