Monday, November 08, 2004

A New Tactic, But Who Won?

We've been having a lot of trouble with Rachel and naps on the weekend lately. She's probably on the cusp of not needing to nap regularly, but it's still usually pretty unpleasant when she doesn't nap. Yesterday, we decided to try a new tactic: take her for a drive and let her sleep in the car.

We've done it a couple of times before, though not as deliberately. We've gone shopping twice in the last couple of months, knowing that she might fall asleep in the car on the way, so I took a book. Worked out quite well those times... I just sat and read while Dawn did the errands and Rachel slept.

This time, Dawn just took her for a ride until she fell asleep and then came back, parked in the driveway, and slept while Rachel slept. This seemed to work well. They got good naps. I did some stuff around the house and then an errand or two on my own. When Rachel woke up, she was refreshed and happy and must more pleasant as the day wore on. We did discover that for some reason the truck battery had almost died while they were sleeping. Dan pointed out that if the ignition was on, it would have sucked the battery pretty fast.

So far, so good. So we have to push the truck out of the driveway and jump it and then drive it around a little bit to recharge the battery. Not that big a deal, and we can figure out why it died and make sure that doesn't happen next time. OK, cool.

Then we went to push it out and jump it. Not a big deal. Dawn was nervous about whether she would be able to stop the truck without the power brake, so I sat in the truck and pushed with one foot while she pushed from the front. Still OK. Got the truck in position; the jumper cables are nice and long, so we don't even have to bridge with the ones we borrowed from Xin.

Here's where it gets fun. The alarm. I wasn't surprised when it went off when I turned truck on (it actually almost started just from the Accord's battery, but not quite). I was rather surprised when it didn't turn off, however. Hmm. Turning the truck off doesn't work. The remote isn't working. And I'll tell you what... with the hood up, that alarm is flippin' LOUD. So loud it's more like a concussive force than a sound.

Dawn takes the truck and goes up to the busy street near us to stop hammering our poor neighbors, while I go looking for the manual (I thought there might be a way to turn it off with the remote or the valet switch) and a couple of wrenches and a flashlight. She's around the corner for about 30 seconds before a cop shows up. Of course, it's 9:30 and we were getting ready for bed when we remembered we needed to deal with the battery, so naturally she doesn't have an ID with her.

The cop hangs around until I show up. As I'm heading for the front of the truck, Dawn says something about her ID. It hasn't really occurred to me that he might want to see it, so I ask him if he wants to see it, and he says "might be nice." I managed not to say anything snide or flip and just showed it to him. He could have asked, though...

Anyway, disconnected the battery, let it sit for a few minutes, and then put the cable back on and, lo and behold, no more unbelievably loud and obnoxious alarm. Dropped Dawn off at home and then drove around for a bit to make sure the battery was charged back up. Oh, and did I mention... on the way back to the house at some point during this adventure, I stopped to take the jumper cables off the Honda and close it's hood... and it's damn alarm went off too!

So, was all the alarm crap just payback for tricking Rachel into a nap?

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