Thursday, December 22, 2011

Natalina and the Quest for Elevators

When we last left our heroes (Dulce and Natalina, of course), they were tucked up all comfy-like in their carseats on the long trek back from Orlando. But the whole story hadn't been told. Little Lilly took on her travels with a new goal in mind, a goal she would never (or so it seems) let go of.

Lilly is going to be the first toddler in history to ride up and down every elevator in the whole world. I know because she told me so.

It came about in a simple way.

As you can imagine, even the most interesting fruit can get stale after 20 minutes or so, and being in a hotel lobby (my husband had chosen a new parking service that ran out of the Comfort Suites without needing to stay in the hotel itself), there were lots of pretty shiny things to explore.

Until, of course, they spotted the elevator. After that, all else ceased to exist in the world.

Now, I didn't want to be that parent who lets her kids run rampant on the elevator, pushing all the buttons and messing other patrons up. But I also didn't want any over-tired, we-were-supposed-to-eat-dinner-an-hour-ago tantrums, either. What to do?

Eventually I settled on letting them take a ride up one floor and down again once every 15 minutes or so. They alternated turns pressing the buttons.

By the time the car was fixed, they had no interest in motor travel at all. They simply wanted to ride the elevator.

To get Natalina in the car, I told her that we would look for more elevators. That lots of buildings had elevators and we had to find them.

She gave me a look, and her "okay" was rather suspicious, but in the end, it got her into the car.

Throughout the journey, she asked where the next elevator stop was going to be, and when my husband went out to try to find us food, she looked at him hopefully.

"Are we going to find the elevators?"

He went to "check the elevators" and came back saying, sadly, there were none at the rest stop. Should we keep going?

Yes we should. At the next stop, she actually woke herself from sleep to ask about it.

Nope, Daddy said, none here either. There must be some elevators somewhere.

As she went to nod back off, she murmured sleepily to me, "Mama, I'm going to ride all the elevators in the whole world."

And that's when I knew it was serious.

We got home and trundled them off to bed, and the next morning, instead of coming upstairs to wake me and cuddle with me, Natalina awoke quietly, making not a peep downstairs.

I made my way down to find her sitting at the bottom of the stairs, shoes in hand.

"Where next, mama? We have to find the elevators!"

And throughout the week we've looked everywhere. The grocery store, the library, the car wash and the bank do not have elevators, but Lilly isn't letting that get her down.

She knows there must be some more elevators somewhere on this earth, and, by God, she is going to find them.

___


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