Monday, August 12, 2013

Hey Kid

Hey kid,
if you think it would be a good idea to ruin vacation
by peeing on the hotel room floor
in a passive aggressive 4-year-old version of F-you
and then call it an "accident"--
it wouldn't.

Hey kid,
if you think it would be lots of fun for everyone
if you attempt another all-nighter--
for us to to spend what should be resting hours
watching you kick your feet up in the air
so the bed sheets in the hotel room are like a parachute
while you chant, "I cannot go to sleep! I cannot go to sleep!"--
think again.

For the love of God, be quiet, kid.
Hotel rooms aren't cheap, and we all need some rest.
And without some rest, you're gonna be even worse tomorrow.
Stop roaring your terrible roars, 
gnashing your terrible teeth, 
rolling your terrible eyes, 
and BE STILL. 

What would Sarah say? 
You remember Sarah, kid? The lady we met on the playground?

She's the lady with the New Jersey accent, 
the one who seems to think we're staying on a real cruise ship,
instead of in a hotel that sort of looks like a ship,
and she's staying in the hotel room next door.
She's the lady who just about knocked me down on the playground 
so she could confirm whether or not I was Born Again 
in the first 5 minutes that she met me, 
told me how lucky you kids are that I'm a teacher 
so I can help you with your homework, 
but that I should send you to a Christian school, 
then she said "God Bless You" before she left, 
probably to go pray somewhere--

You know her voice. 
She's the one who keeps barking at her grandkids so loudly at 11pm 
while I'm trying so incredibly (incredibly) hard 
not to rip out my own hair
while you're squealing and giggling and rolling around on the 15 pillows that go on the fancy hotel bed...

Kid, you have to be quiet.
Don't get us kicked out. It's our vacation, and I really don't want 
to sleep in the minivan.
And Sarah would certainly not approve of that.
You're already slated to go to public school, which might explain why you're turning into a heathen.

Hey kid, 
Why don't you listen? Just a little bit?

I could talk to the hotel walls, 
covered in striped wallpaper 
and prints of steamboats hung in plastic gold frames;
I could talk to the bleached white towels 
or the little bottles of shampoo, conditioner, or all-natural body lotion; 
the cleansing facial soap;
I could talk to the sheets on the bed; the hair dryer attached to the wall, the refrigerator hidden in the armoire, the Gideon Bible in the empty drawer.
(And Lord knows I could go over and talk to Sarah again.)
I'm starting to think I'd have a better shot at getting any of them to listen. 

But I'm scared they'd answer back and start telling me stories of what they'd seen, 
and when other people peed on the floor in this very room, probably just last week.
They might tell me about all the illicit things that had taken place here, 
but right now, all I know is that what you're doing in this room is NOT okay. 

You aren't being the kid I expect you to be.
And, really, kid, the only one I want to talk to right now is YOU.
I can talk all I want, but--HEY KID--if you won't listen, 
I'm wasting the little bit of energy I have left.

Come back, kid. Come back from that island 
where the wild things are.
That's no place for a vacation.

I hope Sarah will keep us in her prayers. 
If I put my ear to the wall, I bet I can hear her praying for us. 

Did you go on vacation this year? How'd it go?