Living in Australia this past year was the first time we had lived away from family since having children. I didn't realize this lack of family support would be such a hardship. We were used to grandparents and my sister a short walk or drive away. Since we homeschool, the kids were with one of us 24/7. If we wanted a night out, we took turns and went out alone while the other one stayed home with the kids. We made it for 9 months with no support, but by the time my parents came to see us in Australia, we were ready for some adult-only time.
The kids were ready for some Grammy and Papa time, too. We held them off for one night so my parents could recover from jet lag. But the kids were dying to spend the night in my parents' apartment, so we agreed that they could sleep up in their 17th floor apartment the second night. To understand the scenario I am about to describe, it is important to know that we have key fabs that we swipe to gain entrances to all doors and elevators (or 'lifts' as the Aussies call them) in our apartment building.
At their regular bedtime of 8:30pm, we took Silas and Morgan up the elevator to the 17th floor of the building where my parents were renting an Airbnb apartment for their 2 week visit. It was so convenient for us all to have our own space, but for them to be in the same building rather than a hotel off-site. We made their pallets on the floor of my parents' living room and the kids went to sleep easily. Troy and I were downstairs in our ground floor apartment.
At about 12:30am, Troy happened to still be awake and heard a light knock on the door. He opened it to find a dazed, lethargic Silas standing there. After a few questions, it was obvious that our 8 year old son was still asleep. Silas slowly woke up and began to cry because he didn't know how he got there. He didn't remember leaving my parents' 17th floor apartment, coming down the elevator, or knocking on our door on the ground floor. Without a key fab, he was able to come down the elevator by himself in a sleep walking state. Fortunately, Troy heard him. Otherwise, he would have been trapped in the lobby with no way to go back up the elevator or come around to the patio in the back without a key fab. The thought of what could have been if Troy hadn't heard Silas knock on the door - him alone, confused, and with nowhere to go trapped in the lobby all night - scared all of us.
About the time that we discovered Silas, my dad woke up in the apartment on the 17th floor and found an empty bed where Silas had been sleeping. The panic only lasted a few minutes before we were able to let him know Silas was safe and that his homing pigeon instincts kicked in during his sleep and brought him back to us. Morgan slept through the whole thing, but rest assured, when the lights went out for the second time that night, there was a chair wedged in front of the door in case she decided to take up sleep walking, too.
I am a wife, mother, and exercise physiologist with one foot in the world of travel and one foot in the world of fitness.
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