6.26.2011

When the Power Goes Out

This week was our first tornado warning as parents. As the Chicago area was just starting to get pummeled on Tuesday night, we were taking turns holding the baby and eating the salad I'd thrown together for dinner. W was asleep. We were looking forward to catching up on some So You Think You Can Dance when we remarked about how dark it was outside. Then we heard a branch come down on the ceiling and a second later the tornado sirens started. We looked at each other, both wondering if it was worth waking up W to head to the basement...

Obviously, it was. After all, it is our responsibility to keep them safe. But, if we didn't have little ones in the house, we may have finished our salads first. Matt grabbed W, I ran down with B. Our basement is functional for storage, a work out space, laundry, and a small office, but not much else and definitely not for camping out with two little kids.

Within a second of getting into the basement W noticed the snacks and toys that I store (read: HIDE) down there.

"Wow! Snacks! And I-Screamer! Is that mine?" He was completely unfazed by the sirens and being pulled out of bed in the middle of the night, standing barefoot on a freezing, cement floor, but what was jarring to him was the reality that he's been living right above so many yummy treats and fun toys.

"Ummm, yeah, I-Screamer is a present from the baby to say thank you for being such a good big brother. I was going to give it to you tomorrow." In reality, it was intended as a birthday gift for August. But, the argument and badgering from him wasn't worth it, so I handed it over.

As Matt ran upstairs to get blankets for us to sit on, I wrestled with the packaging, while gripping the baby. Matt came back down and I sent him back up for my phone, thinking we could monitor the storm on Twitter. Then I sent him up for my Boppy, knowing the baby would be hungry soon. He came back down and I asked for my computer to see if we could check some local news sites. And then it was for a radio, in case the power went out. It went on like this for some time. Like I said, this was our first tornado drill.

The power flashed about five times, the sirens quieted after twenty minutes, and we headed upstairs when POP - Power was out completely. Candles, flashlights, W back to bed, we went to sleep figuring the power would be back on by the morning. It wasn't.

Matt thought quickly and ran out for coffee for us and milk for W before he had to go to work. W and I spent the morning coloring, playing games, and answering a lot of questions about power. We changed the location of a play date from my house to a house with power and spent the day playing and charging my phone on someone else's power. I was actually a little thankful that the drive home took an hour and a half, rather than 45 minutes (thanks to most lights being down), so W could get in a nap. We had dinner at my parents' house that night, but decided to sleep at home. We went home to darkness. Around 5 am on Thursday morning the power came back, just in time for us to realize the baby had a fever and we had to head to the emergency room.

My conversation with the pediatrician may go down in crazy mom history. And, yes, I'll leave it there. How's that for a cliffhanger?

Check back tomorrow... Dare I say: TO BE CONTINUED?

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