My granddaughter handed me a slip of paper and a plastic card. It looked like a credit card but was a promotional piece of some sort. “You’ll need these, Paw Paw Dave,” she said.

“What do I need them for?”

She looked at me like I was silly or, perhaps, an idiot. “To get into your room.”

I set them aside as I was busy doing something else. But an hour or so later, I went to the bedroom. There was a slip of paper with a number on it taped to the door. I looked around and no one was in the room in which I was standing. The door doesn’t have a lock on it. I could just walk right in. After all, it’s my room.

But I went back to the dining room where I had set my pretend key card and picked it up. I went back to the bedroom door and dutifully pretended to unlock the door. We were playing “hotel,” apparently, and I knew that Kelsey would be asking me later whether I had used my key.

Kelsey just turned 10 and is more imaginative than ever. My wife keeps any gimmick that looks like a credit card because she knows Kelsey can use them when playing “store” or some other game.

Kelsey can make a game out of anything. At a restaurant, she picked up the menu and declared, “I’m thinking of a word that’s on the menu and you have to try to figure out what the word is.”

The “hotel” game was intermittent. She’d lose interest and start on something else; then, someone new would come over and she’d issue him a card key. It wasn't a game with winners and losers. It was more like an alternate reality.

Normally, I would go nuts over seeing tape on the doors as it can lift up paint or varnish and leave an unsightly mark. It’s funny what grandkids can get away with that your kids never could.

Halfway into the weekend, I was wishing we’d had more kids just so we could have more grandkids. But by the end of the weekend, I was glad that we didn’t. They can wear you out. The next time won’t come soon enough, though. Maybe we’ll play “hotel” again. I have no doubt that the room numbers will still be taped to the doors. It’s our way of triggering a happy memory every time we open the door.

©Copyright 2012 by David Porter who can be reached at [email protected]. I didn’t mind the number affixed to the door so much; it was when she charged me $80 to sleep in my own bedroom that I demanded to see a manager.