3-Year-Old Walks a Mile to Store in Middle of the Night

OMG 18

ruby slippersWhenever I think about what life was like when my kids were toddlers, an old expression of my grandmother's comes to mind: "Never a dull moment." Fitting, right? Little kids are nothing if not unpredictable, and they're always learning new tricks to be pulled out of their hats without warning. So I can't blame the parents of Hope Trott, the 3-year-old girl who walked a mile through the Maine snow in the dead of night. First of all, they were fast asleep when it happened.

Second of all, I'm pretty sure the last thing they were expecting their little girl to do at 4 a.m. was to hop out of bed, slip on a pair of ruby red shoes, toss a jacket over her nightgown, and walk out the front door.

Especially considering it was only 29 degrees outside. But apparently Hope was on a mission, and it involved the grocery store.

That's where she ended up, anyway: An employee found Hope outside the locked grocery store crying because she couldn't open the door and thought her mom was inside buying pizza.

Her mom -- who obviously wasn't buying pizza, since she was home sleeping in bed -- thinks Hope must have woken up in the middle of a dream about grocery shopping and gone on her little misadventure in a state of sleepy confusion. Hey, at least she thought to put a jacket and shoes on! (Too bad she didn't just click her heels together and say, "There's no place like home," when she found the grocery store door locked.)

And at least the employee who found the little girl was thoughtful enough to zip up her coat before he called 911.

My favorite part of this story might be the way police figured out where Hope came from: They followed her footprints in the snow back to the Trott house. Since the door was wide open (just like Hope left it), the cops thought they were walking in on a home invasion. They raised their guns ... only to find Hope's parents and two older siblings nestled all snug in their beds (presumably no visions of pizza dancing in their heads).

Phew! All's well that ends well -- and with a deadbolt and chain being installed on a family's front door. I can't even wrap my head around how terrified her parents must've been when they figured out what happened, or how horribly wrong this story could have gone. But thanks to one 3-year-old's uncanny sense of direction and a kindly grocery store employee, it didn't.

Can you imagine your 3-year-old pulling off a stunt like this one?


Image via jon feinstein/Flickr

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femal... femaleMIKE

wow.  Thankfully she is okay.

When I was 5, I went food shopping wiht my mother.  I picked out what I wanted and wallked home...without my mother. She was going crazy looking for me and used the pay phone to call home.  My brother found me as he drove to the grocery store.  :) 

the4m... the4mutts

Yes. My 2 year old has done it twice. AFTER chain and slider locks, and an extra baby gate were installed. I don't have space here to explain, but I will tell you, it involved an open time window of about 4.5 minutes, while I made a #2. He used a chair, a stool, and a broom. Made it about 1/4 of a mile the first time.

Wandered into our across the street neighbors house the 2nd time

white... whitebreads

Omg I'm so glad she is ok.

MrsNe... MrsNewman

It scared me to even think about. We were just at the doctors office yesterday and I was talking with the dr. about our 5 yr old and her sleep walking! She has never left the house, but it is always in the back of my mind. I tend to sleep on the couch a lot right now to keep an eye on her. Im so glad that little girl is okay. 

nonmember avatar Heather

I slept walked ALOT when I was a baby. Deadbolts and all that didn't work on me. My dad resorted to hanging these strands of bells on the front and back doors before he went to bed each night.

CPN322 CPN322

I slept walked as well but never got out of the house. Luckily, my parents were usually awake when it happened and for some reason I could never seem to unlock the door anyways. Soooo glad this lil girl is ok!

Disney17 Disney17

I used to sleep walk. One time on one of our Disney Cruise vacations, I slept walked one of the restaurants. I woke up in a hot pink mini skirt (with shorts built in) and my training bra (I was thirteen) lol! I had to walk to one of the concierge desks to get a temporary room key since my parents and siblings were dead asleep and couldn't hear me knocking! I could've walked off the ship! :/ Glad she didn't get hurt!

nonmember avatar r0sal1n3

My dad installed deadbolts on top of the doors when we were toddlers so the adults actually have to get up on a chair to unlock it. Then, he instead bars on the windows when we were teens and he found us on the roof of the house.

sweet... sweet.lil.mama

Our door is hard to open and my son doesn't like to leave our site so i highly doubt he'd do this...scary!

Heather-Marie Glover

THIS is the reason I had an alarm system installed. When we go to bed, it gets turned on so if ANY outside door opens, it sounds, and we know! My oldest daughter is too smart sometimes, and her younger sister is learning all the tricks, only at a much younger age!!!

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