When Paul’s alarm went off at ten to seven on Monday morning, I was beat. We had, of course, stayed up late with his brother the night before. Little Red asked one of us to hop into bed with him and I told him to climb into my bed. He rolled over and closed his eyes, so I did the same. I think I vaguely remember opening my eyes again and not seeing him in his bed, and I hoped that he wasn’t being too much of a bother to Paul as he dressed.
The next thing I remember was Paul coming into the room (–I didn’t even hear him leave for breakfast!) and telling me that he found Little Red with a security guard knocking on doors to find his parents. He had, apparently, snuck out to find Paul. Little Red wasn’t scared at all, and even led everyone to believe his name was “Nick.”
It was the best possible outcome for such a scary scenario, but of course I felt horrible about the whole thing. I cried. I explained to my fearless explorer why he should never, ever do that again, and then we tried to get ready for the day.
Somehow in the course of getting the four of us dressed, Paul and Little Red got locked in the bathroom. I tried ramming it from my end, and Paul tugged at the door from the inside, but the shaft didn’t want to budge so there was nothing we could do. I called maintenance who sent someone promptly. Just before the man arrived, Paul and Little Red simply opened the door. The guy from maintenance decided to replace the handle anyway, to avoid anything like that happening again.
After we walked Paul down to meet his coworkers (and I took Paul’s car keys as I was still shaken from the caper and had left mine way up on the 19th floor of the south tower) we zipped over to the Grille for a breakfast burrito to go.
It was then that I remembered seeing our parking pass on the vanity in our room, so back upstairs we went. In the elevator on the way up we met a lady who, as soon as the doors closed, exclaimed, “there’s my buddy, Nick!” Quickly the mystery unravelled. She was the one who found him at the elevators (quite a trek from room 19112!, but I always knew he had a great sense of direction.) She was the one who deduced through his thumb that his name was Nick. She was the one who called security. Did she misunderstand him or did he give an assumed name as a part of his caper? We’ll never know. I was glad to meet her, and thank her personally, but again rattled and upset by the reminder of the horrific event.
We made it all the way to the 4th floor of the parking garage when I noticed I was missing my room key (which I needed immediately for my parking validation.) I had probably left it in my room when I grabbed the parking ticket, I thought. I headed to the front desk, by way of the bell desk, to get a new key.
Johann, from Sweeden, was courteous and polite as he towered over me and explained that because the room is only in my husband’s name, he alone could request a new key. As near to tears as I could be without crying, I said, “but he won’t be back until 10 o’clock tonight!” (and I have only one diaper in the stroller, and one extra set of underpants, and what will we do about naps and what will we DO?!?!?) I frantically pulled cards out of my wallet: my driver’s license, Paul’s aquarium membership with a picture of both him and Little Red, the zoo pass with both of our names . . .
Johann kindly said, “does he have a cell phone?”
“Yes!” I exclaimed, relieved. “Can we call him?”
“I don’t have an outside line. Do you have a cell phone?”
“No,” I replied, again empty and deflated.
He took pity on me, copied Paul’s #, and disappeared into the depths of the hotel. While he was gone I comsumed myself with worry. What if his phone is turned off (as it should be at the time, as the convention had begun.) I hated that I was bothering him at work. Would he get in trouble? What would happen to the boys and me if his phone was turned off?
Johann returned, gave me my driver’s license, and magnetized a new key. I thanked him profusely and went straight to the car, where we finally ate that breakfast burrito. It was two hours since we left the room with Paul, and we were finally leaving the Golden Nugget.