In the epic battle being waged between my children and the unsuspecting hotels we visit, the hotels have taken a decisive lead. And by lead I mean two gigantic, hideous forehead welts.
The Tattletale was the first casualty at our Westminster hotel back in October. Who would have guessed her perfectly executed couch dive would miss the pillows? Who would have imagined she would smash face first into the back of the other couch? Certainly not the parents who had threatened and scolded relentlessly in the minutes leading up to the face dive. Kudos, Westminster hotel. Your sleek couches, uncluttered floors, and over abundance of pillows were too much for my children to resist. Hotel rooms have the allure of a forbidden playground it seems.
Is it just my kids, or do hotels bring out the wild child in all kids? Revolving doors, automatic glass sliding doors, shiny lobby floors. Elevators with an endless combinations of buttons to Christmas tree lead to narrow winding hallways begging to be run through with outstretched hands. By the time we enter our hotel room the temptation is already too great. And there it is. The centerpiece of the room. The humongous, perfectly bed beckoning to that inner child in all of us. Jump. Jump high.
Which brings us to a hotel in Edinburgh a few days after Christmas. Our second hotel stay since Claire’s defeat. And it was an epic defeat. It struck at our core. It was our first family trip to London and our perfect pictures will forever display the glaring bruise across my daughter’s forehead. A bruise preserved forevermore in family photos. Look, we’re awesome parents. We took our kids to London. Not. We sat and watched while the couch took out our daughter.
Back to Edinburgh. This time we got smart. We brought grandma. Three kids, three adults. We thought we had it covered. But that lousy bed was irresistible. So mommy relented. “Find ways to say ‘yes’. Don’t always say ‘no’.” I told myself. “It’ll help them get some energy out so they’re not crazy in public,” I rationalized. And one at a time, in the very center of the bed, they took turns jumping to their hearts’ content with three adults closely supervising. No incident. Surely we had the hotel beat this time.
Jumping on the bed was, in fact, quite successful. The kids were so worn out they passed out five minutes into our stroller ride to Edinburgh Castle.
But when we got back to the hotel, we were too confident in our earlier success. As pizza was passed out, the now well-rested wild things were brimming with energy. Soon they were knocking each other over and plopping down on pillows on the roll-away bed. Then came the scolding from daddy while I, completely oblivious, scarfed down my pizza. And then it happened. The Temper plopped down on the cot pillows face-first. But he missed the pillows and caught the cot frame square across the forehead. Hotels – 2, Kids – 0. Temper, thankfully, is fine. But my precious family travel photos will once again be marred by an unsightly bruise across another child’s face. And they say a picture is worth a thousand words. Yep, we travel with our kids but we must be awful parents. Thanks, hotels.