Rainy Day Walk

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Rainy days are welcome because they make us feel OK to stay inside and do the work that pays for the sunny days when we play in the field. Looking at my bank account makes me pray for rain.

Still, rain or shine, Mona needs her “outside!” time.

The other day she was asleep upstairs while I was enjoying the newly cleared office space in a back room with a big window opening up to the outside and cheerful lighting. It is at the end of the hall from the stairs and front door, and the office door was open and no other sounds in the house. I came out to grab something and noticed the front door open and her boots gone. Now, usually she wakes up and either stands at the top of the stairs crying for us to come get her, or she comes down and cries for bread and jam. This is the first time she has ever sneaked down and out.

I checked our garden where she might go looking for Tomoe or me. Not there. Checked the garage where her friend the stray cat sleeps sometimes. Not there. Checked by the neighbor’s garage where they keep the kids garden toys. Not there. Checked by the neighbor’s outside sink where she likes to play with water. Not there. Checked inside the neighbors’ front doors because she sometimes likes to go in looking for “kids!”. Not there.

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I started checking down the street and found her walking hand in hand with an old lady from down the road. Apparently she had gone inside their house and was playing in their front entrance. They only increased the possibility that it will happen again by giving her cookies. Now every time we walk by that house Mona happily tells me that she ate the obachan’s cookies.

If I was in the city I wonder if I would have thought someone had come into the house, snuck upstairs and stole her? Should I feel bad that through it all I was more worried about what the neighbors would think than I was worried that she was kidnapped? I was worried a bit about the biggest road, but she is surprisingly aware and afraid of cars – to the point that it gets annoying that every time a car passes, we have to stop walking as she cowers on the side of the road clutching my leg.

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The river is certainly another worry, but she has never ever gone anyplace where she could fall directly in (these photos by the river are quite far from the house, and we have to prod and plead with her to get her to walk up that direction), and is generally afraid of high places unless I am standing below to catch her. Maybe I should have been more worried. Maybe I am a bad parent. Maybe this is why all of our chickens were eaten by wild animals and our precious cockatiels were eaten by the cat that now lives in our basement.

Anyway, I have moved back to my tiny dark depressing little work table in the living room so she cant sneak by until we get a lock on the front door that she can’t open.

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  1. hafiz says:

    You are a good parent : ) ! You have given her an amazing utopia that she calls home. Its a child’s dream! A lil caution is always good. A higher lock ought to do it. Funny…you posted this…as I was kinda thinking (being worried as a parent myself) that she seems too close to that pond in front (?) of your house. I worry about the kids too. I almost have a nervous breakdown when they have a field trip to NY City or the Philly zoo. I wait anxiously until the bus comes back to the school with all the kids in it : ). Perks of being a parent.

    Happy Spring!!!

  2. Kelly says:

    I can send you some $1 child cabinet child-safety locks that you can just stick on the top of your front door until you get a real lock…or until she learns not to do that. You’re right though, the cookies probably aren’t helping. Just be sure to keep it high enough that she can’t reach it because all of our kids figured them out pretty quickly. But when they’re locked, they stick pretty well!

  3. kevin says:

    Are you talking about that photo back on April 20? (that is the only post I find with her by our pond). Yes, she may have been close, but so long as I am around I don’t care if she falls in. The worst that would happen there is that she gets a shock and I forget that my cell-phone is in my pocket when I jump in to pull her out. Then we both go inside and warm up in the kotatsu. Believe me, she has been in more dangerous situations than that.

    And I wouldn’t be so quick to call it a Utopia. If you notice there are never other kids in the photos. She does play with the children next door, but only a few minutes a day. When we go do the fun stuff like exploring the forest and picking wild veggies she only has me and mom to do it with. No friends her age.

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