Burglar alarms are nice to have, aren’t they? That is unless you’ve got a two year old on the loose who likes to play with keys and push buttons and a five year old who couldn’t care less about what the two year old is doing as long as it doesn’t interfere with what she’s doing.
Imagine, if you will, returning home from running errands. You herd the kids out of the car and up the steps of the front porch. The kids are anxious to get inside because you’ve just purchased a Costco-sized box of ice cream bars. You manage to extract your keys from under the straps of the grocery sack and unlock the door (without dropping anything – quite a feat). The kids are giddy with delight at the prospect of eating their ice cream. Do you set the bags down and put your keys away? Heck, no. You want to get the kids settled with their ice cream before they drive you crazy. The keys are haphazardly tossed onto the nearest surface and the ice cream festivities begin.
Bellies full, the kids happily retreat to the living room to play. They seem absorbed in their coloring books and crayons, so you decide aloud, “I’m going upstairs for a minute.” The kids ignore you, which in this case is A Good Thing. You might just be able to run to the bathroom undetected – one of the joys of motherhood. Another joy of motherhood is actually being able to use the bathroom undetected (and you might even get to wash up if you’re lucky).
You go to the bathroom and, er, you know… Things are progressing nicely then, all of a sudden, you hear beeping. Not just any beeping. You hear incessant, loud beeping. Like an alarm of some kind.
Oh, man! What happened – where are my kids? Who’s in the house? Sheer panic sets in and you try to pull your pants up while running out of the bathroom and down the stairs without breaking your neck. You don’t see the five year old (she must be in her room or something), but you do see a two year old dropping your keys on the tile floor with a clatter (which you don’t hear anyway – the alarm is so ear splittingly loud). She’s yelling “Maaa-maaa!” and holding her hands over her ears. Your five year old peeks out from behind the play room door, wide-eyed, and promptly shuts it again to block out the noise. You see that your children are safe, and now you really get upset. You key in the code to disarm the alarm and begin scolding your child for pressing the “Panic” button on your keychain alarm thingy. Your pants aren’t even pulled up.
“Alarm center – please state your name.”
You freeze and your child stops panicking. Suddenly, you feel like someone is looking at your bare rear-end and you finally pull your pants up. Then it dawns on you one of the reasons you purchased the alarm system. Fast two-way response.
“Um. Hi.” You smooth your hair even though this guy can’t see you.
“What is your name?”
So, you give your name and you even have the presence of mind to provide the master password.
“So, everything is okay?”
“Yes. My daughter just got hold of my keys and pushed the panic button.” Now is about the time when you feel really stupid. Here you were, scolding your daughter for pushing buttons on the keys you left within her grasp. Who can blame her? You have really interesting keys, after all.
“Okay. Have a good day.” Click.
Well, that’s what happened to me. I felt really bad about yelling at my daughter when I was the one who left the keys lying around. I apologized, but told her the keys were a no-no. She was already over it and made her way to the playroom to pester her sister.
Overall, though, I’d have to say I’m really pleased with the response time of our particular alarm company. These things really work if you use them.
Rose Holck is an Elementary Technology Teacher and Librarian, but in her other life she loves writing about history and enjoys freelance writing. She has been published in special editions of The Journal of Bone and Mineral Research and Teaching Librarian Magazine. She also currently blogs about liquid libations at http://www.cocktailsandwine.com