This story begins like so many others; gazing upon the rear end of an enormous blue bear.
This weekend featured two big events for my family; Denver Comic Con and my brother-in-law’s wedding. Both were happening within blocks of one another so we opted to stay in a hotel. There are two harsh truths of staying in a hotel; we’re cheap and we don’t like packing. So my wife, five year old, toddler and myself shared a bed Friday night. This was a mistake.
The hotel was directly across the street from Comic Con. That big blue bear butt is how the Colorado Convention Center welcomes guests. From our view the five year old was able to make out the costumed characters heading in and out of the con Friday night. His excitement grew and grew with each passing Dalek and Power Ranger. It was quickly apparent he was not going to be asleep by his regular hour.
To help drain his energy a bit, my wife and in-laws (also staying at the hotel, as they were heading to a wedding in the morning) took him and his brother swimming. I hate pools and got to stay in the room and eat dinner at long last (following a two hour car ride where my passengers got to eat, but burrito was allowed to cool *shakes fist*). For those familiar with tabletop RPGs, we ‘split the party’. This was a mistake.
The sun had finally set. Bedtimes had long passed. 8:30 had arrived and as far as I knew, my kids were slowly, but surely, growing more and more tired. I was in the hotel room consuming a much desired bean, rice and cheese burrito just slathered with spicy salsa. Not two minutes after finishing my meal, the building’s fire alarm goes off.
“An emergency has been declared,” a mechanical voice said between beeps.
I gathered towels, diapers, and changes of clothes, and went searching for my family. After following the other hotel guests outside. I didn’t find them until after the ‘all clear’ was provided, but all was well. At 9:30 at night.
By this point the kids are wound. The oldest is chattering away, the toddler is pleading to see more ‘trains’ (light rail buses) and sleep is looking like it would never come.
Once we made it back the hotel room we read a few books to keep in some sort of regular routine and then turned out the lights. My wife was at one end of the bed, I at the other and filling the middle were an over-tired five year old and a toddler. This was a mistake.
Things started out well. Both boys were kinda quiet, but squirmy. Then the five year old pops up and says, “hey brooooottthhhheeerrrrr…Zombie!”
The next ten minutes were dedicated to the boys saying ‘zombie’ and ‘brains’ to one another. My wife plopped herself between the boys at the eleven minute mark and they quieted down again. The toddler had other plans though and slowly put his hand on my wife’s face. When she realized his hand was there, he says, “braaaaiiinnss!”
It was 10:00 before any one finally slept. But going to sleep laughing is pretty amazing.