Rose is an extremely social creature. She's one of those enviable people who has no problem walking into a room full of strangers, scoping them out, learning everyone's name, charming them and then making herself pretty much at home.
She does this so well, in fact, that we had to clamp down on her recently for disappearing one afternoon without telling us, causing mild panic -- and lots of wasted time traipsing through the neighborhood -- by her parents. (The only saving grace is that she has a scream that travels blocks, so I think she'd cut loose if really injured.) Nevertheless, when we did finally find her (having lunch at a neighbor's house), we laid down the law about "Letting Parents Know BEFORE You Go Somewhere."
As with many laws, they sound better in theory than in practice. The very next day, she disappeared again.
This time, it was late afternoon, very hot (95*), and we were running behind schedule for getting Evan to his second soccer game of the day. As we piled into the car, we realized that Rose was missing. General grumpiness ensued.
Calling her name, checking with neighbors, feeling sheepish that our child had escaped our parental grasp again (!), we began hunting for her. Loud music from a party on the next block over was annoying and concerning at the same time, since one of our neighbors said Rose had been asking "who was having a party?" and may have headed that way. Party Girl on the loose!
Ten minutes later, there was no sign of her. We'd reached a new level on the Grumpy Meter. A new round of yelling began.
Finally, I heard the belligerent, "What?!" from deep in a neighbor's back yard. "Rose, come here now!" Grumbling, followed by "Okay." Then she appeared. Covered in blood. Her arms, her shirt and shoes. I briefly panicked, but then stopped myself, because, well, she wasn't screaming and seemed more annoyed than anything else.
I asked about the blood and she informed me that she had been gutting fish. Wow! Not the answer I was expecting. Recovering quickly, I began talking in my VERY STERN VOICE about how frustrated/angry/late, etc. we all were because she disappeared. Again.
Off to the bathroom, I stripped her down, washed her off and bundled her into the car (to sit next to her sweaty brother and his friend). And, just to be sure she was appropriately "sanitized," I doused her with half bottle of Purell in the car.
Tapping into her gift of gab yet again, she dampened our anger by describing in exacting detail the disection. Everything from the squid they pulled from the stomach ("cool"), to the eyeballs ("squishy"), to the brain ("tiny"), to the blood and gore, we were treated to a delightfully macabre account of her experience.
To say Rose never ceases to amaze me would be an understatement. This whole incident made me thoughtful yet again about what kind of adult she'll be. Scientist? Party planner? Delinquent? Hard to say, but watching her grow up will definitely be a wild ride, that's for sure!