My Little Houdini

houdiniUntil now, this little monster has been known as PK. From now on he is to be known as Houdini.

In this warm weather, Plum and PK have had free access to the back garden from the lounge. The back door has been open all day. The tall gate between the front and back gardens has been firmly shut. Stonelaughter has been working out in the back garden so they’ve been within sight/earshot of one or other of us all the time. As a double failsafe, the double gates to the street have been closed as well, although we’re not comfortable letting the little two play in the front garden without one of us with them all the time.

As for playing on the street, forget about it. Of course, they’re only one and three, so it’s not surprising that we don’t allow them out on the street. Bean, at eight and a half, has been allowed to play out on the street for a little under a year. It’s only recently that he’s been allowed to actually cross the street.

So when, yesterday afternoon, a woman we don’t know came to our door, holding a screaming PK Houdini we were more than a little shocked. When she told us that he had been found wandering on his own on the next street I nearly fainted. We’re still  not clear how he got out, although it seems to have happened whilst I was cooking and Stonelaughter was tidying things away in the shed, but both gates were still closed, so goodness only knows how he got through them. Bean and his friends swear blind that they didn’t leave any gates open, Plum was sitting having a quiet moment in the lounge.

We are very lucky, that goes without saying. Just being out on the street was dangerous enough. Getting to the next street, whilst adventurous, was incredibly dangerous. If he’d turned up the hill and not down, he’d have been toddling towards a main road. Having got himself there, he realised he didn’t know where he was, or where I was, and burst into tears. None of the adults knew him, because he’s never out to be seen, but the local children who come round to play recognised him and escorted the woman to our house. She was clearly unimpressed. Of course.

I burst into tears as soon as she left. I know we are lucky that nothing happened other than he gave us all a fright, but I also know that he could easily have been dead by now. I feel sick with the thought of what could have happened.

Clearly we need to make some changes to make sure it can’t happen again. We’re talking about a stairgate between the back door and the shed so that access to the gate to the front garden is blocked. I don’t know if that will work though. PK can’t open the gates himself, and if the children leave the gates open, they’re just as likely to leave a stairgate open.

What do you do to make sure gates are left open/can’t be opened by young children?

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4 comments on “My Little Houdini

  1. Oh my goodness. That must have give you quite a fright. That’s my worst nightmare. Popping over from

  2. WOW!! How very scary indeed! Glad that nothing happened and was returned safely but I would be feeling exactly like you do right now! Sending you a hug xx

  3. What a fright! So glad he is safe! If your gates have horizontal slats, they are climbable unfortunately. Could the gate have been unwittingly left open and then swung closed behind him in a breeze? Harry learnt very young that he could unlatch gates if he stood on a garden chair. Or a wheelie bin. Or a trike. Definitely need eyes in the back of your head with toddlers! He also climbed out the windows in his bedroom (ground floor) when he was about fifteen months, luckily straight into our back garden where we were entertaining. I had to tie the windows shut that night, and we had to invest in window locks the next day!!!

  4. Pinky on said:

    I totally empathise, my little one unlocked the back door down 3 steps and was half way to the shed before we saw her out the kitchen window and she’s 1. Not knowing you garden, I know we have paid particular attention to the hedges etc if that helps she always seemed to go for that rarther than the gate. You can get gates that spring shut after opening so your 8 year old could get out but it would be difficult for the smaller ones too. Hope you find a solution soon x

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