Up and Down and In and Out

My boys have a rather strange obsession.  Actually, they have two obsessions, both related to hotel occupancy.  The first is the desire, no… the need, to push elevator buttons.  The second is to use the room key to open the door to our room.  Both were on fine display while we spent the week in Knoxville, TN for the Destination Imagination Global Finals.

They will fight to a rather ridiculous degree over who gets to do what and try to rush past each other to beat the other to the button.  Hal has even been known to burst into tears because his brother pushed the button.  Pushing it after it is already lit up is not satisfactory.  They each have to be the one that actuates the button.

My husband came up with a rather nifty compromise.  On the first day, he declared one the button pusher and the other the door opener.  He explained that they would alternate each day.

This worked for… oh, I don’t know… approximately half a day.  And then Hal couldn’t stand to let his brother push the button in the elevator.  He rushed in and pushed the button, apparently deciding that asking for forgiveness was better than permission.  As such, he was told that he would be performing neither activity for the rest of the day.  He was devastated, his brother quiet.

The fights baffled us.  I mean, it’s just a button.  The fights began to spill out to the crosswalks as well.  Sometimes we didn’t know whether to laugh or scream.  And then one day, we found ourselves alone in the elevator.

My mom and her boyfriend had taken the boys to the zoo.  After eating lunch with them, we returned to the hotel for some much needed down time.  We walked into the elevator and then both stood there silently. Eventually, he asked if I was going to push the button.  I startled and glanced at the panel, surprised that the button wasn’t already pushed.

I laughed at the stark difference the lack of children made.  Who was there to push the buttons?!

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The Best Room in the House

We spent the night in Gallup, NM after dragging ourselves out of the Grand Canyon, tired, stiff, and sore. The night was spent watching the Disney channel, the kids laughing and the parents rolling their eyes.

The best part of our stay was that we had been given “the only room available,” which turned out to be the handicap-equipped room closest to the elevator on the third floor.

We all piled into the very small elevator and as Hal hit the “3” button to close the doors, I looked up. And nearly screamed. Five people were hanging upside down from the ceiling and one of them was looking straight at me! Just as my heart jumped into my throat, one of the others looked down too and Jane yelled. Then we both laughed.

In my brain’s hazy attempt to process what I was seeing in the mirrored ceiling, I first thought that it was some sort of dual elevator and another family was on it too… inexplicably upside down. My second thought was of The Silence from Doctor Who and I feared that they were about to drop down and attack. The experience was unsettling and I could only shake my head in agreement when Jane asked, “Who puts a mirror on the ceiling in an elevator?!”

The room was a sore hiker’s dream. There was plenty of room to drop packs and spread out, but the bathroom was the real treat. I was relieved to see the bar next to the toilet that I could use instead of looking for leverage on the edge of the seat to help lift me back up.

And the shower? Ahhhh…. In a moment of weakness, I had traded my turn at the wheel for Hal-showering duty. I knew I would regret it when we got to the hotel. I had no clue how I would possibly be able to maneuver myself to a kneeling position by the tub. But now? Turns out I wouldn’t have to. The shower came equipped with a sprayer that detached from the wall and a bench. I was able to spray Hal and even have him sit on the bench and lift his legs for me to clean them. And when it was my turn to get clean, all those rails to grab hold of were a Godsend.

Sometimes it’s the little things in life.