Over the past month, as our home renovation continues, we’ve been in and out of hotels. We have tried to live at home for the duration, but every few days we will hit a wall in our ability to tolerate the noise/dust/crew/chaos, and one of us will announce that we have to stay in a hotel before we become a danger to self and others. We are living out of suitcases no matter where we are, but at a hotel at least there is carpet and no hacking cough from breathing in ambient sawdust. Mark and I used to love staying in hotels. In fact, we used to joke that our lifelong dream was to live in a hotel someday. But that was before having kids. Having kids in a hotel room is a whole ‘nother story. And if I’m brutally honest, I must admit: I like my family a lot more when there is a yard where they can play. My kids are loud and rowdy and the confines of a hotel room make all of us a little stabby. And then there’s better, when I really experience what I call “hotel rage.” If you have children, and you’ve stayed in a hotel, you know what I’m talking about. You put everyone down to sleep. Except that, unlike home, you are all in the same room. If you turn the tv on, the kids will not sleep. If you speak, the kids will not sleep. So your only option is to sit quietly in the dark. For the better part of an hour. Just sitting there. Quietly. Waiting for that moment of confirmation that everyone is finally asleep, so that you can get up and pee, or turn on the tv, or open a bag of chips. Only, when you do, a voice calls out, “Mommy, what are you eating?” Which wakes up the other kids, who are now gravely concerned with this snack injustice. And then you repeat the above steps, only now you are angrily growling at all of them to be quiet. BE QUIET. OH MY GOSH THE NEXT KID WHO TALKS IS SLEEPING IN THE BATHROOM. In a hotel, everyone’s sleep is reduced to the lowest common denominator. Most everyone is restless until everyone else is sleeping, and the first person to wake up inevitably wakes up the whole family. The combination of sleep deprivation and a lack of privacy, along with living out of a suitcase? Is not doing great things for my sanity. I supposed at some point we will look back on this phase and laugh, and even have fond memories of the “slumber parties” and bed-jumping and shared frustration in close quarters. But for now, I’m just ready to be back in a house where I can close a door on everyone else.