The Elevator Button

Posted by Danny

What is it about an elevator button for a kid?  It’s like hitting the winning lottery ticket.

I was at a hotel in New Bern, NC, on Saturday night with the kids.  We parked, grabbed our bags, checked in, and it began.

“I get to press the elevator button!” Stephanie exclaimed.

“No, I want to!” Michelle shouted.

“You guys, it’s a four-story building.  This isn’t a big deal” I explained.

As we approached, I could see the look on DJ’s face.  She was casually in the lead.  Neither of the others would suspect.  I saw it but couldn’t get the words out before her long, 14-year-old arm with outstretched finger pressed it before either of the others knew what had hit them.

“Dad!  DJ pressed the button!!!  I called it first!!!  It’s not fair!!!”  my middle child loudly reasoned.  The youngest just in tears.

“DJ!  Why did you do that?”  I don’t know why I asked.  It wasn’t likely that she could explain the psychological implications of wanting to torture her sisters and act as if she hadn’t heard any of the conversation.


Yes, but it is a very important button.  It’s the elevator button.

We have cell phones, i touches, Wii and television remotes, computers at their disposal.  And yet, the coveted elevator button.

I’ve never seen the thrill.  It’s not like silly putty or that goopy stuff that comes in a can – now those things feel really good to the touch.  I even enjoy a handful of playdough, nice and squishy.  No, the button is hard.  It doesn’t even go in that far to the wall; it’s a slight touch.  Maybe it’s the light…

You’ll be glad to know that I made a mental schedule of who got to press the button for the rest of the stay.  DJ wasn’t concerned about being in the rotation.  If she wasn’t going to annoy her sisters, she could go buttonless.

Next time, we’re staying in a tent.

Leave a comment


  1. I like the tent option. That way you can trek back and forth looking for a bathroom all night. No buttons, though. Sounds like a plan to me.

  2. Hopie

     /  July 20, 2011

    Wow! You have described so well that universal phenomenon — just envision Disney World for 7 nights and how many times my two had that fight. Just threaten to make them take the stairs if they keep fighting about it. That worked for about an hour… Thanks for keeping all of us laughing:)

  3. Leigh Ann

     /  July 27, 2011

    totally get this, sadly enough. I make my girls keep up with their own silly schedule…I just enforce it. aghh!

  4. Francie Reding

     /  August 1, 2011

    I’m catching up on all the posts, and this one really is timely. For the past week, every day, for 3-4 times a day, I heard “inside button. I called inside button. I called it, he’s not supposed to push it.” Cue the tears. Over a button. From boys.


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