A Sneaky Toddler Tale

Kendall is a little obsessed with elevators ever since our stay at the Embassy Suites with the glass ones that he could look out. He loves to push the buttons and go in and out of them and up and down.  Last week we took my dad to some doctor’s appointments and had to wait an hour for him to get out, so I entertained Kendall part of the time by riding the elevators.

Then, between my dad’s appointments, we were hanging out in the hall, my dad chasing Kendall (who happened to have commandeered my phone and appeared to be texting someone), while I was checking out something of minimal importance on my dad’s Iphone.  The second doctor emerged and called for my dad who then turned around and headed back to the office, about 50 feet away.  Clearly, it’s been a while since my dad has dealt with a sly toddler, and I have obviously underestimated how fast and sneaky toddlers can be.

They happened to be standing right by the elevators when all this happened and at the very moment my dad turned around and headed back, the elevator opened, Kendall toddled in (still texting, looking very businesslike in his polo shirt and plaid pants) and I nearly shit my pants as I screamed, “Sco…DAD…ELEVATOR!!!” Then I started hauling ass across the hall, freaking out the doctor, figuring in my head that I’d get there faster than I could get my thoughts from my brain out of my mouth.

My dad managed to reach inside the elevator and grab Kendall just as the doors were shutting.  

Oh….My…GOD.  I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.  I have no idea what we would have done if the doors had shut!  The elevator didn’t say if it went up or down.  There were 7 floors and we were on the 4th. The mommy visions started the minute he was successfully rescued from the elevator.  What if…what if…what if? Ugh. I hate to think of it all.

Despite the mommy visions and the what ifs, it’s definitely one of those experiences that’s funny to look back on, you know, since it ended well, and all.  I feel bad, but all I can do now is laugh at how funny it would have been for a doctor on another floor to see Kendall standing there, as the elevator opened, still “texting” in his little man outfit, just like a tiny little business professional. My own little Doogie Howser.

Kendall is exactly 14 months old

50 Things to Do Before You Deliver: The First Time Moms Pregnancy Guide
Available now: Amazon | Barnes & Noble


  1. This is seriously one of my greatest fears about Em starting to cruise/walk! I would have shit my pants too…I shutter thinking about it!

    I’m glad all turned out well and you can laugh at the situation now, but I definitely empathize with that sort of panic.

  2. Hi, I usually lurk on your blog (I love it!) but your story reminds me so much of something that happened to me a couple of years ago.
    I was staying at a hotel with my husband and some family. We pressed the button to go down on the elevator and when the doors opened there was a little 2 1/2 year old boy standing there in his barefeet, holding his blankie and his room key card. He immediately started to cry and my maternal instincts took over and I picked him up and held him and he calmed down. We waited for awhile, hoping maybe his parents had just missed the elevator by accident but after 5 minutes my husband went downstairs and got the hotel staff to look into it.
    The funniest (and greatest) thing is that he had his room key so Corey (my hubby) just took the card down and they figured out what room his family was staying in. Turns out the whole family were taking naps and he had woken up, grabbed the key just like he knew his parents always did, and left the room to go play on the elevators.
    So hopefully if Kendall were to escape on an elevator there would be a family like ours to help him find his Mom 🙂

  3. All I could think when reading this was that old Animaniacs cartoon with the toddler. He’s in the elevator and all he says is “I push da button!”.

    Glad that things turned out ok!

  4. Not totally the same but on the day we came home from the hospital my husband put our newborn (at the time) in the apartment elevator by accident The baby travelled from the lobby to the tenth floor in his stroller by himself. That is enough to stress out a new mama. Hopefully you and Kendall won’t have anymore elevator adventures!

  5. Pingback: Post: July 8th, 2009: ERS-2009-08-08 #165 Show Notes « The Elevator Radio Show Podcast

  6. An elevator is not a toy nor is it an amusement ride, except in theme parks where they are not technically classified as elevators. It is mechanical device that is a means of conveyance from one level to another not requiring the use of steps. They have become a necessity in this age of tall buildings and mobility needs.

    For people that do not understand the dangers of where and where not to place their hands, fingers and other body parts, it can be somewhat dangerous, especially if those people think that it is a “fun” thing to do and are totally unaware of the problems that exist. Great pains are taken during development, design and construction of elevators and escalators to reduce the possibility of having body parts becoming caught in doors, moving parts and the like; however, it can happen. It can happen more easily if the body parts are small enough. The doors are heavy and will not reverse if someone has their fingers just on the actual part of the door that meets the strike jamb (the part of the cab wall the door hits as it closes if there is door movement in one direction only) or the other door. This is because they are not contacting the door reversal device or breaking the door reversal electric beams. If you are unaware of this as Kendall would be, the closing door hurts. I know, I have gotten my fingers pinched a few times myself in the course of my work. I am an elevator technician and have been for over 22 years.

    I caught the comment about entertaining Kendall by riding the elevator. Please refrain from this. I gives the impression to him that it is an OK thing to do. I know that the glass elevators are a very entertaining “window” from which a young person can observe the world as it “goes” by. But this is not a good thing as you probably have figured out since this incident. I am very happy Kendall was unhurt and no problems occurred, both for Kendall and for your family.

    I strongly urge all parents to caution their children on the dangers of using elevators and escalators when they are unsupervised; you, as the parent, will have to decide when they are ready for this step. I hear some of the horror stories about injuries that sometimes result from these activities and I feel for ALL of the people involved in the situation.

    In addition, parents, while you are shopping, please do not tell your children to “Go play on the escalator” while you do your shopping. This is an open invitation to problems and possible injury. You would not even begin to think of telling your child to “Go play in the traffic” would you? It is not nearly as dangerous, but the potential is still there for injury.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this. If it reduces the level of injuries to children any at all, I have done a fine public service.


    Jim, thank you for taking the time to write out a very very long, thought out warning about the dangers of abusing elevators, even though it was longer than the post itself in which I never once said I just sent Kendall to go play on the elevator unattended, but I get it. You don’t want him to grow up thinking that’s okay. That’s cool. I do appreciate your concern.

    I take it you are not a frequent reader. You would know that when I say I entertained him by riding the elevators I mean that much in the same way as if I said I entertained him by dangling shiny sharp objects in front of him. Clearly I don’t want him to grow up to abuse them or hurt himself with them, but whatever it takes man to get this kid to stay happy while out in public.

    Tim, welcome.

  8. All’s well that ends well, right? That is terrifying, thank goodness you caught him in time. Why are little boys so intent upon giving their mamas heart attacks?

  9. thanks jill, our little boy is 7 months old, so i suppose i’ve been following for nearly a year. thanks for the humor and advice! my wife will definitely be looking for the “wine juice boxes” next time she goes to target!

  10. Pingback: Post: July 8th, 2009: ERS-2009-08-08 #165 Show Notes | Elevator Radio Show Podcast

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.