Friday, June 03, 2005

Scare Tactics

Today after lunch I gave Isaac an Otter Pop and sent him out to the backyard to eat it. I put Vivian in the playroom, and instead of going to the kitchen to clean up, snuck into the office to get on-line. There I found a new comment from Yankee Transplant, who mentioned she had found me via Phantom Scribbler. I was so tickled at being mentioned on someone else's blog, especially a blog I found recently, that I sat down and started blogging in earnest. Only after about 15 minutes did I realize that the children were basically unattended, and I wasn't hearing any Vivian babble coming from the playroom.

Our house is small, as is our backyard. The backyard is completely fenced in, and I'm fairly confident leaving Isaac out there to play by himself. As he gets older, he is more and more able to entertain himself--especially outside--so long as I check on him every so often to make sure he hasn't poked himself in the eye with a rake, or face-planted on the bricks. The playroom, where I left Vivian, opens up to the backyard (though I made sure all screen doors were closed before I turned away). It is a completely childproof room, gated off from the rest of the house. So in truth, although I had left them unattended, it's not as if they were in imminent danger.

But when I got up to check on them, Vivian was nowhere to be found. Not behind the TV, behind the rocking chair, under the sofa. Nowhere. The screen door to the backyard was still closed. Where in the hell could an 11 month old go? I looked outside, and could see Isaac raking up some leaves, but no Vivian. I ran to the other screen door--still closed--no Vivian out that side either. Panicked, I ran outside. "Isaac, where's Vivian?" I shouted. And he grinned.

Then I knew. "Did you open the door and let her out?" Suddenly I heard her babble. She was outside, just around the corner, having a grand old time playing with Isaac's wagon.


It never occurred to me that Isaac would let her out of the playroom. And further, that he would shut the door once she came outside. I can't get that boy to shut the door after himself no matter what I do! Apparently the only enticement he needs is giving his mother a heart attack, then that door is miraculously easy to close.

So, crises averted, though it wasn't much of a crises, really. As I said before, the backyard is gated, so she couldn't have gotten far. While I was panicking, deep in the rational part(s) of my brain, I knew this. Though the other, more present part of my brain was imagining the uncovered hole that she must have fallen into (Baby V, anyone?), or the stealthy serial killer/child molester who had snuck into the playroom and grabbed her, only leaving Isaac because he would make too much noise screaming.

And it is true that while the backyard is an okay place for Isaac to play by himself, it's really not such a great idea for a baby. God knows what poisonous plant she could digest. Or how many fingers she could lose in the lawn-mower.

So I suppose the moral of the story is: Leave the blogging for nap-time. Sigh.

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