The entire family went on vacation. Mom, dad, 7 kids, 2 aunties, 1 uncle, and 5 cousins.
Dad took some of the children on a scenic drive to look at waterfalls in the national park. When they returned, the children shot from the parking lot straight up the stairs to our hotel room. On the way, Peter decided to go with auntie E as she was walking towards the playground.
The children burst into the room chattering away all at the same time. I thought it was a bit odd that two came in first without dad, but they said Peter was down with Auntie E so I figured there was some parental oversight – no big deal. Then dad showed up a few minutes later, but Rosalie wasn’t with him. She was nowhere to be found in the room. Dad went and looked over the balcony towards the playground and didn’t see her. The kids didn’t know where she had gone. No one had seen her since she left the van.
That is when I started freaking out. I ran down the hallway yelling her name. I hollered down to Auntie E from the outdoor walkway that she was missing, but she didn’t hear me. I was a hollering fool! I yelled louder and louder. Finally on the third time of screaming “ROSALIE is MISSING!!!“…
A voice from above yelled “I’ve got her up here!”
I looked up, and there on the 6th floor walkway was Rosalie, being escorted by a very nice staff member of the hotel.
After much piecing together from different sources I figured out what happened. When they came back to the hotel, Rosalie shot out of the car and ran up the stairs. Daniel and Evelyn followed her but when they hit the third floor, Daniel realized that he had gone too far so he and Evelyn turned around and went back down to the second floor and right to our room. Rosalie was so far ahead of them she didn’t stop climbing the stairs, she didn’t notice that she was going too far, she was oblivious. She was having too much fun walking up the stairs (we don’t have stairs in our part of Florida). Meanwhile, Dad was still trying to unbuckle little ones from car seats.
The hotel staff member had asked her name and because of Rosalie’s speech difficulties she was not able to understand her. She asked for her mom’s name and she said “Mom”.
I don’t ever want that much excitement ever again. I went straight out and got her name and phone number engraved on her medic alert bracelet.
The odd part of all this is that Rosalie is on a waiting list for a Seizure Alert/Autism Service Dog and they wanted to specifically know if she tends to run away from me (the dog would be trained to search for her). At the time, I said no because I really couldn’t think of any time when she ‘ran away’ from me. Rosalie rarely has a chance to run away. I have been trained to ALWAYS keep my eyes on my children. I am always on alert when we are out in public just in case. Then I was reminded of the time I was making an appointment at the check-out window of the doctor’s office and she walked right out the front door and led her 2 year old brother to the car (as I left my purse on the counter and without a word dashed like a hysterical woman out the door to retrieve them!). And many other instances like that popped into my head. So, yeah, she has been known to wander away – not ‘run away’, but wander off in total oblivion.