My Little Houdini
Until 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?