It Really Sucks When Your Toddler Leaves Home In The Night While You Sleep

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Okay, so here’s one of those crazy but very real stories that will ensure you never sleep soundly again. A 3-year-old Maine girl woke up in the middle of the night, left her house all by herself, and walked a mile to a grocery store through freshly fallen snow. Hope Trott was apparently looking for her mother, who she believed was inside the store buying pizza. Both her parents, however, were fast asleep at home. They never even heard her leave.

Police are unclear whether Hope was confused by a dream or sleepwalking. But, whatever it was, it caused the little girl to put on little ruby red shoes (could you die?) and a jacket over her nightgown. Thankfully, an employee found her crying outside the door at 4 a.m. and called police.

“My mommy is in there,” Hope told the employee, who zipped up her coat and waited for police to arrive. Officers then followed the child’s footprints back to her home and found the front door open. They figured a home invasion must have been going on but soon found Hope’s parents, Laura and Jesse Trott, and her older siblings, Hunter and Ann, fast asleep.

Can you imagine how these parents must have felt to wake up to police officers in their home and then hear the story of their little girl? Not surprisingly, Laura said she was shocked. The family has since installed a chain and deadbolt to their door.

As crazy as this story is, I actually know someone personally who experienced almost the exact same thing. Granted, their little girl was around 5 or 6 at the time, but she left the house – alone – in the middle of the night and started walking to a friend’s house (apparently, she was anxious for a playdate). She even crossed a main street a couple of blocks away, which is when a newspaper delivery man spotted her. He called 911 and the little girl led police officers back to her home. Her parents were shocked to discover what had happened.

Thank god, both stories ended well. But I have a feeling all these parents will sleep with one eye open from now until eternity.

(Photo: iStockphoto)