I don’t know if I have mono or if, like Wayne Campbell (any other “Wayne’s World” fans out there?) I’m just really bored…but I got to thinking about elevators today.
It was an adventure of epic proportions to ride an elevator as a small child. The one I remember the most clearly was in a department store in the town where my grandparents lived. I can recall the smell, the gold-rimmed buttons that I was allowed to push if my behavior was good enough, the clever little fold-down seat that must have been left over from the days of actual elevator operators. The exciting ride brought us to a fascinating array of clothes, toys, books, and candy where I was almost always allowed to pick out a book to take home at the end of the trip. Good stuff.
My elevator memories as a parent are not as much fun.
Nearly tragic kid-on-an-elevator story #1
There was the time I was taking our two younger kids, aged three and two, to the doctor. I chose not to take the double stroller in, and therefore was holding hands and corralling our way to the big silver doors that would take us up to the office. The doors opened and Middle Sister stepped right in to the empty car. At the same moment, The Boy slipped my grasp and tore off down the hallway. In a split second decision that had no right answer, I ran after the smaller child and out of the corner of my eye watched those silver doors slide closed on Sister.
Our middle daughter has a set of lungs on her that rivals history’s greatest opera divas. I could hear her wailing all the way up as I tracked down her brother, scolded him, and waited, sweating and terrified, for the elevator to come back down. Wondering the whole time whether that was the right thing to do – I mean, where would she end up? We hadn’t pushed a button – who knew what floor she’d go to?
I finally settled on stopping at each floor and listening for her. I could definitely hear her the whole way, so it wasn’t that hard to track her down. Thankfully, she happened to end up on the third floor, where our doctor’s office was, and a nurse looked out to see who was apparently having their head cut off in the hallway. The nurse hung onto her long enough that we hit the third floor and ended the sad misadventure.
Of course, The Boy thought the whole scene was hilarious.
Nearly tragic kid-on-an-elevator-story #2
The husband took all three kids along with him to some appointment – he had to sign papers for something or other – downtown. He has always been a great dad; always sure that having the kids along on any trip would be more fun than going on his own.
Not so much this time.
On the way up to the appointed office, riding the elevator, the door opened at a floor they didn’t need. The Boy (about age 4) somehow managed to position his arm so that it got sucked along with the door into the wall. The door then closed, but The Boy’s arm remained inside the wall…with the elevator ready to continue its ascent.
Oldest Sister was concerned, but typically quiet. Middle Sister completely lost it. Screaming, hysteria, tears. Certain her little brother was about to have his arm ripped off. The Husband managed to get the doors to open again long enough to get our son’s arm out of the wall in short order. It took at least half an hour and a large ice cream cone to calm Middle Sister.
Again, The Boy thought the whole scene was hilarious.
Elevator tales…many years afterward, a fun trip down memory lane.