It was the first bad twin moment I've had, where I got outnumbered by the girls and didn't know what to do. The girls and I were out at a local mall (we were on our own last night and needed a little activity). At one point, we all held hands and stepped onto a down escalator, just like we've done a million times before. Only this time little Ree faltered for some reason. She jerked her hand out of mine, started to sit down, jumped back up because I was freaking out, then stepped back really quickly, got back off the escalator, and burst into scared tears, refusing to move. I frantically tried to coax her back on, but she was so scared it was fruitless. By this time, Ro and I were halfway down, and I knew I couldn't make it back up the descending stairs carrying the wiggling 35lb Ro while wearing flip flops. Ugh! So I was stuck on a descending escalator with one girl while the other girl was frozen and screaming at the top. I yelled to Ree not to move a muscle, that I would be right back, then Ro and I scurried the rest of the way down, ran around to the up escalator (they were in an X formation so we had to run around and out of sight of Ree for about twenty freaking long seconds), and rode the damn thing back up. I yelled the whole time to her (we could still hear each other even when we couldn't see) then finally got back to the top and ran around to the other side and scooped her up. Poor little thing was frantic, but thank god she listened to me and didn't move.
Talking it over later with my dad, he figured out I had a WAY better option, and I just wanted to share it in case anyone else finds themselves in the same situation. I should have told Ree to say put, continued to the bottom with Ro, then pushed the emergency stop button (there's one at the top and bottom of every single escalator). Then we could have all easily walked on the stopped escalator toward each other and both kids would have been in my line of sight the entire time.
Scared the crap out of me. I won't make that mistake again.
Update: Just wanted to say thank you so much to everyone for your caring and empathetic comments. And thank you also to the folks who shared that when you hit that stop button the escalator will stop abruptly, so please warn everyone loudly to hang on before pressing stop. Great advice.