The Art of Playing Dead

In nature, animals are forced to play dead when they are in the midst of a predator in order to protect themselves from becoming the meal du jour.  It is simply a matter of survival.  When sharing a hotel room with a 20-month old child, the same principle comes to play.

Now it may not be a matter of life and death, but it is certainly a matter of survival especially when you want nothing more than to go to bed and not have the hotel staff knock on the door to see what is going on.

This week I was staying at a hotel by Downtown Disney for a work conference and Jenn & Nolin decided to join me on Monday night, so that they could hang out by the pool (crazy that it is January and still warm enough to swim outside in the pool) as well as attend the character breakfast in the morning.

We got to the hotel and Nolin was having a great time playing in the room, picking up the phone and pretending to have a conversation and hitting all the buttons on the electronic safe.  We headed out for dinner at Downtown Disney (which I realized was where he said his first sentence a few months earlier). We got back to the hotel room and figured Nolin would be tired enough to go to sleep quickly.

Well that wasn’t really the case…

Nolin was very excited to be in his new environment and just wanted to hang out. So out went the lights and Jenn and I began to play dead to help speed up the process.  Nolin on the other hand proceeded to put on a one man show.

The next two hours were filled:

  • Songs: ABC (over and over again), I Love You (hoping this would endear himself enough to have us play with him), Itsy Bitsy Spider and Buffalo Soldier among others.
  • Questions:  He wanted to see what topics would interest us enough to get up and start talking with him. He just started laundry listing everything he could think of…what about turtles?, what about giraffes?, what about where’s Uncle Rich?, etc.
  • Requests: As we were not responding to his other requests he tried to barter with hugs and kisses (Daddy hug, Mommy kiss, Best hug ever?)…Come on people I am giving you my best stuff, why aren’t you moving?!

All of this was done in an excited voice that I was sure was permeating the thin hotel walls.  My favorite was when I finally lifted my head and said Nolin Shhhhhh.  To which he replied in a calm voice with Shhhhhh, be quite daddy as if I were the one that was actually creating all the ruckus. It was over, Jenn and I immediately began laughing hysterically.

Finally Nolin accepted the fact that we were not going to play with him and he eventually fell asleep in Jenn’s arms and slept very soundly through the night.

The next morning I walked into my meeting laughing about the night’s ordeals.  Shortly after I had explained the story to my boss, a co-worker entered the room and he asked her how her night’s stay was.  It was great, she replied, but I got very nervous because when I got to the room, there was a baby that was so loud and I thought this is going to be a long night…luckily though by the time I got out of the shower everything was fine.

As my face turned a little red, I asked her what floor she was on…yep it was Nolin. She did comment though on how well he knows his ABCs.

That day Jenn & Nolin got to the character breakfast towards the end, and they were the only ones there, so Nolin literally got to have a play date with Pluto & Goofy.  He was a little shy at first, but quickly warmed up and they became fast friends.

In the future Jenn & I are going to need to work a little bit better at our survival techniques because if Nolin had been a honey badger, we would have been goners for sure.


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