It’s Dark In Here


Last night we had a brown-out, followed by a full loss of power for about 3 hours.  I don’t remember ever experiencing a brown-out before – the lights all dimmed and none of the outlets worked.  Luckily we have Nerdguy, so we have several UPSes around the house so I was able to panic-charge my phone and drag my facebook friends and twitter followers along on our harrowing tale of darkness.  Why is my phone never charged in a crisis?  Remember the time we had the wasp infestation and had to flee to a hotel I only had 6% battery and had to scramble to find a hotel.  I may have picked a luxurious 2 room suite for the night for $250 a night, but it was totally not my fault.  It was Apple’s.  And the wasps.  And Nerdguy’s for being 500km away and not answering his phone.  But I digress.

There was a lot of crying, screaming, nervous-loud-talking last night when the power was out.  The kids were begging me to blow out the candles because we never use candles and they thought the house was going to burn down.  Even the rabbit from the other night ran up to the window in a bit of a tizzy.

Thank God for twitter, because although we were trying to be cool for the kids, we were feeling a little dicey about whether we needed an evac plan or not.  I had the hotel on speed-dial, and Nerdguy had us headed to sleep on my mother’s floor.  So it was a relief to discover that the hydro company were reporting that power would be back on by 11.  We could handle that.


We would make terrible pioneers.  Those 3 weeks that our microwave were broken are referred to in this house as the Colonial Era.  We’re wimps.  I’m the worst wimp of all.  Honestly, what did people do before the internet?  TALK to each other???  Hold out random hope that the power would come back “someday?”  I am not Caroline Ingalls.  Harriet Oleson if anything.

Molly was worrying quite a bit, and I had a chat with her about how Nerdguy and I would always keep her safe (crossing fingers that she didn’t remember stepping in a wasps’ nest on vacation…but you know…OTHER than that) and that she needs to leave the worrying to me.  That it’s my job.  Her job is to be a kid.  She calmed down quite a bit after that.  And after a routine candle inspection that she thought I didn’t notice.

Grace’s anxiety was spiking though, and before I could finish googling the hydro company she had whipped up a list of Family Goals that she wanted us all to agree to.  Molly made me sign it today.

  • Have more fun.
  • Low stress (not to worry so much).
  • Be respectful.
  • Less fighting.
  • Clean up house when made a mess.
  • Have less yelling.
We saw a psychiatrist for one of the kids before Christmas, who made sweeping statements based on a 45 minute visit, and ended it by telling us we just need a parenting class.  I’m starting to think the kids asked him to say that after I see this list.  What 8 year old makes a list of family goals during a blackout?  I thought she was going to have us reviewing our wills next.
Luckily we were able to turn things around, brighten the mood, and stay warm by having a Blackout Boogie Dance Party.  Grace was still talking about the dance party this morning, and Maggie kept turning the lights out tonight and asking for camping.
Molly was up sick in the night – she is a terrible patient.  She panics and I have to chase her around with a bucket while she freaks out about the possibility of throwing up.  I was just talking to someone yesterday about how she had survived our stomach flu, and we were discussing Julie Cole’s (of Mabels Labels) HuffPo article about how she deploys a bucket for each kid the moment any of them is taken down by a tummy bug.  I shouldn’t talk about things.  Remember how I bragged commented that none of us had broken a bone, and Grace broke her wrist THAT WEEK?!  I think God sees my words as personal dares.  Or maybe it’s like when you say “Stop running” to a toddler and all they hear is “running?”
“What’s that?  Tara said raging stomach flu?  Excellent idea!”
Well we’ll try this out then – “Don’t make me rich, skinny and a world-famous (for good reasons) writer.”
I’ll be here waiting.
Sending out a huge thank you to the crews at Burlington Hydro for working in the freezing cold weather to get our power back last night.


  1. says

    Lol… for what it’s worth, that’s a pretty great list. I wish you luck with it. My kids were mightily sick of the power outage before Christmas. I kind of liked it. All of us bundled in one room playing board games with no one staring at a screen for once? Lovely.

    And you might want to actually go to a parenting class… at least it’s a guaranteed night out with other grown ups. Get some ice cream after and it’s practically a date. 😛

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