The 4-Year-Old Who Wasn’t In His Bed (via the Washington Post)



On Parenting from the Washington Post — It was a little before 2 a.m. when we discovered our 4-year-old wasn’t in his bed, but it took several more minutes to realize he was also not in the house. The details of the night have grown muddled through the initial fog of panic, years of retelling and the way the now 11-year-old doesn’t exactly remember it, but here’s what we’ve pieced together:

The 4-year-old, at some point between the last time we checked on him and the 911 call, awoke in his bedroom on the second floor. He got right out of bed, opened his door, walked down the hall, turned left, went downstairs and passed through both the kitchen and living room, where his mom had fallen asleep on the couch while studying. He flipped up the lock on the sliding glass door, opened it, unlocked the screen door, opened that too, extracted a pair of floppy blue Crocs from the shoe basket, slipped them on over his footie pajamas and walked outside, closing both doors behind him. We’re still not sure if he was awake — we’ve come to find he inherited his dad’s entertaining gift for sleepwalking  — but we do know it wasn’t an accident, or some wandering gone awry. He wanted to go outside, so he went outside.

The full story at the Washington Post.




About Jeff Vrabel

My writing has appeared in GQ, Men’s Health, Success, the Washington Post, the official, Indianapolis Monthly, Billboard, Modern Bride and more. View all posts by Jeff Vrabel

2 responses to “The 4-Year-Old Who Wasn’t In His Bed (via the Washington Post)

  • Belle

    OMG. Seriously, reading this gave me shudders. My mom-brain would still be having anxiety attacks about that years later….full of what-ifs. Sounds like those two young men who came along at the right time and place were good kids and they could have been…….oops, there goes the what-ifs in my head again! (Our son also was a sleepwalker but thankfully he didn’t try to go out. However, this same son also od’d on Flintstones vitamins at 4 yrs old and had to get his stomach pumped. His reasoning was that he “wanted to be real strong like Superman”. Sigh.)

    Your last sentence made me tear up a bit. Great writing, as usual, Jeff!


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